Planning for Life

Beta Test the Latest Innovation in Estate Planning

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 20, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Up until now, you've had two options for your estate planning: Go to a do-it-yourself site like LegalZoom or work with an attorney who will customize your plan to meet your circumstances. Most people are afraid to fly solo online and many feel that they do not need the one-on-one attention, or cost, of an attorney. That's why we are creating a third option.

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Topics: trusts, Estate Planning, will in massachusetts

10 Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 13, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Estate planning attorneys always advise clients to review their estate plans every five to ten years, but who does that? Most people prepare an estate plan when they have children, again when they near retirement, and finally when and if they or a spouse becomes ill or begins to show signs of dementia. If you prepare and update your plan at these three junctures, you and your family will probably be in good shape. But if you don't, there's a strong likelihood that your documents will be out-of-date when needed, causing extra cost, delay and stress to your family.

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Topics: Estate Planning

Beware Your Old Bypass Trust

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 7, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Very few people need to worry about federal estate taxes today with the threshold for taxation now at $5.45 million (in 2016) and surviving spouses permitted to add on the unused portion of their deceased spouse's credit through "portability." Yet many people have estate tax planning trusts put in place when the threshold was much lower and before portability was enacted. As recently as 2003 the threshold was $1 million and before 1998 it was just $600,000.

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Topics: trusts, Estate Planning, capital gains taxes

Bowie Yes, Prince No: More Lessons from Celebrity Estates

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 3, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: Estate Planning

EXPANDED ESTATE RECOVERY – We Need Your Help By 4/7/16!

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on March 31, 2016

CALL TO ACTION:  This is a call to action to our clients and readers who own their homes jointly with their spouses or with another individual and those who have created life estate deeds.

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Topics: MassHealth, Estate Planning

What is Probate and Should You Avoid It?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 15, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Probate is the process through which after death your possessions are passed on to whichever individuals and charities you name in your will. If you don't have a will, your property passes under what are called the rules of "intestacy" which means that state law determines who gets what -- essentially your closest relatives.

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Topics: Estate Planning, will in massachusetts, probate, Probate Estate Administration

5 Things You Should Expect from Your Attorney

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 8, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Whether you are hiring an attorney for estate planning, a litigation matter, criminal defense or for a corporate negotiation, there are a number of attributes to the legal representation that you should be able to expect. While the list could be much longer, here are five:

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Topics: Legal profession, Estate Planning

10 Steps You Can Take to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 1, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Seniors often become susceptible to financial abuse as the result of increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments. They also often have a nest egg that they've accumulated over decades which can make them a target for predators, whether an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage.

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Topics: Estate Planning, financial planning, elder law

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 16, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

While two of our blog posts on life estates and durable powers of attorney (see the links on the right) get far more traffic than all others (they must have gotten greenlighted by Google in some fashion), following are the most popular articles we posted in 2015.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care planning, MassHealth, Estate Planning

What's Wrong with LegalZoom and RocketLawyer?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 12, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Nothing. Both LegalZoom and RocketLawyer create great legal forms. They should; they have the resources to hire first-rate lawyers to draft them. But the estate planning (or corporate) document is just one product of any legal representation.

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Topics: Estate Planning

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