An estate plan consists of various documents that state your personal wishes and address what happens to your property when you die. If you have a taxable estate, a good estate plan will help minimize estate taxes. In addition, your plan will address retirement assets, life insurance, health care issues and disability.

Every individual has an estate plan. If you do not have a formal written will or trust, your estate plan is created by default. Each state has laws governing the distribution of property when a person dies without a will or trust. If you have not made any provisions for the distribution of your assets before you die, your property will be distributed according to your state's rules governing “intestate succession”. In Massachusetts if you have children and are married and die without a will, your probate property will pass one-half to your spouse and the other half to your children. Your children will be entitled to receive their inheritances when they turn 18 years of age. The court will appoint a lawyer to protect a minor's financial interests until age 18.

A written estate plan overrides the rules of intestate succession and dictates instead how your assets will be distributed and who will be named to oversee the administration of your estate.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:
What is an estate plan?
What is a taxable estate?
What is probate property?
What is probate administration?
Who should have an estate plan?
How can my estate plan lower the federal transfer tax liability?
How can I plan for long term care and disability of a child or adult?


Judith A. Jarashow
Attorney At Law
60 Walnut Street
Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481
Phone: 781-943-4144
Fax: 781-943-4199

Web site: www.jarashowlaw.com
Email: judy@jarashowlaw.com