Probate- Estate, Guardianship and Conservatorship

There are many approaches to estate planning and, depending upon your specific situation, an estate planning attorney may employ any one of them.  Usually, a last will and testament and trust is executed along with a health care proxy and living will in order to create a comprehensive plan.  At the Massachusetts law firm of Hutchings Barsamian Mandelcorn, LLP, our goal in creating an estate plan for you is always to allow you to live out your life with peace of mind that your estate matters are handled the way you would like, and to preserve as many of your assets as possible while distributing them in line with you wishes.

Wills and Trusts

While many believe that wills are the cornerstone of most estate plans, this is not always the case.  Wills are subject to the lengthy and expensive probate process which many attorneys do their best to avoid.  Most, if not all, of the same objectives that are accomplished by a will can be accomplished by a properly drafted trust along with the use of beneficiary designations.  This allows attorneys to use wills as a backup for assets that fall outside of a trust or beneficiary designation in order to streamline or totally avoid the probate process.  Taking this approach to estate planning and avoiding the probate process saves your heirs time and money when it comes time for them to inherit.  It also allows for more flexibility when considering the minimization of estate and gift taxes.

Guardianships and Conservatorships

Guardianships and conservatorships are the processes by which the court appoints individuals to handle the matters of an incapacitated person.  Both types of actions are handled by the probate court when they involve an incapacitated adult. Guardianships are used to protect a person while conservatorships are used to protect a person’s property.  Both guardianships and conservatorships can be limited in time and scope making them useful in many of these situations.

But, while these are good vehicles to achieve the ability to care for a loved one or manage his or her property due to his or her lack of ability, both of these court proceedings can be lengthy, expensive and frustrating.  Both can be also avoided using a properly drafted healthcare proxy for the person and property.  This document is executed before a person becomes incapacitated and essentially cuts out the need for a guardianship and/or conservatorship, while ensuring that an individual that you trust fills this role.  The attorneys at Hutchings Barsamian can handle the drafting of these documents or the litigation related to the appointment of a guardian or conservator, if the appropriate documents are not executed before hand.  

If you are interested in learning more about how the probate, guardianship and/or conservatorship processes can be avoided, the experienced estate planning attorneys at Hutchings Barsamian can help.  We serve clients in the Newton, Weston or Hingham, Massachusetts areas.  You can call our office in Wellesley Hills at (781)207-1717.

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110 Cedar Street, Suite 250, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
| Phone: 781.431.2231

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© 2015 Hutchings Barsamian Mandelcorn, LLP | Disclaimer | EP News
110 Cedar Street, Suite 250, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
| Phone: 781.431.2231
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