FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is an estate plan important?

An estate plan allows you to decide how matters will be handled if you are no longer able to make your own decisions.  An estate plan is important both while you are alive and after you pass away.  Click for more

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a document that you sign naming a person that you trust to have the authority to make your financial and legal decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so yourself.  This person, called your “attorney-in-fact,” is able to act in your place for your financial and legal decisions. Click for more

What is a Health Care Proxy?

A health care proxy is a document that you sign naming someone to make your personal and medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so yourself.  Your doctors and other medical providers will look to this person, called your “agent,” to make your medical decisions. Click for more

When is Guardianship Necessary?

A guardian is a court-appointed individual who is authorized to make personal and medical decisions for someone who is no longer able to make such decisions for him or herself.  A guardianship is also necessary when a disabled child who is not capable of making all or some of her decisions reached age 18.   Click for more

When is Conservatorship Necessary?

A conservator is a person who a judge will authorize to make financial and legal decisions for someone who is no longer able to make such decisions for him or herself.  A conservatorship may also be required when a disabled child who does not have the capacity to manage some or all or some of his finances reaches age 18.  Click for more

What is a Trust?

A Trust is simply a different way of holding property.  A person can establish a trust for almost any purpose.  The person who establishes a Trust is called the Grantor or Settlor.  The Grantor determines who will administer the Trust, who will receive benefits from the Trust and how the Trustee can determine how. Click for more

What is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

A Supplemental Needs Trust, also called Special Needs Trust, is a special type of trust that is designed specifically to permit a disabled individual to have the benefit that the funds can provide while still qualifying for certain asset-based government benefits.  Click for more

What are the MassHealth eligibility requirements for nursing home benefits?

MassHealth is the federal Medicaid program as administered in this state.  In order to be eligible for nursing home benefits under MassHealth, an applicant must have assets of no more than $2,000, including both retirement and non-retirement assets. Click for more

What is the probate process?

The probate process, also called estate administration, is the system by which a deceased person’s property is collected, his debts are paid, and the balance is distributed according to his wishes as stated in a Will or among his heirs as outlined by statute if there is no Will. Click for more

What is the “MUPC” and how does it affect the probate process?

Effective April 2012, Massachusetts completely overhauled the probate process by adopting the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC).  Although a discussion of all the changes would be too voluminous for this space, a few of the major changes will be discussed.  Click for more