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Estate planning is for everyone. Whether you seek to protect your assets, take advantage of tax laws or control how your assets will be passed on, the estate planning attorneys at DiFruscia Law Offices can help.
We have the experience and knowledge to provide you with professional estate planning or business succession planning assistance and advice, including:
- Asset protection
- Tax savings or tax planning
- Health care proxies or living wills
- Wills and trusts, including revocable and irrevocable trusts
- Powers of attorney
- Business succession planning
- Estate and probate litigation
In conjunction with estate planning, we also handle real estate transactions and business law matters.
To discuss your Massachusetts or New Hampshire estate plan in confidence with a skilled wills, trusts and estates attorney, call DiFruscia Law Offices at 978-687-1777.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a will?
A will is an estate planning tool used by the testator (person making the will) to assign one or more persons to manage their estate and distribute property after the testator’s death.
What is intestacy?
Intestacy occurs when a decedent (dead person) leaves no will or will substitutes and property is subject to the default rules of the state.
Why is it important to have a will?
It is important to have a will to dispose of your property before death, determine who will receive it, and when it will be passed.
Wills avoid burdens of the state and ensure your family will be provided for after your death.
A will also gives the decedent the discretion to expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to the decedent’s property.
Can I change my will after it has been executed?
Yes, a will can be changed if the testator is deemed competent. A new will or codicil can be crafted to create a unique scheme for disposing of the testator’s property after their death.
Can I contest a will?
Yes. A will generally signifies the testator’s (person making the will) final testamentary intent; however, they may be challenged based on a variety of factors, including the testator’s (lack of) competency or the validity of the will’s execution.
What is a trust?
Trusts are estate planning tools used to help manage your property and assets during life with the ability to direct where your property is distributed after death. They comprise a trustee, beneficiary and trust property.
How do trusts work?
A trustee manages property (acts as a fiduciary) for one or more beneficiaries. The trustee holds legal title to the trust property, giving them discretion to sell or replace property the trustee thinks is more desirable. The trustee may be an individual or corporation. The beneficiary may be entitled to payment from the trust income.
For whom can trusts be made?
A trust can be made for any assignable beneficiary. The beneficiary may be entitled to receive payments from the trust income.
What are the different types of trusts?
Revocable: This is made during the life of the creator of the trust (settlor) and can be modified or revoked at any time. The settlor retains the right to alter or remove property from the trust at any point during their life.
Irrevocable: Once property is transferred to an irrevocable trust, it cannot be modified or removed.
Spendthrift: This does not allow the beneficiary to sell or pledge away trust property. Spendthrift trust property may be shielded from creditors until the time the property is distributed to the beneficiary(s).
Charitable: This benefits a particular charity or the general public.
Asset protection: This is designed to protect an individual’s assets from future creditors, including Medicaid.
Special needs: This is established for a person receiving government benefits so as not to disqualify the beneficiary from these benefits through an inheritance or succession to property.
Other Estate Planning Tools
What is a health care proxy?
A Health Care Proxy allows an individual to assign authority to another person to make medical care decisions in the event the signing individual becomes incapacitated or unable to do so.
What is power of attorney?
Power of attorney is a written authorization that allows an individual to make legal decisions, carry out private affairs, sign documents, and act on the primary person’s behalf should the individual be incapacitated and unable to do so.
DISCLAIMER: This does not constitute legal advice and nothing herein establishes an attorney-client relationship. Each case is different and unique. Please note that a small fact can change the above-expressed opinions, along with any current changes in the law.