Blog

02
Jul

Does A No Contest Clause Really Work?

Posted by | · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

You’ve probably heard horror stories of disgruntled heirs contesting a parent’s Will to try and get their “fair share” of an inheritance. While uncommon, it is particularly concerning when dealing with favoritism, children who have substance abuse or gambling issues, blended families, or illegitimate children. Fortunately, under Massachusetts law there are a few steps you […]

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26
Jun

Should You Use A Tangible Property Memorandum?

Posted by | · · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

Do you have a bunch of “stuff” that you’d like to leave to certain individuals, but don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of listing everything in your Will or updating your Will as circumstances change? If yes, then a tangible property memorandum may make sense to incorporate or reference through your Will.   Under […]

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19
Jun

Safekeeping Your Estate Planning Documents

Posted by | · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

Completing your estate plan is a great accomplishment, but the fun’s not over yet – now you have to decide where to keep the papers for the rest of your life. Generally, you have three options for safekeeping your estate planning documents: Lawyer’s Office Traditionally, lawyers would keep and store their clients documents since they […]

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11
Jun

3 Estate Planning Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

Posted by | · · · · · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

 1. Failing to name contingent beneficiaries   Life’s uncertain. We’d like to believe everything will go as planned, but it’s possible that your primary beneficiaries may predecease you. If that happens, you should always have alternate or back-up beneficiaries in place.   Also, it’s best to make a habit of reviewing the beneficiaries on your […]

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04
Jun

Can You Disinherit Your Spouse?

Posted by | · · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

If the thought of leaving your estate to your spouse makes you nervous then you’ve probably wondered: can you disinherit your spouse?   The answer is generally, no – at least not entirely.   Under Massachusetts law your spouse is entitled to inherit a portion of your estate (also known as the spousal elective share). […]

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24
May

Two Trusts Worth Considering an Independent Trustee For

Posted by | · · · · · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

Independent Trustees are persons and/or entities that are responsible for administering your trust, but are not named as beneficiaries. While some trusts require independent trustees, others use independent trustees to primarily avoid a conflict of interest that may otherwise exist if the Trustee were to also be a beneficiary of the trust.   Why is […]

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01
May

Testamentary v. Living Trust

Posted by | · · · · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

A trust can be established either during a person’s life (a “Living Trust”) or at his or her death by being included in a person’s Will (a “Testamentary Trust”). Both types of trusts have the benefit of allowing the creator of the Trust (sometimes called the donor, grantor, or settlor) to put in place a […]

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24
Apr

How to Start the Estate Planning Conversation with Your Family

Posted by | · · · · · · · · · · · | Estate Planning

Death and money are likely among the top two things you don’t want to talk about around the dinner table. Yet you probably know very well that an estate planning conversation is something you should discuss with your family sooner rather than later. Otherwise, your survivors may misinterpret or fail to follow your intentions, which […]

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10
Apr

Understanding the Anti-Lapse Statute

Posted by | · · · · · | Estate Planning

The Anti-Lapse statute is a law that aims to correct the lack of contingency planning in a Will. Prior to the enactment of this statute, a gift to someone in your Will would fail completely if that person predeceased you unless you specifically provided otherwise. Therefore, the Anti-Lapse statute creates an automatic exception to the […]

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09
Apr

How Frequently Should You Review Your Estate Plan?

Posted by | · · | Estate Planning

Estate planners often say you should review your estate plan every few years (with just a hint of bias). However, in practice I have found that this answer varies between two extremes: 3 years to 15 years. The reason being that most families only need to review their estate plan when a triggering event occurs, […]

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