Trusts, Estate Planning and Probate

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The estate planning process requires a thorough understanding of probate and tax laws, which are frequently changing. We advise our clients on a variety of techniques to reduce or even eliminate the imposition of estate and gift taxes. We help our clients provide for their heirs, preserve their estates and, in some cases, avoid the need for probate. We are experienced in drafting the appropriate documents to address our clients’ needs, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, or other estate planning documents.

Our firm has extensive experience probating large and small estates and guiding clients through the intricate process of probate. As part of our estate administration practice, we prepare the necessary probate filings, fiduciary income tax returns and Federal and Massachusetts tax returns.

Probate is the process by which the court supervises the transfers of legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the “decedent”) to his or her beneficiaries. If you own property in your own name and on your death you want to transfer the property to another person, your heirs may need to file with the Probate Court. The probate of an estate may be a time consuming process. Ware & Goodman incorporates methods to avoid probate into their estate plans. For example, when a trust owns property, the property passes to the beneficiaries without probate.

Ware & Goodman can assure that the administrative burdens placed on your family after your death are minimized by eliminating the need to deal with your estate in probate court.
Both the state of Massachusetts and the federal government impose a tax on the estate of a deceased person. The federal estate and gift tax is imposed at the highest percentage rate of any tax in America. Ware & Goodman use a variety of techniques to reduce or eliminate the imposition of this death tax without interfering with your economic objectives.

If you are want to support a favorite charity, there are several ways the firm can magnify benefits to your family while assisting the charitable entity.

Whether or not estate taxes are not your primary concern, your estate plan can be designed to help guarantee security for you and for those important to you, and to ensure your commitments will continue to be honored when you are no longer able to meet these commitments personally.

A trust can be crafted to:

  • assure that your assets are managed for your benefit
  • protect your children
  • support your loved ones, especially if they are disabled or elderly
  • protect your spouse to preserve the lifestyle you have shared
  • provide for your support in the event you are disabled

The best benefit from having us prepare these documents for you is peace of mind. You will have a properly prepared plan in place, one that gives your instructions and protects your family.