Everyone needs a Will! Without a Will, assets that you own will be distributed in accordance with the Massachusetts laws. More importantly, you should choose the Personal Representative. Otherwise, the brassiest and boldest person will step forward and that probably would not be the person you want. Don’t let the state or others decide!
A Will creates organization by naming the most appropriate person to manage things thereby reducing stress and expense at the time of death and expediting the probate process. Most often, many assets are transferred outside of the Probate Court. McHugh Law has more than 35 years of experience helping with probate planning and easing the financial burden on families.
We can assist drafting a Will that is tailored to the situation and individual needs, even disability. In addition to making sure the right people receive the right property, we will help insure the Personal Representative is the best person for the job.
Do you want to avoid the Probate Court? McHugh Law also helps with trusts for a wide range of special situations. For example, a testamentary trust is an inexpensive way to make sure the kids do not spend the money unwisely. A testamentary trust is also a good tool for asset preservation in case of nursing home care. Revocable trusts are used to help save estate taxes. In Massachusetts, if you have more than $1,000,000 in the family, you have a taxable estate. The federal limit is over $5,000,000, not the Massachusetts limit. A $1,100,000 estate can generate a tax of $41,000. We can set up the trusts needed to save that $41,000. Trusts also will save the cost to probate the estate [$4,000 – $8,000 for an estate of that size]. Life insurance trusts can be used to take life insurance completely out of the taxable estate. Supplemental needs trusts or special needs trusts can be used to make sure a disabled person can receive money and still qualify for necessary benefits. Irrevocable trusts can be used to protect your assets in case of nursing home care.
Joint ownership is another way to avoid the probate process but you have to consider the risks as well as the benefits of any type of joint ownership.
McHugh Law will help determine estate planning goals and then identify and implement the best tools to accomplish them.