Wills and Estates

Wills and Revocable Living Trusts are the main instruments for specifying who will receive your property after your death. The more thoroughly they address all potential contingencies the more effective they will be at avoiding uncertainty and possible family conflict. Your particular needs and goals will determine which document should be the focal point of your planning. Wills typically are simpler to create, while trusts generally provide far more options and control. If you were to die without a Will, the inflexible laws of Massachusetts (or whatever state where you lived at your death) would determine how your property was divided among your closest legally-recognized family members.

Wills and trusts should always be used in conjunction with other components of a complete plan, such as a Health Care Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney to make sure you establish protection for yourself during your lifetime as well.

If you have minor children, an important part of your Will is designating who you want to care for your children in the event something happened to you.

While a Will is implemented and is effective only in the months following one’s death, a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) can control how property is used and how, to whom, and when property is distributed many decades into the future. This can be particularly important for ensuring long-term financial security of young or financially irresponsible beneficiaries. A RLT is also the best method for ensuring you and your spouse or partner take maximum advantage of both the Massachusetts and federal estate tax exemptions, to minimize estate taxes at the death of your surviving spouse, partner, and other immediate beneficiaries so you maximize the legacy all your future beneficiaries receive.

An RLT also includes provisions for management of your property and support of the people you designate during any period when an accident or illness leaves you unable to care for them.

Establishing a will and/or trust requires considering what would happen if you were to die, but need not have a negative focus. At Vining Law Office, our approach is to concentrate on how you are providing the best possible environment for the people who are most important in your life, so the planning process becomes a positive, empowering experience.

Numerous types of irrevocable trusts are available to minimize estate taxes while at the same time implementing your personal objectives.
Regardless of whether you need only simpler documents, or more complex instruments to minimize taxes and protect your privacy, we devote the same level of care and close attention to your specific circumstances. We take a positive, counseling-based approach to your estate planning needs to make sure that the solutions created meet your needs and goals.