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Norwood Estate Planning Lawyer > Blog > Estate Planning Attorney > An Overview Of The Big Five Estate Planning Documents

An Overview Of The Big Five Estate Planning Documents


You are never too young to start estate planning. Every adult in Massachusetts can benefit from a plan that effectively protects their rights, interests, finances, and future. You may be wondering: How do I get started with estate planning? The best step that you can take is to set up a confidential initial consultation with a lawyer. It is also useful to have some background knowledge—including about the most common estate planning documents. At Fisher Law LLC, we help people and families solve problems and achieve their goals. Here, our Boston estate planning attorney highlights the five big documents in estate planning in Massachusetts.

  1. Will 

A Will is a legal document that spells out how you want your property and assets distributed after you die. It also allows you to name an executor, which is now called a Personal Representative, who will manage your estate, pay any debts, and distribute your assets according to your wishes. Without a Will, Massachusetts law will determine what happens to your property or assets. 

  1. Trust 

While certainly not part of every estate plan, a trust can be a very effective tool.  A trust is a legal arrangement that holds assets, either during your lifetime and/or at your death that is managed by a  trustee for the benefit of others, known as beneficiaries. Trusts come in various forms, but they all serve to manage your assets according to your instructions, both during your lifetime and after your death. 

  1. Power of Attorney (Finances) 

A durable  power of attorney is an estate planning document that grants someone else the authority to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. Along with other things, the power includes paying bills, managing investments, and selling property. The person you appoint, known as your attorney-in-fact, should be trustworthy and capable of managing financial matters. 

  1. Health Care Proxy 

Similar to the durable power of attorney, this document appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to make your own health care decisions. Your agent will work with doctors and other healthcare providers to ensure your medical preferences are followed. 

  1. Living Will 

Also known as an advance directive, a living will is a document that specifies preferences for medical treatment in case you are unable to communicate your wishes. It often includes your desires regarding life-sustaining treatment, such as resuscitation or other medical support.

Every Estate Plan Should Be Customized to Meet Individual Needs 

A one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning is not good enough for you and your family. Every estate plan must be tailored to the individual—reflecting things like unique wishes, individual family dynamics, and financial needs. Customization helps to ensure that  assets are distributed according to personal desires and that loved ones are properly protected.

Contact Our Boston Estate Planning Attorney Today

At Fisher Law LLC, our Boston estate planning lawyers are reliable, compassionate, and detail-driven advisors for clients. If you have any questions or concerns about estate planning, we are here to help. Contact our firm today for a strictly confidential initial appointment. We offer estate planning services all across the Boston metro area.

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