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Simple Will

Establish a simple Will that states your wishes and intentions regarding how your Estate will be distributed upon death and names the Executor of your choice to carry out your intentions.


The only way to assure that your intentions will be followed with regard to how your assets will be distributed after your death is to state your intentions in a Will, which is properly drafted and executed in accordance with the law while you are legally competent to do so there is a common misconception that if you do not have a Will, the State will take your assets upon death. If you do leave behind any heirs at all (spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins) it is not true that the State will take your assets upon your death.  However, it is true that the laws of the State where you reside at the time of your death will control to whom and in what shares your assets will be distributed, if you should die without a Will. The State law may not reflect your personal intentions. For example most folks commonly think that if they were to die without a Will and leave behind a spouse and children, that their spouse would automatically inherit all the assets of the deceased spouse. This is not true. If you do not have a Will, your spouse will inherit only a portion of your Estate and your children will inherit a share as well. While most parents do want to provide for their children that they commonly wish to do so only after their surviving spouse is properly protected and financially secure. Further, if you do not have a Will naming your own personal choice of an Executor, any legally interested person can petition the Court to be appointed and this may not be the person you would have chosen to handle your affairs.


In most cases a simple Will is sufficient to accomplish your objectives.  On larger Estates, valued at over the Estate taxable level (currently $2.0 million dollars federally for Year 2007 and $1.0 million dollars for Massachusetts resident whose Estates exceed $1.0 million dollars with date of death in Year 2007), more elaborate Estate planning may be required.  Also, sometimes more specific planning is necessary to protect a disabled spouse, child or grandchild during your lifetime, and/or after your death.  For example, perhaps a disabled child is receiving social security disability benefits that would be lost if that child received even a small or insignificant inheritance.  With proper planning, the child could be left the same assets, without risking loss of the benefits that they receive that are necessary for their support.  Perhaps a spouse requires long term medical care, while the spouse remaining at home and in the community needs to preserve the couple's income and assets for their own financial security.  With proper planning these issues can be addressed and a plan implemented to meet your personal needs.

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