Whether you are starting a new family, establishing or managing your own business, marrying for the second time, or planning for retirement, we can help you establish an estate plan that is appropriate for you and your family. For more than 30 years, Attorney Roberta A. Schreiber has provided personalized estate planning for individuals, families and small-business owners at all stages of their lives. She takes a comprehensive approach to estate planning, working with your accountant and financial adviser when appropriate. She asks questions and listens carefully, to determine what your goals are, for yourself, your children and grandchildren, your pets, your business, or for charitable organizations in which you are involved. When appropriate, she will include your children and other family members in the decision-making process.
Contact us today for a consultation. Located in North Reading, Massachusetts, our firm provides estate planning services to individuals in Middlesex County, Wilmington, Lynnfield and Wakefield.
Experienced North Reading Estate Planning Lawyer: Personalized Estate Planning For You And Your Family
Whatever the size of your estate, Roberta has the experience to recommend and implement an estate plan that will carry out your goals, including the preparation and implementation of the following documents:
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Proxies and Living Wills
- Homestead declarations
- Deeds with life estates
- Prenuptial, postnuptial and domestic partnership agreements
- Irrevocable insurance trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Asset protection trusts
We Are Not Fortune Tellers — But We Can Plan For Possibilities
A good estate plan deals with what the future may bring — good or bad. It starts with planning for you. With a power of attorney and health care proxy, you can give a trusted family member or friend the ability to deal with financial matters and make medical decisions on your behalf during a medical emergency. If you become permanently incapacitated, these documents will allow your representative to continue dealing with all legal, financial, and tax matters on your behalf and making decisions about your living arrangements and medical care on a permanent basis, without having to go through the ordeal and expense of public guardianship proceedings in probate court. The living will expresses your wishes about dying with dignity, specifically addressing the use or suspension of artificial life support systems, and ensures that your wishes will be carried out when you can no longer speak for yourself.
What Is The Purpose Of A Revocable Living Trust?
Establishing and funding a revocable trust can accomplish a number of objectives. With the revocable trust, you continue to manage your assets for as long as you are able to do so. If you become incapacitated, the trust property will be managed for your benefit by the person named by you to act as co-trustee or successor trustee. Your trust also contains instructions about the management and distribution of trust property for the benefit of your spouse, children, grandchildren, charities and other beneficiaries after your death. The trust may continue after your death for the benefit of your spouse, children, and/or grandchildren, or it may terminate after your death when the assets are distributed to the trust beneficiaries.
With a properly funded revocable trust, there will be no need to probate your will. Your family will be able to avoid the costly, slow and very public process of administering your estate through the probate court. A revocable trust can also be structured to minimize or eliminate liability for estate taxes, enabling you to pass on more of your assets to future generations. If you are a member of a “blended family,” your trust can include provisions to ensure that your current spouse will be supported after your death, and your children by your current marriage and/or a prior marriage will receive their inheritance after you and your spouse are deceased.
A Trust May Not Be Enough
In addition to these basic documents, other specialized documents, such as a prenuptial agreement, a special needs trust for a disabled child, or an irrevocable trust to protect your assets or hold life insurance proceeds, may be appropriate. For more information, look under Articles about planning for blended families and different types of specialized trusts.
No Detail Will Be Overlooked Now Or Ever
With the use of questionnaires, Roberta gathers all relevant information and then recommends an estate plan to carry out your goals. Before the documents are finalized, she will review them with you, making changes if needed, to make sure that the documents are accurate and the plan is appropriate for you. The estate planning process does not end with the signing of documents. If you establish a trust, Roberta will assist you in funding the trust and making sure that it is administered properly. If you are planning to minimize or eliminate estate taxes, have an ongoing gifting program, or own a family business, she will meet with you periodically, to make sure that the original plan is being carried out correctly and to determine if changes are needed. Roberta stays in touch with her online newsletter and a quarterly newsletter mailed to your home. When laws change, she does her best to notify all clients who may be affected by the changes so their documents can be updated if necessary. Her business has grown by client referrals, so it is not unusual for her to represent two or three generations of a family and extended family members, their neighbors, co-workers and friends.