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859 WILLARD STREET, SUITE 400 QUINCY, MASSACHUSETTS 02169 PHONE: (617) 750-3374 FAX: (781) 353-6499

Personally-tailored Planning: The Importance of Updating and Refining Your Estate Plan
Like Life itself, the Law Continuously Changes

An effective estate plan safeguards property, memorializes intent, and creates a clear framework for distribution. Each plan speaks to the unique personality of the planner. An attorneys job is to share a clients vision of success and see that this vision is carried-out. To that end, careful attention must be paid to changes in the law. The law governing wills has recently undergone drastic changes. In April of this year, Massachusetts adopted the Uniform Probate Code, and in doing so, displaced the former body of law governing probate. As a consequence, estate planning documentssuch as wills or trustsmay require refinement or modification. As a consequence, attorneys must review the pertinent documents and address their validity in light of the changes in law. The clients vision must be understood and there must be a workable framework to carry out that vision. With changes in life circumstances, estate plans can become outdated. Finances may change. The personal representative named in a will may no longer be able to serve that roll. Families may expand after a will is drafted, and named beneficiaries may pass away. In short, a clients intent changes as life changes.

For example, often, people distribute their assets to family members according to relative need. One child may be independently wealthy while another is struggling. In such a case, the child who needs the money more may be left a greater amount than the other. As relative need changes, relative distribution often changes.

We may be able to help you protect and preserve your vision

The attorneys of Anderson & Rando, Attorneys-at-Law, offer free consultations for each potential client. Free in home consultations are granted upon request. At a free consultation, a potential clients vision is paramount. After that vision is understood, and shared, an attorney will discuss whether legal representation is necessary or advisable. The role of the attorney is explained clearly. The potential client may then decide whether or not to hire the attorney. Anderson & Rando provide each client with a Personally-Tailored Estate Planning Portfolio. An easy to navigate portfolio serves to memorialize last wishes and greatly facilitates property distribution. Prospective clients who schedule a free consultation before 2013 will receive a discounted rate for all estate planning documents:

New will $500.00

Modification of existing will $350.00

Trusts from $450.00

The creation of a trust is often beneficial

When planning an estate, a trust is often advisable. The cost of health-care is a primary reason that this is so. Without MassHealth benefits, seniors are forced to pay privately for their care at a cost of $10,000 per month. To qualify for MassHealth, seniors must meet extremely strict guidelines. Older citizens may be able to avoid depleting their life savings by using an irrevocable trust. With an irrevocable trust, they are able to qualify for state assistance without jeopardizing their home. This effective and inexpensive estate planning tool can benefit a family for generations. An irrevocable trust must be created and funded at least five years prior to longterm care. Otherwise, MassHealth will disqualify any transfer to the trust. Irrevocable trusts can also be used to protect real estate. A home transferred into the trust will be protected from long-term care costseven after the five year period. Other benefits include avoiding probate, defense against creditors, and certain tax advantages.

Intended property distribution is memorialized

When an estate consists entirely of personal property with a value of $25,000 or less, a voluntary personal representative may file an affidavit, and personal property can be distributed without the need for probate. Where this is an option, a portfolio includes: A Collection affidavit Clear and easy to follow instructions A schedule showing assets and their estimated values. This schedule can be updated after it is written. You need not contact an attorney to update this schedule. When probate cannot be avoided, a will can refer to a property distribution list. Under new Massachusetts laws, this list can be updated after a will is executed.

Last Will and Testament

Under Massachusetts law, a new will preserves a former will to the extent that they are consistent. Therefore, clients happy with a previous will can leave that will intact, with the exception of carefully-tailored modifications. Where a trust is established, a pour-over will serves to divert the remainder of an estate to a trust. These, and other options, are discussed during a free consultation. Contact information can be found on the first page of this document. You are invited to e-mail for additional information.