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New Bedford/Fall River Area Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is something every adult should do now and not put off for another day. The Law Office of Michael T. Friar can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that meets all your needs. Our attorney will take the time to sit down with you, understand your needs and desires, and discuss your options. We create all the necessary documents and legal instruments to make sure that you are properly cared for during your lifetime, and that those you love most are looked after when you are gone. See below about the main aspects of our eastern Massachusetts estate planning practice, and call our office in New Bedford or Fall River to get started creating or updating your estate plan today.

Last Will and Testament – A last will and testament is the instrument you use to leave your property to your heirs after you are gone. The will can divide your estate among your spouse and children, or your grandchildren or other special relatives, charities, friends, colleges… whatever you choose. You can even leave specific items to specific individuals to help you be remembered the way you wish to be. There are many other important uses for a will, including:

  • Appoint a guardian for your minor children, someone you know and can trust to take care of your most precious possessions of all.

  • Name an executor for your estate. Use the will to select someone you trust to carry out the important job of shepherding your estate through the Massachusetts probate process.

  • If you want to intentionally keep an heir from inheriting from your estate, this must be clearly spelled out in your will with the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Durable Power of Attorney – A power of attorney gives another person the authority to accomplish legal tasks on your behalf, such as buying or selling a piece of real estate, signing a contract or conducting banking. By creating a durable power of attorney, you select a person you know and trust to act on your behalf and manage your financial and legal affairs in the event you become incapacitated.

Health Care Proxy – A health care proxy is like granting a power of attorney for medical decisions, where you designate a health care agent to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself. Don’t let family members argue over what your wishes would be or force the court to appoint a guardian over you who might not be someone whom you would select for yourself. With a health care proxy, you designate a health care agent you know and trust to act for you regarding such important matters.

Living Will – A living will or advance directive lets medical care providers know whether they should provide or withhold life-sustaining treatment, such as artificial respiration or a feeding tube, should those decisions ever need to be made. While living wills are not officially recognized in Massachusetts, it is still a good idea to make one and share it with your health care agent, so they will know your wishes in this highly personal area.

Create or Update Your Massachusetts Estate Plan Today

It is never too early to create an estate plan, but it can be too late if you put it off. If you already have an estate plan, consider whether any life events have intervened (births, deaths, marriages, divorces) that might require you to change or update your will. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Friar in New Bedford and Fall River for sound advice and professional assistance with your Massachusetts estate planning needs.

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