A Melrose Massachusetts Estate plan is:
The purpose of this Blog is to explain What is a basic Melrose MA Estate Plan. While Estate Plan is different, together we can design one that suits your needs. At a minimum, the three of the most important Estate Planning documents that everyone in Massachusetts should have are: (1) A Will or Reciprocal Wills for Couples, (2) A Health Care Proxy, and (3) A Durable Power of Attorney.
(1) A Will or Reciprocal Will for Couples: Is a document by which you state how you would like your assets and personal effects distributed after death. A will provides instructions for how your property will be given to family, friends, and/or the charity of your choice. In preparing your will you will need to name an personal representative (Formally known as an Executor) whose responsibility will be to oversee the proper distribution of your assets and pay your debts. Additionally a will nominates guardians and alternative guardians if minor children are involved.
Dying without a Massachusetts will, also known as dying “intestate,” can be emotionally draining, time consuming, and costly to your heirs and leaves you with little or no control over how your property is distributed.
(2) A Durable Power Of Attorney: Is one of the most valuable documents that you can possess. A Durable Power of Attorney grants a person you select (known as the “attorney-in-fact”) the authority to act on your behalf to handle your finances if you become incapacitated (regardless of whether a minor temporary injury or permanently as a result of a disease or accident) during your lifetime. Even if you are injured and are unable to make it to the bank, your attorney-in-fact can act on your behalf and make deposits, withdrawals or write checks for you in an effort to keep your finances in order. Often assets need to be moved and bills must be paid so a durable power of attorney will allow your attorney-in-fact to do this in the event that you cannot. A durable power of attorney can avoid the need and expense to have a court-appointed guardian or conservator act on your behalf.
As we age, we want to consider a proper estate plan that ensures that our personal wishes are respected in the event of incapacity by illness or accident. If you do not have a durable power of attorney and become incapacitated the court will appoint a guardian to handle your affairs. This process can take a long time, be emotionally draining, and become expensive due to legal fees and costs and should be avoided by all means. We should protect ourselves from the unknown. Contact The Martino Law Group today. Our Estate Planning Lawyers would love to discuss including a durable power of attorney in your estate plan.
(3) A Health-Care Proxy: Is a document by which you give another person (your health care agent) the authority to make health-care decisions in the event that you are unable. A well drafted health-care proxy is vitally important when you are incapable of giving instructions to medical professionals, especially in the case of life support or such other medical care that is not consistent with your values and wishes. If desired, a Massachusetts Health-Care Proxy will permit the person named to order the withdrawal of such life support or other “heroic measures” when there is no hope of a recovery.
A well drafted Health-Care Proxy will save your loved ones from guessing your desires in the event that you cannot make such decisions. If a Health-care proxy is part of your estate plan it will ensure that your family and friends know your wishes and desires are being carried out during a difficult time, thus avoiding family stress, arguments, and costly court battles.
These three documents: A will, durable power of attorney, and health care proxy, are the most important documents in your Basic Melrose MA Estate Plan but by no means a complete list of the documents necessary to complete your estate plan. Contact John Martino, Esquire, to schedule an appointment, together we can craft an estate plan that meets your individual needs.