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I often hear people comment that they need a will, but continue to procrastinate about finally sitting down to actually do one. Sometimes it is because they cannot agree with their spouse on certain decisions to be made and other times it is because none of us like to talk about our death. The bottom line is that if you do not make a will, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will make all the decisions for you from who gets your kids to who will get your home. Knowing and understanding people's hesitation in getting the process started, I try to make the process smooth and pain free.
This includes our fee of $950.00 (for couples, $650.00 for individuals) for a simple estate plan. Our simple estate plan includes the following:
Last Will and Testament
— which outlines who you want to get your kids and/or your house. In some circumstances a trust is also included when dealing with young kids;
Health Care Proxy with Living Will
— I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to not only have a health care proxy but to have a living will as well. A living will sets forth your intentions as it applies to your desire to be kept alive or not to be kept alive by artificial means. A health care proxy designates the person you want to carry out your intentions as stated in your living will. Avoid the nightmare families face when they have to go to the Probate Court, which is often lengthy and expensive, to carry out a loved one's decision.
Durable Power of Attorney
— A durable power of attorney allows you to designate a family member or friend to conduct your business affairs in the event you become disabled without the need of turning to the Probate Court for approval at every step of the way.
Emergency Guardianship Proxy
— I also prepare this document as part of our simple estate plan for those parents with small children to avoid any problems if something happens to the parents until a permanent guardian is appointed.
I make it a point to meet with each and every client for an initial consultation to determine what your needs may be. This includes identifying the extent of your estate and whether more extensive estate planning may be necessary because estate taxes and/or Medicaid concerns. While there are a variety of methods that can be used depending on your goals I try to explain each and every option in simple, straightforward terms so that you can make the correct choices that will protect you, your family and your legacy.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact attorney Scott Clifford or one of our many office locations across the South Shore.