Wills & Trusts
Harris & Murphy, LLP is here for all your Estate Planning needs.
Our goals are to de-mystify the Estate Planning and Probate process and guide our clients with common sense, easy-to-understand explanations of this complex area.
Every adult should have the basics: An up-to-date Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy.
A Will is a document where you specify what you want to happen to your property when you die. A Will also contains your wishes as to who will be the Executor of your estate and who will be the Guardian of your minor children. A Will can also contain a Trust to manage the estate for your children’s benefit and the ages at which they will receive their inheritance. Without a Will, the laws of the State, and not you, will decide who gets your property, and in what percentages.
Durable Power of Attorney
This document appoints a person who can handle your affairs for you if you become incapacitated. Duties often include banking, bill paying, and financial decisions.
Health Care Proxy
This important document appoints someone who can make enforceable medical decisions for you if you become unable to express your own wishes. This becomes increasingly important as we age and in cases of serious illness.
Additionally, many clients request a LIVING WILL. The Living Will is a document where you state, in advance, that you do not wish to receive extraordinary or artificial means of life support in certain terminal situations. Although not a legally enforceable in Massachusetts, the Living Will can serve as a guide for your Health Care Proxy as to what your wishes are.
Are another Estate Planning tool that can be helpful in certain situations. A well drafted Trust can help you protect your assets, avoid the expense of the Probate process, and ensure a smooth transition of wealth to your beneficiaries.
** Remember, avoid “Do-It-Yourself” legal services or “Fill-In The Blank” forms that claim to cover every situation. Use the services of an experienced lawyer who understands your individual circumstances and can prevent the unintended headaches that these forms can cause!