Westwood Estate Planning Lawyer
Our clients in Westwood rely on Fisher Law LLC to make sure they are well-covered when it comes to the essential subject of estate planning. We help Westwood residents of all ages, income levels and family sizes ensure that the right legal documents and strategies are in place to protect their health care and personal decision making while seeing to it that the contents of their estate are passed to a spouse or future generations in accordance with their wishes. If you’re in Westwood and haven’t yet thought about estate planning, or you have an older estate plan that hasn’t been revised or updated in many years, call Fisher Law LLC to schedule a consultation with an experienced and professional Westwood estate planning lawyer dedicated to helping you plan for the future for yourself and your loved ones.
Wills and Trusts in Westwood
Our Westwood estate planning lawyers works with you personally to fully understand your present needs and future goals. From there, we’ll draft your last will and testament as well as a revocable living trust or other trusts suitable to your needs. Not every family needs both a will and a trust, but these are common tools for distributing an estate, and each serves a specific purpose and has its own unique set of advantages.
Your last will and testament can be used to distribute the entirety of your probate estate, if you choose. Some assets are not transferred by the provisions of your will and will transfer on their own by operation of law or in accordance with a beneficiary designation form. For instance, any life insurance policy or retirement account that designates a beneficiary will go straight to that beneficiary according to its terms. Also, real estate and bank accounts that are jointly titled or in two people’s names will automatically belong to the other person without having to be specified in the will. We’ll go over these items with you to make sure your beneficiary designations and joint accounts are properly set up and conform to your overall estate planning goals and objectives.
Whatever property that is not already taken care of through a trust or other mechanism, such as joint property, or property distributed by a beneficiary designation form or pay- or transfer-on-death designation, can be distributed by your lasts will and testament. You can use the will to make specific gifts to certain people of items of value you know they will appreciate, and you can also use the will to divide up your estate in general among your heirs, without going into detail. The will is a flexible document that can handle all sorts of distributions all in one place.
With a living trust, you can transfer property into the trust now or have the property/assets made payable at death and provide instructions to your trustee on how to distributes these assets to your beneficiaries after you die. The advantage of creating a trust and then funding it during your lifetime or at death is that these assets are not probate assets and will avoid the time inefficiencies and costs of the probate process. While the assets may not be removed from your estate for estate tax purposes, using living trusts (whether revocable or irrevocable) and properly funding the trust will ensure probate is avoided and, depending upon your goals, may minimize estate taxes. You can name yourself as the trustee (and even a beneficiary) so that you can continue to manage the trust funds and benefit from them during your lifetime while ensuring that the remainder will go to your beneficiaries.
Different kinds of trusts can serve different special purposes in addition to avoiding probate. For instance, you can leave an inheritance to a minor child or young adult that they will not fully inherit until they reach a certain age when they can handle the inheritance responsibly. You could even place conditions on accessing the trust funds, such as completing a college education or going into the family business. Trusts can make major gifts to charities or religious institutions, and they can be designed to make a lifetime gift to a family member with the remainder going to the charity, or the other way around. Trusts can also be used to avoid estate taxes or provide for a family member with special needs who relies on government benefits for support. As part of the estate planning process, we’ll get to know you and your specific needs and discuss whether certain types of trusts would be most beneficial to helping you achieve your goals.
Get the Right Combination of Wills and Trusts With Comprehensive Estate Planning in Westwood
In Westwood, call Fisher Law LLC to get started with a discussion about your present needs and future goals when it comes to wills, trusts and other important aspects of estate planning. You’ll find that we are easy to talk to and that we make sure you understand the components of a solid estate plan while providing high-quality legal services to draft your estate plan with diligence and care. Call 781-821-8800 to schedule your initial consultation with a skilled and effective Westwood estate planning attorney.