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Guiding Clients Through Establishing Wills And Trusts

Wills remain the most common way to document one’s wishes regarding the distribution of assets and personal property upon death. Trusts are another important estate planning device, often geared to managing a client’s assets after death to achieve certain objectives as well as accomplish transfers during life. There are a broad array of trusts — all with different planning goals, including asset protection, estate tax minimization, generational planning, charitable funding, special needs planning, and many other goals.

These estate planning instruments — wills and trusts — must be created in the context of an individual family situation and are therefore custom designed and drafted. At Stern, Keilty & Wall, LLC, our attorneys prepare wills and trusts for families from all walks of life across Eastern Massachusetts and the North Shore.

We Work Closely With Our Clients To Prepare Their Wills

A carefully drafted will leaves no doubt about your intentions upon your death. Our law firm will work closely with you to determine how you would like your assets to be distributed upon your death, paying attention to special circumstances. Our law firm is also here to help you review and revise your existing will. After a major life event such as a divorce, it is important that your will reflects that event.

Massachusetts Estate Planning Through Trusts

Some trusts are geared toward the needs of families with minor children. Other trusts are designed primarily to protect assets for the estate.

  • For example, trusts can take advantage of generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions, estate and gift tax exemptions, and other tax code provisions.
  • Still other trusts such as charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts can help fulfill a family’s charitable goals while also protecting assets and minimizing taxes.
  • The use of trusts can allow a smooth transfer of property and assets to your beneficiaries during your lifetime, upon your death or many years into the future.
  • Trusts give explicit direction to your trustees as to the distribution of your estate and can allow for continued management of your estate for years after your death in the manner you wish.
  • Trusts can help your family carry out important decisions regarding your wishes as well as avoid a public, potentially costly or even contentious probate process.

Creating Special Needs Trusts For Families

One of the primary considerations for any parent of a child with special needs is ensuring that the child remains eligible for MassHealth, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other public benefits. MassHealth and SSI are means-tested, meaning that applicants must prove they have limited resources to qualify.

A special needs trust can ensure that your child has the resources to cover certain expenses without jeopardizing his or her eligibility for these programs. Serving families in cities and towns such as Salem, Beverly and Peabody, our special needs trust attorneys have a wealth of experience in special needs planning.

Contact Stern, Keilty & Wall, LLC

At Stern, Keilty & Wall, LLC, we offer a blend of estate planning, elder law, disability law, real estate law, and estate administration that provides support and counsel to clients along the continuum of lifetime planning.

We are located in historic Downtown Salem. Call 978-219-9932 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We offer evening and weekend appointments by request. We can also arrange off-site appointments for those unable to travel or in emergency situations.

What Our Clients Say About Us.

Chuck – Thanks for everything. You have done a great job. You are a great attorney. And you have some very appreciative clients with us. Have and keep the faith in the Red Sox – We will be rooting to meet them in the playoffs.

Many, many thanks for all your help throughout the fall with our house, and all the ongoing issues. We really do appreciate all your wisdom and advice, and the time you have taken to share it with us. Have a great holiday with your family! Love – Elizabeth & Jeff

Thank you very much for your expertise & guidance during this grueling deal. Much appreciated by everyone. You made it a pleasant closing. Thanks. Sincerely, Susan.