Estate Planning Lawyers Serving Carlisle, MA
For many, one of their biggest fears regarding their eventual death is how their estate and assets will be distributed. Because of this, it essential to develop an estate plan that fully answers all questions regarding distribution of assets. Carlisle families may also be unsure of how they can ensure guardianship for minor children in the event of an untimely death. Who would make decisions on your behalf if you were to become incapacitated? Would those decisions be the ones you would choose? All of these concerns can be easily addressed with the assistance of an experienced Family Estate Planning Law Group estate planning attorney.
The Family Estate Planning Law Group is unique in a number of ways. We are not your “usual” estate planning law firm. We work as a team on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive a compilation of our knowledge and skills related to estate planning. We start with an initial complimentary consultation where we will determine what your goals for the future are. We then bring in our SAVeT™ System for the following qualities:
- Simplify/Consolidation—The key to SAVeT™ is simplification. We help you consolidate your assets prior to your asset alignment meeting. When you have fewer overall assets, there is a decreased chance of probate, along with an overall more efficient estate plan.
- Align—Assets will be aligned with your estate plan, including such things as beneficiary designations, Powers of Attorney, and more.
- Verify—Alignment is verified with institutions to prevent any surprises.
- Track—Finally, we will continually track your assets to ensure alignment and verification stay current. Laws change, rules of institutions change, assets change, and your life will change. We ensure alignment and verification remain stable throughout.
We also offer our Family Care Meeting™ to our current clients, as part of their plan. The estate plan is introduced to family members, loved ones, beneficiaries, and advisors (like accountants or financial planners). This meeting can be particularly helpful for adult children, ensuring there are no surprises down the line. During the Family Care Meeting™, we will answer all questions and facilitate the conversation. You can disclose as much or as little as you are comfortable with, but it give your loved ones a chance to hear something about your plan before they have to implement it after your death, cutting down on confusion, misunderstanding, and potential fights.
Finally, our clients benefit significantly from our ongoing client care program. We understand that life changes as you age. Marriage, divorce, births, deaths, changes in assets, changes in estate laws, changes in institutional rules, and changes in your wishes can all require changes to your estate plan. We build relationships with our clients—relationships that endure for years, or throughout a lifetime. Together, We Plan for Life®.
Why is Estate Planning Important for Carlisle Families?
When trying to ensure all aspects of your assets and final wishes are respected, having a comprehensive estate plan in place can ensure your loved ones will receive the benefits you left them. Some common oversights that can delay or even alter how your estate gets distributed include:
Believing You Do Not Need a Trust
You may feel a Will is sufficient or that you do not have enough assets to warrant creating a Trust. Foregoing a Trust can prove to be a costly decision. Consulting with a Family Estate Planning Law Group team member familiar with Carlisle estate planning needs can make a significant difference. We can help you determine what level of end-of-life planning is right for your estate situation. In turn, this can save your family unnecessary emotional and financial burdens in the future.
Assuming Your Loved Ones Can Manage Your Estate
Perhaps your children are young now. You may assume they will be adults at the time of your death. Unfortunately, while death is a certainty, few other things are. If your children are minors at the time of your death, you want to be sure you have named a trusted Guardian and that your assets will be available for your children as they grow.
Even grown children and spouses can struggle with the responsibilities of settling your estate. They may be neither financially nor emotionally able to take on these tasks, meaning state probate laws could determine the final outcome. Proper planning can ensure things go smoothly following your death.
Failing to Keep Your Carlisle Estate Plan Up-to-date
If you have a will, trust, or another estate plan in place, failing to regularly update it to address life milestones, like the birth of a child or a marriage, can be disastrous. If you are divorced, would you want your estate to go to your ex, simply because you failed to make crucial updates to it?
As you can see, proper estate planning is a fundamental part of protecting the legacy you leave behind for your loved ones. From charitable planning to business succession, to elder law questions, FEPLG can provide you with over three decades of practical experience to help you avoid the Carlisle probate process.
What is Probate?
A probate court is necessary when someone passes because they have a will or died intestate (without a will), and the remaining property and assets need distribution. The probate process also ensures that the decedent’s outstanding debts get paid out of the estate before beneficiaries receive their portion.
Absent a Will, the court usually appoints a close family member or spouse to control the estate during the probate process. They will need to perform the following duties:
- Assess what assets there are and take control of them
- Possibly have some assets appraised
- Pay off any outstanding debts owed by the deceased
- Distribute the remaining estate to the beneficiaries
Relying on a probate court to fairly distribute your remaining estate with or without a Will in place is risky for several reasons. The first reason is that relatives you might never want to inherit your assets could receive all or part of your estate. Further, the Massachusetts estate tax laws could burden your loved ones with a costly tax bill after receiving your assets. Finally, before your loved ones receive any benefit from your estate, your remaining creditors could take a significant piece of your assets, leaving virtually nothing behind.
Keep in mind that having a Will guarantees your family will have to go through the probate process. This is because a Will is not valid until your death, then must receive court approval. If your Will does not receive approval, your wishes may go unheeded. This reality makes it critical to avoid the probate process at all costs.
Protecting Your Family’s Future With Estate Planning
To spare your family the pain and potential expense of probate, there are specific steps you can take. One of the ways to avoid probate involves creating a Trust with the help of the knowledgeable FEPLG estate planning team. By creating a Trust, you can transfer your assets to your loved ones without probate, minimize tax exposure, and enjoy flexible distribution options.
Having the ability to control how beneficiaries receive their asset distributions is an effective management tool if they are underage or unable to make financial decisions on their own. You can also decide how you want to disburse funds to your loved ones. It is entirely under your control with the help of the FEPLG estate planning team.
Putting Your Carlisle Family First is Our Top Priority
Carlisle families enjoy many things about their community like famous city landmarks such as the Bog House and Cranberry Bog. But they also value having reliable estate planning services, and since 1990, Family Estate Planning Law Group has shown an enduring commitment to this timeless rural community. Our firm has provided premier estate planning services in this region of Massachusetts with pride, skill, and experience.
We strive to provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant asset protection strategies and tax protections for your estate so that your family will receive the maximum benefit from your legacy. Interested in learning more? We offer a complimentary consultation to help get you started and invite you to explore our blog and website to find out more about FEPLG and our team members. We are ready to guide you through the process—contact FEPLG today!