Springfield Estate Planning & Probate Attorneys
Estate planning or planning for what happens after your death are not necessarily the most pleasant of tasks. However, taking the steps to protect your loved ones (and yourself) after you pass away or become incapacitated is, in some ways, a noble endeavor. You and your family both deserve the peace of mind of knowing a plan is in place for every eventuality, and the last thing you want to do is place additional hardship on them once you are gone.
Offering A Range Of Estate Planning Options
Many incorrectly believe that a will, or a last will and testament, is the only legal document you need to consider in planning your estate. Estate planning is in fact a much broader discipline, encapsulating documents that can protect your wishes and your loved ones both after you are gone and while you are still alive.
The goal of any robust estate plan is to protect and preserve as much of your estate as possible. When someone or some institution threatens those wishes or believes an individual was unduly influenced, portions of an estate can wind up in probate court. At Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, PLLC, our Springfield estate planning & probate lawyers can assist you in both protecting your wishes through proactive estate planning and ensuring your wishes and those of your loved ones are upheld in probate.
Keeping Your Existing Estate Plan Updated
You are never too old to start planning for your future through an estate plan, but your priorities will inevitably change over time. The estate plan of a young newlywed can and should look different from an aging grandparent preparing to retire! However, many make the mistake of not keeping their estate plan current with their evolving wishes.
You should be evaluating the terms of your estate plan regularly under normal circumstances, but you should almost certainly conduct a thorough review after any major life event. Having a child, getting a divorce, moving to a new state, or losing a loved one are all instances that can have dramatic impacts on your estate plan if left unchecked. Not doing so could create complications for your loved ones down the line; consider the discomfort if you did not update your will to include a second child, for example, and you left most of your property to the only child you had at the time of writing your most current will.
Also consider that certain elements of estate planning may only become relevant to you as you grow older or the circumstances of your life change. Your priorities and goals will likely change over the years, and your estate plan should reflect those changes: An estate plan is only as effective as you proactively make it.
Finally, note that state estate planning laws can differ dramatically. If you have recently moved to Massachusetts or are considering moving your primary residence somewhere else, it is critical your estate plan is reviewed to make sure it is optimized and compliant with all state regulations.