Frequently Asked Will and Trust Questions
Deciding how to leave your legacy is one of the most important sets of decisions you will ever make, and our Needham estate planning lawyer can ensure your desires are fulfilled. The Needham estate planning lawyer at The Law Office of Alan H. Segal have many years of experience drafting wills, trusts, and other documents that protect families from disagreements and confusion when a loved one passes away or is incapacitated.
Through our years of experience drafting these documents, we have often come across the following questions:
What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will or a Trust?
If you do not have any plans for distribution of your property after death, your entire estate must pass through probate and intestate succession. This can be a difficult and expensive process. Especially if your heirs and descendants cannot agree on how the assets should be divided. We strongly encourage everyone to speak with a Needham estate planning lawyer to avoid unnecessary costs and litigation.
Should I Use a Trust, a Will, or Both?
Both of these documents are extremely effective tools for directing property to desired recipients. A will must pass through the probate process and be overseen by a judge. On the other hand, a trust is more flexible and often avoids or reduces many tax obligations. It is also important to note that a will only takes effect AFTER you die. A trust can be used to manage property and assets while you are still alive, when you die, or even months or years after your death. Wills and trusts can be used together to create a solid estate plan.
What Is the Difference Between a Healthcare Proxy and a Living Will?
A healthcare proxy allows you to designate a specific person to direct your medical care or end-of-life decisions if you are unable to make those decisions yourself. It is important to designate a trusted individual who fully understands your wishes. In Massachusetts, there is no specific law governing living wills, but the document can still be used as evidence of your wishes and help guide the healthcare proxy’s decisions.
Contact a Needham Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning does not have to be a stressful experience if you approach it in an informed and holistic way. An experienced Needham estate planning lawyer can put your mind at ease. Call the The Law Office of Alan H. Segal today for an estate planning consultation at (781) 444-9676.