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Wills and Estates
The Law Offices of Nolan and Nolan, P.C. specializes in wills, estate planning, trusts and probate administration matters. Our goal is to ensure that you make an informed decision to protect and maximize your assets for yourself and your loved ones. Once your assets and legal documents are organized, they can be transferred in accordance with your wishes by either a Will and probate administration or by a trust at the appropriate time.
On March 31, 2012, Massachusetts adopted the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code. The MUPC has many distinctions from the way the Probate Court administered estates prior to its implementation. Some of the main changes with the MUPC gives the choice of whether the estate will be administered through a Formal Administration or an Informal Administration. It can also be decided to have the administration of the estate Supervised, or administered Voluntarily for small estates not exceeding $25,000.00 plus an automobile (as long as no real estate is involved).
The MUPC makes many other significant changes to the administration of an estate including, in some cases, increasing the share of a surviving spouse and the way property is distributed to other relatives. Other important changes with the MUPC effect children of divorced parents, children omitted from a Will, Guardianships and gifts to minor children.
Approximately 70% of all Americans have no written estate plan. If you were to pass away without a Will, your probate assets would be distributed in accordance with a pre-determined manner established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This may not be the way you would like your assets distributed upon your passing.
When working with a client on an estate plan, your particular wishes, circumstances and needs must first be identified in order to provide the best protection for you. A Will may provide adequate assurances that your loved ones receive the distributions you want them to. Other times, transferring assets into joint tenancy ownership with other(s), or placing assets in a trust, may provide a more effective result for your needs. Each client's particular circumstances and wishes will vary, and as such, may require a different estate plan.
An estate plan may range from the simple Will to a much more complex plan. In addition to wills and trusts, many people will benefit from other estate planning tools such as:
Durable Power of Attorney: A Durable Power of Attorney authorizes someone to act on your behalf to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to do so.
Massachusetts Health Care Proxy: A Massachusetts Health Care Proxy appoints a designated person to make your medical decision for you if you are unable to do so.
Declaration of Homestead: A Declaration of Homestead is an instrument which can protect up to the first $500,000 in equity in your primary residence, including a mobile home, from certain creditors. It is designed to prevent a homeowner from losing everything they've worked for in a tragic incident such as a car accident or other very serious situation.
Call the Law Offices of Nolan and Nolan if you have any questions about the best way to protect your assets for yourself and your loved ones.
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