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As part of any estate plan, there are other documents that should be included. These would include the following:
Durable Power Of Attorney
It is generally advisable to have a power of attorney in place. A “durable” power of attorney is one that would “endure” through any legal disability. Such power is valuable to have if a person becomes disabled. The power holder (the “attorney-in-fact”) would be able to take care of those matters that need attention but which one personally is unable to handle. One common use is to do last-minute planning that will save taxes upon an impending death, e.g., making gifts to reduce one’s taxable estate. It avoids the need to burden a dying patient with legal details. It enables one’s family to arrange matters rather than seeing money wasted because it is impractical (and seemingly uncaring) to bother the ill party with financial matters.
Health Care Proxy
In Massachusetts (and most states), a person can have a health care proxy (sometimes called a living will). Such an instrument enables a person to express his intentions about medical care in the event of incapacity. The health care proxy also allows one to pick a person (and an alternate) as one’s agent for making medical decisions for when one cannot act for oneself.
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Estate planning and administration spans many topics, each of which varies in depth and complexity. Fedele and Murray, P.C., can provide clarification on any and all of these subjects thanks to more than three decades of experience. Contact our firm by email or by phone at 781-551-5900.