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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Ten Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid


The loss of a loved one is always difficult, but that pain can be magnified when there is no proper estate planning in place.  The more complicated the family dynamics and the more specific the wishes of the loved one, the more important it is to make sure the proper estate planning is in place.  While you are enjoying the last month of summer and are sitting on the beach and thinking about the future, here are ten common estate planning mistakes to avoid.

1.  Not having a plan in place.
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Friday, March 25, 2022

Reasons to Avoid a Codicil


You’ve fulfilled your estate planning responsibility and have a well-drafted Last Will and Testament in place.  Nice job!  But what happens when there is a big life change (loss of a loved one, new marriage, birth of grandchildren, won the lottery, etc.) and you need to update or change your Will?  One option is to execute a Codicil to amend your Will.   A codicil is a legal document that acts as a supplement to your last will and testament.  In it, you can make changes to your will without having to rewrite your entire original will document.
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Friday, September 24, 2021

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples


Statistics show that couples are waiting longer and longer to get married.  In addition, there are many alternatives to marriage, such as domestic partnerships, that are becoming more normalized.  It is important for these couples to understand that there may be a stronger need for estate planning then there is for married couples.  Without proper estate planning, unmarried couples will not inherit or be able to make critical decisions for their significant other.

There are two general purposes to estate planning.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

In Terrorem Clauses Have Power in Massachusetts


One of the most powerful clauses in a will or a trust is the in terrorem clause, which is more commonly referred to as a “no-contest” clause.  In terrorem means “in fear” in Latin and is an appropriate name for the clause as if someone challenges a will or a trust with an in terrorem clause and the challenge is not successful, there can be dire consequences for the challenger.  Namely, a challenger to a will or trust with an in terrorem clause risks losing all of his or her rights and interest under a will or trust.

Almost a year ago, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled in the matter of Capobianco v. Dischino, Mass.
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Friday, May 21, 2021

SJC Puts a 3 Year Limit on MassHealth Estate Claims


A recent Supreme Judicial Court decision confirmed that MassHealth has a statute of limitations of three years from a beneficiary’s death to file its claim for reimbursement on the beneficiary’s estate or MassHealth’s Claim is completely barred.

The Court recently made this ruling In the Matter of Estate of Kendall, 486 Mass. 522 (2020).  In this matter, Jacqueline Ann Kendall died intestate on August 7, 2014.  At the time of her passing, Ms.
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