The estate planning process allows you to plan for the orderly dispersal of your property after your passing.
There are four main types of wills, and your circumstances will determine which is best for you.
1. Simple will
Generally, when people talk about making a will, they are referring to a simple will. With this type of estate planning, you can declare a person or charitable organization to receive your assets. Additionally, you can name a guardian for your minor children should you pass before they reach adulthood.
2. Living will
Your living will is separate from your simple will, as it pertains to your wishes regarding life support in the event of incapacitation. A living will is not legally binding in Massachusetts, but it can help your healthcare proxy and medical team make decisions about your care needs if necessary.
3. Joint will
If you are in a marriage or long-term committed relationship, you may opt for a joint will, which allows the spouse or partner of the deceased to inherit everything. When a joint will take effect, changes cannot occur even if the surviving party wishes to make adjustments.
4. Testamentary trust will
If you do not wish for your minor or adult beneficiaries to have sole control of your assets, then you can set them aside and appoint a trustee to handle the trust. With a testamentary trust will, you can place an age restriction on the money or designate it for a specific purpose, such as education.
Understanding your estate planning options is essential to ensuring the protection of your property and loved ones after your death.