Do you have a MA estate plan? Have you wondered whether you really need a will or an estate plan to begin with? Understanding what happens when you don’t have a will may help you better answer that question.
Dying Without a Will
In the state of Massachusetts, there are Intestate Succession Laws. If you do not have a will that designates specific heirs, these laws will determine who are your heirs and who will receive your assets. Read our blog on why you need a will in MA for more information on how heirs are determined. It essentially depends on whether you are married, have children, and/or have living parents. If you do not have any living relatives, your assets will essentially go to the state. A lengthy court process may be involved to make this determination, especially if your family members have disputes over your estate. The only way to have any say or control over what happens to your assets is to have a will.
What’s the Difference Between a MA Estate Plan and a Will?
A will is only one component of an estate plan. An estate plan can also include a trust, health care proxy, living will, and other documents.
A will allows you to designate who gets what. Trusts enable you to provide more detailed instructions on how your assets should be handled/managed; there are many different types of trusts to consider, depending on your personal situation. Health care proxies and living wills provide guidance to your family members should you be unable to make decisions due to a disability or other medical condition. The estate plan, in whole, covers many scenarios and provides you with a variety of options.
What Should Be in Your MA Estate Plan?
There is no simple answer to this question. It really depends on a variety of factors such as the amount, value, and types of assets that you own, your debts, your family situation, and your personal preferences. A MA Estate Planning Attorney will be your best resource. Your attorney can review your particularly situation and provide valuable advice on what components should be included in your estate plan. For a free consultation, contact Martino Law Group.