WILL & TRUSTS
Planning for your family's future is extremely important. Choosing the best attorney to assist you is just as important. The Massachusetts estate planning lawyers at Murray Law have been protecting families and their assets for over 30 years. Our team can be an invaluable resource in serving our clients' best interests.
Irrevocable trusts, by analogy, cannot be changed after signing; there is no going back on decisions made or property assigned. Irrevocable trusts are more often used near the end of life to assign one’s property to
another, thus avoiding estate taxes.
Call our office today to discuss which trust or other financial instruments best suit your estate-planning needs.
If an estate tax return is required, our lawyers will need to know the fair market value of all assets owned by the settlor or the trust at the time of death. Appraisals may be required for real property, closely held business interests, and tangible personal property.
The Living Trust is an important option available to those who would like to avoid placing certain assets or resources into probate. Also known as a revocable trust, the Living Trust is created as a method that allows a person to manage assets during their lifetime and instruct the distribution of assets after death. Typically, the person constructing the Living Trust, also known as the "grantor," has full access to the Trust while alive and may withdraw from it as needed. The grantor sets up the trust, appoints a "trustee" to manage the trust, and determines how the trust should be distributed after the grantor's death.
Last Will and Testament
The idea of a Will is simple. A Will is a legal document, which states the maker's directions regarding the disposition of his or her estate after death. The Will is essentially a roadmap through the probate process, and it provides for naming the person(s) responsible for overseeing the settlement of the decedent's estate.
The creation of a properly constructed will is necessary to avoid intestacy. A person who dies without a valid Will, dies intestate, which means that his or her property is distributed according to the Massachusetts succession statutes. This may result in the distribution of property in a manner not intended by the decedent.
Every trust administration is different, however, most progress through these five stages:
Trust administration is the process by which assets owned by a decedent’s trust are transferred to the trust beneficiaries upon the decedent’s death. We represent both trustees and beneficiaries and specialize in representing trustees dealing with difficult beneficiaries, or beneficiaries who are concerned that their trustee may not be acting appropriately
The assets of the decedent are identified and retitled
Creditors and taxes are paid
The decedent’s final income tax return and a return for the estate or trust are filed
An accounting (of the assets on hand, credits, expenses) is usually prepared unless it is waived by the beneficiaries
The assets are distributed to the beneficiaries, with the trustee often holding a reserve fund for unanticipated expenses.