The Importance of An Estate Plan If You Have Young Children

January 10th, 2014

Yesterday’s post got me thinking more about why it’s important to have a plan in place if you have young children.

Estate planning allows parents to plan for who will care for their children and how they are cared for, ensures their property will pass to whom they want, the way they want and when they want and determines who will handle the property they leave to their children.

Minors need parents, and if you pass away prior to your child turning 18, who will care for them?  If you don’t decide and document it in a plan, the court will decide for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Revocable Living Trusts and Children as Beneficiaries of Life Insurance

December 12th, 2013

Client’s often tell me that they have named their spouse as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy and then their child as the backup beneficiary. This is very common.

There are a few things to consider if you currently have your beneficiaries listed this way.  If your child is a minor when the second spouse dies then a legal guardian must be appointed by the court to oversee the child’s inheritance.  You have no say in who the guardian will be. The guardian then holds the money for the benefit of the child until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years old in Massachusetts).  As you may know, the appointment process can be time consuming and costly and can prevent your child from being able to use the money right away. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Massachusetts Have an Estate Tax?

November 11th, 2013

Yes.  Massachusetts has an estate tax.  If you are feeling motivated here is the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Guide to the estate tax http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/taxpayer-help-and-resources/tax-guides/estate-tax-information/estate-tax-guide.html. Read the rest of this entry »