Wills And Trusts
At Bacon Wilson, we have one of the largest estate planning and probate practice groups in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut. Our lawyers have represented multiple generations of families, assisting with thousands of estate plans and probate estates, each handled with individualized service. Much of our practice focuses on the transfer of assets to family members and charities in a manner that is efficient, economical, and sensitive.
Estate Planning For All
While many people believe estate planning is only for the very wealthy, nearly anyone can benefit from a few basic estate planning documents, including a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxy, Durable Power of Attorney, and Homestead Declaration.
Articulating your wishes in an estate plan has many benefits:
- You can indicate what you want to happen to your assets, including your bank accounts, real estate, and family keepsakes.
- You may nominate a legal guardian for your children in the event of your incapacity or death. While the court has final say over guardianship, making your wishes known can increase the chances the guardian is someone you designate.
- A trust can make the eventual administration or settlement of your estate less stressful and expensive for your loved ones. It may even be possible to avoid probate completely (link to avoiding probate).
- You can secure your future by setting aside money for long-term care and deciding whom you would like to handle your health care and financial affairs.
A trust document is among the most useful estate planning tools for the management and distribution of family assets. Trusts serve a wide range of functions and may be appropriate for a variety of families’ financial circumstances and goals.
There are many different types of trusts that are useful in a full range of circumstances, including:
- A special needs trust to maintain benefits for a disabled individual
- An irrevocable trust to allow life insurance benefits to pass tax-free to younger generations
- An alternative irrevocable trust to protect assets from long-term care expenses
- A revocable trust to avoid the need for probate and minimize, if not eliminate, taxes
A trust, and therefore its assets, can be professionally managed by a person or bank as trustee. Trusts also provide tax benefits, especially for married couples. A trust can also help you avoid probate, maximizing your privacy and minimizing the time and cost incurred by your loved ones.
Supporting Your Estate Planning Goals
Whether you hope to minimize your estate tax burden, set aside assets for your loved ones, or make a tax-efficient gift to a charitable organization, we take the time to understand your objectives and develop creative strategies to meet them. To learn more, please send us an email or call 413-693-2787 for a consultation at one of our offices in Springfield, Northampton, Amherst, or Westfield.