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Estate Planning Archives

The Differences Between and Last Will and Testament and a Trust

Estate Planning Massachusetts, Estate Planning Mass., Estate Planning Suffolk County, Estate Planning Middlesex County, Estate Planning Essex County, Estate Planning Norfolk County, Estate Planning Boston, Estate Planning Winthrop, Estate Planning East Boston, Estate Planning Revere, Estate Planning Danvers, Estate Planning Lynnfield, Estate Planning Marblehead, Estate Planning Swampscott, Estate Planning Nahant, Estate Planning Peabody, Estate Planning Salem, Estate Planning Saugus, Estate Planning Arlington, Estate Planning Belmont, Estate Planning Burlington, Estate Planning Cambridge, Estate Planning Everett, Estate Planning Malden, Estate Planning Medford, Estate Planning Melrose, Estate Planning North Reading, Estate Planning Reading, Estate Planning Somerville, Estate Planning Stoneham, Estate Planning Wakefield, Estate Planning Watertown, Estate Planning Wilmington, Estate Planning Winchester, Estate Planning Woburn, Estate Planning Brookline, Estate Planning Braintree, Estate Planning Milton, Estate Planning Quincy, Estate Planning ChelseaNo one wants to think about dying, but it is something everyone must face. It is important to have an estate plan in place when you pass away. There are some common documents that everyone should have as part of their estate plan. This includes a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, a Health Care … Read More »

Why You’re Never Too Young to Have an Estate Plan

Why You’re Never Too Young to Have an Estate PlanWhen people think of estate planning, they tend to think of middle-age or older people, who are more settled in life, and most likely have some assets to preserve, and children to care for. Although that may be the “typical” estate planning client, once a person attains the age of majority (i.e. age 18), he/she is really not too young to draft an estate plan.

To have an estate plan, you don’t have to be rich and have a lot of assets. You also do not have to be further on in life, nor do you need to have children that you need to plan for in the event of an untimely death.

An estate plan typically consists of multiple documents that plan for your incapacity (in the event of an accident or illness), in which case someone can make medical decisions for you, and someone can attend to your … Read More »

Estate Planning for the New Year





Can you believe that 2016 is almost behind us? Have you satisfied your New Year’s resolution to have your Will prepared? Do you have minor children that need a guardianship provision? Have you been divorced recently requiring a new will, health care proxy and power of attorney? If so, please contact me today at (617)539-1010 or at so that we can send you a form to get started.

Why You Should Review Your Estate Plan When You File for Divorce

Estate planningWhen going through a divorce, a spouse has enough legal problems to address that he/she may not want to also consider reviewing and updating his/her estate plan as well. However, because of the divorce, it is all the more important to review your estate plan at this time. Why? Because it is not uncommon for your soon-to-be ex-spouse to be the beneficiary of your estate, your health care agent under a Health Care Proxy, and/or your Attorney in Fact under a Power of Attorney.


There are 3 typical documents that are included in almost all estate plans: 1) Last Will and Testament; 2) Health Care Proxy; and 3) Power of Attorney. The Last Will and Testament outlines how your property and assets will be disposed of after you die. It is not uncommon for the spouse to be the primary or sole beneficiary. If you no longer want your soon-to-be ex-spouse a beneficiary of your estate, it is important to update your Last Will and Testament to remove him/her from your Will.


Similarly, a Health Care Proxy nominates someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf when you … Read More »

The Importance of Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan

Many people do not want to think about their mortality and the fact that someday we will all pass away, however, it is important to think about this and have an estate plan prepared for when the day comes. An estate plan typically includes a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney, Living Will (also known as an Advance Healthcare Directive), and sometimes a trust. These are all very important documents to have prepared.

One reason to have your estate plan drafted is to create certainty. With an estate plan, you can name who will make healthcare decision for you, in the event you are unable to, with a Health Care Proxy. You can also name someone to conduct your personal business affairs (such as banking, filing taxes, and other personal business) in the event you are unable to do so with a Power of Attorney. A Last Will and Testament provides for who you wish to inherit your property when you pass away. A Will an also nominate a guardian for your minor children in the event you pass away before your children are grown. When you have … Read More »

Legal Documents You Need Now

People don’t want to think that an accident or illness would prevent them from saying what they want — or don’t want — when it comes to their future medical care. We tell ourselves: I have plenty of time to take care of those things later … if I get sick … when I’m older.

Long-Term Care Guide

But things do happen in our lives that are out of our control. Your family and friends need to know how you want them to handle situations if you’re too ill to tell them. If they’re left guessing, a conversation can quickly disintegrate into a confrontation. The fallout can result in guilt, uncertainty and arguments. Take these steps to ensure this doesn’t happen if such a situation should arise:

1. Know what you need. You’ll need to draw up three documents, often referred to as advance directives.

A living will alerts medical professionals and your family to the treatments you want to receive or refuse, and under what conditions. This will only go into effect if you meet specific medical criteria and are unable to make … Read More »

What You Should Know About Wills


You should appoint an executor in your will. An executor locates heirs, lists property, pays debts, and distributes property to your heirs. A relative or friend can serve as your executor, but you should consider using a professional executor (such as a bank or trust company) if you have a large or complicated estate. An executor should be someone who is familiar with managing property, financial matters, and record-keeping. Before naming an executor, confirm that the person is willing to serve. Your lawyers can help you select the best executor. As noted above, your will can state that the executor is not required to furnish a bond, thus saving your estate this expense.


If you have children under 18, you should appoint a guardian in your will. Otherwise, if you and your spouse die at the same time without such an appointment, a court will select a guardian to care for your children and manage their inheritance until they become adults. You can create a trust to control the property transferred to your children. A trust is useful … Read More »

What You Should Know About Guardianship, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney

Adults who become incapable of caring for themselves, their property or their dependents may have a guardian appointed for them. However, guardianship can be avoided through the use of living wills and powers of attorney. In such circumstances, personal preferences can be respected without the need for court-appointed guardians.

Living wills/healthcare proxies (“living wills”) and powers of attorney can provide that they become effective when a person is temporarily or permanently unable to handle his or her financial or personal affairs due to illness or injury.


Advance instructions about health care preferences are commonly given in documents called living wills. The laws of every state allow individuals to use living wills to direct health care providers on the use or withholding of life-sustaining medical treatment.

Should an individual be incapable of stating his or her wishes at the time such major life decisions must be made, the living will specifies these wishes.

Some people think that living wills can only be used to limit the use of life-prolonging treatment. However, these documents can also be used to direct health care providers to administer all available medical treatment, even experimental … Read More »

What You Should Know About Estate Planning With a Living Trust

In recent years, living trusts have grown increasingly popular as substitutes for wills in estate planning. They are sometimes called revocable trusts or inter-vivos trusts. Living trusts can have several advantages over wills, including avoiding probate, avoiding guardianship, maintaining liquidity, and keeping privacy.

You can create a living trust with a simple trust document and change it at any time. You can transfer all of your assets to the trust but continue to use and manage them during your lifetime. After you die, your trustee will transfer ownership of the assets to the beneficiaries named in the trust.

An important benefit of living trusts is the speed with which your property can be transferred to your heirs after your death. In addition, a living trust is private. Only you, your trustee, and your beneficiaries will know the value of the trust property, how it is to be distributed and the names of your beneficiaries.

At Amaral & Associates, P.C., we can help you decide whether a living trust is appropriate in your circumstances and prepare a trust document that meets your goals.


Most people understand … Read More »

Essential Information to Create Your Will

Many people do not want to even begin thinking about “what happens when…,” but it is very important for you and your loved ones that you take the time to make a will so that there are no unanswered questions after you are gone.

Making a will may seem like a daunting task and you may not even know where to begin, but here are some steps to help you begin the process.

1. Take an inventory of your assets and liabilities. Take into consideration important tangible assets such as real estate, vehicles, and valuable jewelry and artwork, as well as intangible assets such as investments and life insurance policies. Having such a list will enable you to have a better idea of what your estate looks like and how you may want it distributed once you have passed.

2. Choose a personal representative. An executor, now known as a personal representative, is the individual who will implement the instructions that you set forth in your will. It is thus of the utmost importance that this individual is very reliable and will be available when their assistance becomes necessary. … Read More »

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