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Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts estate planning’

Undue Influence and Estate Planning – What You Need to Know

When we think of “Undue Influence”, we think of contested wills, families divided and older, vulnerable people exploited by self-interested relatives. Declaring undue influence is often used as a reason to contest a will or estate plan, but there are two ways to consider undue influence in estate planning. If you’re the one drafting a…

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5 Must-Have Estate Planning Documents

As the New Year progresses, there is no better time to start thinking about estate planning. To start your year off right, here is a checklist of the five must-have pieces to every solid estate plan. 1.  Will This is the most obvious starting point of every estate plan – and, in fact, most people who have done some form of estate planning probably…

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5 Estate Planning Nightmares from Around the Country

With the proper estate planning, the following situations could have been avoided. The truth is, many fail to adequately plan their estate, which can potentially lead to outcomes such as these worst-case scenarios. 1.  Mom had been in the nursing home on private pay for over 7 years.  After paying over $700,000 to the nursing…

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The "Rules of Retirement"

Retirement accounts are not what many people expected they would be in light of the global recession. What’s in them isn’t the only factor to consider, however; it’s important to understand who is entitled to your assets. According to New York State CPA, Ed Slott, retirement accounts and 401ks are “surrounded by a complex labyrinth…

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"Inheriting a Home, and a Loan"

We’ve discussed estate taxes quite a bit on this blog, because it can be a contentious and politicized topic; but while the word “inheritance” has a wealthy ring to it, most bequests come with strings attached. Estate taxes and  the ways to “avoid” them are applicable to the minority. According to the Census Bureau, for…

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National Estate Planning Awareness : Pass it On

Over the course of this blog I’ve advocated for immediate design of an estate plan under the advisement of an estate planning lawyer like me. As this is National Estate Planning Week, it’s only fitting that I should make another attempt at getting the word out to Fields and Dennis blog readers: please create an…

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Another Estate Tax Deadline Looming

By November 15, 2011, an important estate planning decision must be reached: either opt to have the imposed federal estate tax rate reached last year by President Obama and Congressional Republicans, or opt out. If you opt-in, then assets on your estate are subject to a 35% tax rate after the first 5 million dollars;…

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The importance of being earnest (when designating beneficiaries)

No one likes to make a will and people constantly put it off, but one thing that should never be put off is designating beneficiaries.  Not only should beneficiaries be named carefully, they should also periodically be reviewed, verified and possibly updated. Many financial institutions require that you name a beneficiary, so the institution you…

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Federal Estate and Gift Tax Changes

The tax legislation enacted in late 2010 has five significant components: 1)      The federal estate tax exemption for individuals dying in 2011 and 2012, is $5 million with a federal estate tax rate of 35%.  Beneficiaries  who receive assets from individuals dying in 2011 and 2012 will receive a ‘step up” in bases to the…

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Things You Need to Know about Making a Will

For most people creating a will doesn’t need to be a complicated process.  Here are a few basics steps that must be taken when you’re creating a will with your estate planning lawyer. The first thing to think about is in relation to possessions.  People typically remember to include large possessions like homes and bank accounts during…

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