At LaFountain & Wollman, P.C., we design innovative estate planning strategies for clients from all walks of life throughout Massachusetts. Well-versed in the applicable trust and estate laws, we have a well-earned reputation as dedicated advocates who adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards.
When you become our client, we will take the time to learn about your unique circumstances and tailor an estate plan to suit your objectives. Whether you are planning a small estate, providing for a loved one with special needs, or preserving your wealth, our experience will stand you in good stead for the future. Call us today to consult with a capable Massachusetts estate planning attorney.
Common Misconceptions About Estate Planning
Many people think that estate planning is only for the wealthy. At LaFountain & Wollman, we believe estate planning is for everyone, regardless of financial status. It’s about ensuring your assets, no matter how modest, are distributed according to your wishes. But estate planning is not only about “who gets what” after you pass away. It’s about planning for the expected and the unexpected and preparing for your financial future.
Another common misunderstanding is that a will is sufficient for all estate planning needs. While a will is a fundamental component, it’s often not enough. Trusts, for instance, can provide greater control over asset distribution and help avoid the often lengthy and public probate process. There’s also a misconception that estate planning is a one-time task. In reality, any plan must align with life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or significant changes in financial status.
No matter your circumstances, you can trust our team to provide compassionate, efficient representation and personalized attention. With LaFountain & Wollman, you can plan your estate with confidence.
The Benefits of Estate Planning
Confronting our mortality is never easy, but creating a well-conceived estate plan is a prudent thing to do. The most common estate planning mistake is not having a will – according to a recent Gallup survey, slightly less than half of U.S. adults have a will. Without a will and a comprehensive plan, the courts will intervene to make decisions about your estate that do not necessarily reflect your wishes.
When you partner with us, you will have comfort in knowing that you’ve taken the right steps to provide for your loved ones and preserve your legacy. From planning for incapacity through powers of attorney and advance medical directives to avoiding probate and minimizing estate taxes, we’ve got you covered. Our firm also routinely designs business succession plans for those with closely held businesses and professional practices.
What type of estate planning documents do I need?
A well-conceived estate plan starts with fundamental tools such as:
- Will – This cornerstone estate planning document determines how your assets will be managed and distributed after you pass away. Moreover, a will allows you to designate a guardian for your children, and establish a trust for their care.
- Durable power of attorney – This legal document allows you to appoint an agent, a trusted family member, a friend, or an associate to manage your personal and business affairs if you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
- Advance health care directive – This document, often referred to as a health care proxy, allows you to name a representative to coordinate your medical treatment with your doctor if you are unable to communicate these decisions.
The documents are a good start, but many of our clients have benefitted from establishing trust-based estate plans. For instance, a revocable living trust takes ownership of your property while allowing you to manage it during your lifetime. The main purpose of a living trust is to avoid probate, which can save time and money and maintain the privacy of the financial arrangements.
In addition, a variety of irrevocable trusts can help to achieve objectives such as:
- Planning for long-term care
- Providing for a loved one with special needs
- Protecting your assets from creditors’ claims
While an irrevocable trust also avoids probate — like a revocable living trust — it cannot be altered or modified. Notably, all trusts must go through an administrative phase to honor their terms. Whether you only require a will-based estate plan or you need a comprehensive asset protection strategy through trusts, turn to LaFountain & Wollman for trustworthy advice and counsel.
Business Succession Planning
Our attorneys work with entrepreneurs and business owners to establish business succession plans as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy. You can depend on us to help ensure the seamless transition of your business upon retirement, incapacity, or death and protect the legacy you’ve built. Let us guide you through all aspects of succession planning, including:
- Identifying a successor to state who will take over your business — either a family member, business partner or key employee — is a fundamental step. Another is collaborating with financial experts to accurately assess the value of your business.
- Legal and financial planning – creating a detailed plan for the transfer of ownership and addressing potential tax implications.
At LaFountain & Wollman, we understand the nuances of business succession planning. We will work closely with you to create a tailored strategy that aligns with your personal and business objectives and protects your life’s work.
The LaFountain & Wollman Difference
Knowing that no two estates are the same, we tailor estate plans to each client’s unique needs and objectives. When you meet with us, you will find a welcoming environment in which you can make informed decisions about your future and take charge of your destiny. By choosing LaFountain & Wollman, you gain a partner who is invested in your peace of mind.
Our approach is not just about legal documentation—it’s about building a relationship with you, understanding your unique story, and crafting a plan that resonates with your personal and business objectives. Whether you’re an individual planning for your family’s future, or a business owner looking to secure your company’s legacy, we are here to provide the guidance and support you need every step of the way.
Talk To An Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
Today is the day to start planning your estate and securing your financial future. Call LaFountain & Wollman for a confidential consultation.