Fedele and Murray, P.C.

17 Walpole Street, Norwood, MA 02062-3318 - (781) 551-5900

Estate Planning

The firm offers an expansive variety of estate planning services, including the drafting of wills, living trusts, irrevocable insurance trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills, and many other related documents. We also offer advice on planned gift giving, including charitable giving, and we prepare the appropriate documentation, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable foundations. Each estate plan which we prepare is designed specifically for each client with a number of factors in mind, including the client's general wishes regarding the disposition of assets, the potential estate tax ramifications, and the desire to minimize administrative costs.

In general, Estate Planning involves summarizing how you want to distribute your assets upon your death. If you fail to make appropriate decisions now, your estate may pass in unintended, and perhaps, undesirable ways.

Estate Planning also entails preserving your wealth. If your estate is large enough to be subject to the Federal estate tax (and/or any state estate tax), your estate plan must provide the means to minimize the taxes your family will pay and, at the same time, maximize what passes to your family.

Your will is the basic starting point of your estate plan. The will governs the ultimate distribution of assets which you own at death. However, your will should only be part of your estate plan. To be truly effective, your estate plan must be more comprehensive than a simple will. The disposition of your estate will also be affected by the ownership of your assets, e.g., jointly held assets pass directly by right of survivorship and not necessarily under the terms of your will. Additionally, other assets will pass according to the beneficiary designation, e.g., life insurance, Individual Retirement Accounts, pension plans, etc. Addressing the proper ownership of your assets as well as the beneficiaries of your assets is a critical component of any proper estate plan.

Trusts are also an important part of any estate plan. For larger estates that may be subject to estate taxation, trusts can be an effective tool in reducing taxes. Trusts can also be very effective in providing for the disposition of your assets, often avoiding the need for any type of probate administration upon your death. Avoiding probate can save your family significant administrative expenses and expedite the distribution of your estate.

Your estate plan may also take into consideration charitable giving. This may take the form of outright gifts upon death and/or some form of trust that can provide income to you for lifetime with your favorite charity receiving the principal at your death.

Your estate plan should also address the management of your assets not only upon your death, but in the event of disability. Items such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies (“living wills”) should also be included in your estate plan.

Fedele and Murray, P.C. can help you evaluate all your estate planning needs, including the issues only briefly touched upon here, as well as many other issues which may affect you. Each estate is unique and we strive to personalize each client’s estate plan to both minimize taxes and follow the client’s wishes regarding the disposition of his or her estate. Call us and we can work with you on your estate plan.

Estate planning encompasses a great many issues and there are a multitude of alternatives available. Listed below are a number of relevant articles on some of these issues.

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