Will and Estate Planning Checklist in Massachusetts

Wills lawyer in New Bedford MA

How Important is a Will or Estate Plan

Everyone should work with a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer to develop an estate plan. Regardless of your age, your health, or your profession, having an estate plan allows you to be prepared for unexpected events and to ensure that you have done everything you can to take care of your family members, dependents, friends, and other loved ones. When you are thinking about estate planning, it is important to consider a wide range of wills and estates issues that you should discuss with your attorney. Massachusetts wills and estates law can be complex, but one of our experienced Massachusetts wills lawyer & estate planning attorneys can help you to develop the estate plan you need. The following is a checklist for you to consider.

Make a List of Your Assets

When you are getting ready to meet with an estate planning lawyer in Massachusetts to work on an estate plan, you will want to have a clear and detailed list of your assets. This list should include real estate you own, tangible property (such as furniture, jewelry, art, vehicles, and so forth), investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and any other relevant assets. You will want to bring your list of assets with you so that you can work with your lawyer to determine the most effective way to ensure that your assets pass to your beneficiaries according to your wishes.

Think About Whether You Want to Avoid Probate

It may be possible to avoid probate, a process that can be expensive and time-consuming, depending upon the property you own. Some types of property can be passed without going through probate, and you may be able to leave assets to a beneficiary by establishing a trust.

Consider Your Beneficiaries

You will want to think about who you want to inherit your property, and more specifically, what property you want to leave to each person or entity. You can leave property to certain people through your will (which you can draft with an estate planning lawyer), and you can also consider the possibility of leaving assets to a particular person or entity through a trust. In thinking about your beneficiaries, you can also work with your estate planning lawyer to ensure that all of your accounts and insurance policies have beneficiary designations listed accurately.

Consider Advance Directives

An important aspect of estate planning is the development of advance directives. Advance directives allow you to make certain decisions about your healthcare in the event that you become incapacitated and cannot voice those decisions for yourself. You should think about a living will, which allows you to specifically outline certain healthcare wishes for yourself if you cannot articulate those wishes due to incapacity. You can also name a health care proxy to make decisions on your behalf.

Contact a Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is important for anyone in Massachusetts. If you need assistance creating a valid will, we have experienced wills lawyers to assist you. If you need to establishing a trust, developing advance directives, or any other issue involved in estate planning, one of our experienced Massachusetts wills lawyer is here to help. Contact the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos to learn more about our services.