5 Massachusetts Estate Planning Dos and Don’ts

Attorney Andrew Garcia of SouthCoast Estate Planning offers 5 quick do’s and don’ts when it comes to your Massachusetts estate planing.

Don’t name your minor kids as beneficiaries on your insurance policy.

If something happens to you before they turn eighteen then a court is going to have to appoint someone to manage the money for them, and even worse when they do turn eighteen, they have instant access to everything you have left.

Do have backup healthcare agents named.

You may feel as though you only trust one person to “pull the plug on you when you are sick” or make clutch decisions for you in an emergency, but if that person is not available, you are going to need to have someone around to make those tough decisions for you. Make sure that you’ve named successor health care agents in your Massachusetts health care proxy.

Don’t add your adult child’s name to your bank account.  

A lot of elders will add their adult child’s name to their bank account for convenience and think that the kid will do the right thing and split the money with their brothers and sisters. Putting the name on the bank account can make them an outright owner of the money and they may just choose to not split the money with them after you are gone.

Do name guardians for your minor children

This one is a “no brainer.” It’s simple: if you don’t name guardians in your Will or in a legally binding guardianship designation document, then a Probate Court judge that knows nothing about your family and your values is going to make that decision for you after you’re gone.

Don’t put off making a plan

Between jobs, kids, family etc. it’s easy to let days go by without an estate plan, but every time you step out that front door something can happen to you. If you do not create a plan your family and loved ones will be left cleaning up the mess you leave behind.

Almost 50-60% of Americans don’t have an estate plan. Make this the year you leave that percentage behind and get an estate plan.

If you’re ready to take the first step to planning your estate, get help now.