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Friday, December 1, 2017

When You Should Review Your Will and Other Estate Planning Documents

Probably the most common legal request I get is to draft a will for a client.  Inevitably the client has one major question: how often do I need to update or change the will?  Truth be told, there is no hard and fast rule about how often you should update or change your will, but there are some important guidelines to follow.

First, you should review your will (and all of your estate planning documents, including your health care proxy and durable power of attorney) immediately after a major life event.  These life events include (1) the death of an immediate family member; (2) a chance in marital status (marriage, divorce, annulment, passing of your spouse); (3) an addition to your family (birth of a child or grandchild, adoption, new marriage, stepchildren, etc.); (4) a loved one has become ill, incapacitated, or dependent on you; (5) there has been a substantial change in the value of your assets (new house, boat, job, etc.


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Friday, May 26, 2017

A Defective Will Can Cost You and Your Family Time, Energy, and Money

We've all seen the advertisements or received the e-mails saying that estate planning is easy and can be done hassle free online.  In fact, I recently received an e-mail from Groupon offering a significantly discounted will package including a last will and testament, healthcare proxy, and durable power of attorney at a significantly reduced cost.  While the cost reduction sounds great, the laws in Massachusetts and Rhode Island do not care if you did your estate planning yourself or if you hired the best lawyer in the country to do so.  At the end of the day, your estate planning has to conform to your state's unique and non-waivable rules of law. 


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