Should I Put My House In A Trust?

A question I get asked a lot by clients is “should I put my house in a trust?” The answer, of course, is “it depends.” Imagine walking into a doctor’s office and asking them “should I go on [insert medication you heard about on the radio here]?” or “should I have [surgery your friend just had]?”
A trust is a solution, but it depends on what your problem is whether it is the solution for you. It can be helpful in terms of avoiding probate and reducing the work that needs to be done after you pass away. But, on the flip side it can be expensive to have the trust drafted, there are fees that need to be paid to the Registry of Deeds which may not make sense if you plan on selling the house soon.
Trusts can often be useful for people with minor children or children who may need assistance managing an inheritance, but if you don’t take the extra steps to fund the trust properly, you are leaving more work for your heirs and your estate is possibly paying additional legal fees to do work that should have been done while you were still living.
Much like a doctor needs to do a comprehensive exam, and you need to understand the risks, benefits, costs and alternatives before pursuing a medical solution, an attorney needs to understand your entire situation and you need to understand all of the consequences of an action before you decide to pursue a certain legal solution. The best course of action for both is to make an appointment for a consultation and then decide from there what might work best for you.

An online option for estate planning

I think we are up to 5 feet of snow at this point. I’m shuffling client appointments again this week since either the roads are too dangerous for driving, my clients haven’t been plowed out yet, or there are child care issues since their kids are home from school for the 6th time this month.Continue Reading

Avoiding Conflict In a Blended Family

Another celebrity death, another article about how the family is headed off to court to fight over things. Apparently, Robin William’s children and his wife are arguing over his estate. According to the New York Times article, Williams left his property in a trust for his 3 children, with another trust for his wife thatContinue Reading

How To Research Family History

Stuck inside during a blizzard and need a fun project? Searching your family tree can provide hours of interesting discoveries (assuming you have electrical power, of course.) There are a few sites you can use: Family Search https://familysearch.org/ is free to use. You can also volunteer to help index old records to make them accessible.Continue Reading

Is indecision bugging you?

Having to make too many decisions can hold people up from taking any action. (This is why I sometimes leave the peanut butter aisle in Whole Foods empty handed: there are too many choices.) This can hold true for people thinking about doing their wills. I always try to start out with just a fewContinue Reading

Read the Fine Print!

I’ve run into a couple of situations recently where clients received mail that looked “official” but turned out to be a company trying to make my client pay for something that they could get for free. The first was an unsolicited mailing from a company offering to help my client transfer some stocks after herContinue Reading

Doctors Without Wills

The herniated disk that plagued me most of the fall finally resolved itself.  However, dealing with it meant visiting with lots of doctors. In the course of the visits, my profession would come up and every single one of the doctors – without fail – said “oh, I really need to do a will” andContinue Reading

Contingency plans

I’m a big fan of contingency plans.  Most of the work that I do with my clients is to help them set up contingency plans as well. When someone signs a durable power of attorney allowing a family member to sign checks on their behalf that’s a contingency plan. If my client is hospitalized andContinue Reading

The office has moved!

I moved my office last week, just down the street – literally! You can now find your South Shore estate planning attorney at 190 Old Derby St., Suite 211 Hingham, MA 02043. I hope to see you soon!

Where is your will?

In the “old days” lawyers used to keep their clients’ Last Wills in their offices. Lawyers tended to stay in their practices for decades, and people didn’t move as often as they do now. It also made it so that the client’s heirs had to go back to that attorney when the client passed away,Continue Reading