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Boston Living Trust Attorney

Avoid Probate Using a Revocable TrustBoston Living Trust attorney, Michael J. Hurley, offers Massachusetts residents affordable Living Trust packages that are far more powerful than a simple Will. A Living Trust (more properly referred to as a ‘Revocable Trust’) will save your spouse, heirs, and loved ones the time and expense of dealing with the public Probate Court process, while keeping your family details and finances private from the Massachusetts searchable public records.

Living Trust is a layman’s “memorable term” for what lawyers and those who have a Living Trust learn is more accurately called a ‘revocable trust’. A ‘Living Trust’ is generally a small set of must-have estate planning documents that will become your Living Trust package.

A living trust is the perfect instrument for ANYONE of ANY income level. Moreover, a living trust is so much better than just an ‘old fashioned’ Will which will lead to the involvement of the ‘state of Massachusetts’ and government bureaucrats getting involved in your family affairs when you die. Wills are often subject to a long, expensive, disruptive, and public Probate Court process that your loved ones are forced to deal with for up to 18-months after your passing if you don’t have a trust.

Avoiding probate is a worthwhile goal that will bless your spouse and heirs. Unlike property left through a will (or situations with no will), property you leave to others Image of Probate Courtthrough a living trust doesn’t need to go through the long, arduous, expensive probate court process before it can be passed on to those who inherit it. You can spare your surviving family members the need to endure a probate court proceeding. Because of the need to publish your demise so that potential creditors are publicly notified, and sometimes an effort to locate any potential unknown heirs, this expensive probate process usually takes a full year of your survivor’s time and sometimes longer. A living trust can avoid that ugly probate process, maintain liquidity of all your assets, and offer a superior way to organize and control your assets while you are alive, and ensure family privacy as a legacy to you when you pass.

Anytime the government gets involved in anything it costs you, and in this situation, it costs those you leave behind. Dearly. Many a spouse has decided to quit their job or taken leave just to deal with the UNEXPECTED probate process thrust on them following the death of a spouse. It is often that overwhelming and complicated.

A living trust can enable your loved ones to avoid probate when you pass. It is a true act of love. Just ask anyone who has abruptly had to Probate their spouse or parent’s estate. They’ll tell you!

A Massachusetts Living Trust is Flexible and can be Changed at Any Time.

Another reason revocable trusts are routinely called living trusts is because a revocable trust can be changed, or even ‘revoked’ at any time for any reason –or no reason– while one is living. You can even dispose of it! Not that you’d want to. We are simply making the point that YOU remain in complete control of your assets, though they are in a trust — a trust that YOU control.

You can transfer all your assets to the trust but continue to use, manage and enjoy them during your lifetime as if nothing changed. But… you will have changed the future. Should you die, your surviving family and loved ones will be blessed by your thoughtfulness to set up a living trust such that they do not have to file papers and appear in the Probate Court in Boston, Fall River, Cambridge, Salem, Taunton, Worchester and other county locations. If you have a trust, following your death, your trustee (often your spouse or other family member) will immediately and inexpensively transfer ownership of your assets to the beneficiaries named in the trust without the long, public, and costly Probate process. It is time to call Boston Living Trust attorney Michael J. Hurley to talk about your circumstances.

A Living Trust Avoids Time-Consuming, Costly Probate

Both a will and a trust can be used to transfer your property when you die, but any similarity ends there. A will has no effect until you die, while a living trust is operational and under your control during your lifetime as a powerful instrument to manage your assets. While a will is part of the public record because your estate ends up in Probate Court, a trust is private. A trust keeps your family details and family finances away from the prying eyes of neighbors, employees, co-workers, creditors, and anyone else who can read and print out all your family details which will be in a searchable public record database for all time. Trusts are easier to amend than wills and less likely to be contested by your heirs. Living trusts do not require lengthy and costly probate proceedings. Your property and heirs will not be listed in public records in a courthouse. And your property can be transferred to your heirs almost immediately after your death.

Graphic of living trusts vs. wills

Many Massachusetts residents own a vacation home or real estate in other states. A living trust can help avoid probate in each state. Probate in multiple states increases complexity, cost and time to distribute your property to your heirs.

Boston Living Trust Attorney

Michael J. Hurley, Boston living trust attorneyI am Michael J. Hurley, a Massachusetts native, father, husband, and seasoned Boston living trust attorney. I can personally provide you with the legal advice and assistance you will need to protect your assets while you are alive, get your estate in order, and make it possible for your loved-ones to avoid the trauma of Probate Court, should you die. I can draft a living trust package for you if you live anywhere in the Greater Boston area including Essex County, Middlesex County, Suffolk County, Merrimack Valley, North Shore, North Andover, Lawrence, or for that matter anywhere in Massachusetts. These days, it is not unusual that I perform multiple legal services for clients remotely by phone and email without ever meeting face to face. It’s a brave and exciting new world.

Estate Planning and the Creation of Trusts

A trust is a legal way to protect, organize and distribute your assets without the formal process of going to court and probate. Michael J. Hurley, your Boston Living Trust attorney, is experienced in the complexities of estate planning and can effectively establish a trust for you and your family. A Living Trust is a viable alternative to putting your heirs through the painful Probate Court process for up to 18-months that is often the result of a Will-only or NO-will situation. It is important that an experienced estate planning attorney review your assets and properly handle the creation of your new living trust.

Properly Funding a Living Trust is all about Transferring Assets

Funding a Living Trust is just as important as setting it up. For a Living Trust to be effective, your assets (home, vacation home, vehicles, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, coin collections, guns, ATV’s, personal property, etc.) must be transferred to, and “titled” in the name of the Living Trust. This transfer from your name (title) into the name of the trust is the process of “funding” your new trust. Once transferred, those assets are legally owned by the trust instead of you and are controlled by the trustee(s). That said, (and here is the magic of a Living Trust) you may be BOTH the “Trustee” and the “Beneficiary” of that new Living Trust and you will continue to use and enjoy those assets as if nothing happened! Sure, you will have to have your bank checks reprinted (if you even use checks these days), and the titles to your real estate and vehicles will reference the Trust as well, but often the name of the trust includes your name, so there’s rarely any difficulties cashing checks, or to going about the business of “living life.”

Bank check BEFORE Living Trust:
“Jeff and Joan Rhodes”
Bank check AFTER Living Trust:
“The Jeff and Joan Rhodes Living Trust”

Pour-Over Will is a “Catch-All Companion” Document to a Living Trust

Did you forget to “transfer” your grandfather’s coin collection into your new Living Trust? Most clients who attempt to “fund” their new Living Trust will overlook transferring some valuable or sentimental assets into the trust. Even the most fastidious people might overlook something locked away in a trunk in the attic; will overlook transferring some assets into their new Living Trust, therefore, a well-engineered estate plan will almost always include BOTH a Living Trust and a Pour-Over Will.

What is a Pour-Over Will?

The Pour-Over Will is designed to take care of newly-acquired or any forgotten assets like grandpa’s coin collection. Yes, there might be a small probate needed for any overlooked assets, if your heirs have a dispute over those un-transferred assets. But if needed, a Pour-Over Will keeps a potential probate extremely simple, inexpensive, and no professional help should be needed. All the major assets in the Living Trust will have been distributed, and any overlooked assets (if there are any) will be dispersed as per the instructions of the Pour-Over Will.

In a typical Living Trust, you would name yourself as the Trustor (person who sets up the Trust), AND you would name yourself the Trustee (person who manages the Trust), AND you can name yourself as one of the Beneficiaries (person who gets the assets from the Trust). As Trustor, you can make changes to the Trust (via Amendment) anytime you decide to make changes. You have COMPLETE CONTROL over the terms of the Trust. Yes, we know… Why didn’t you do this sooner?

Taking Control of Your Life – Planning for the Future

It does not matter how old you are, or how many assets you have accumulated, planning for the future is always a good idea.  As your Boston living trust attorney, Michael J. Hurley, can review your unique circumstances and help you decide if a simple Will or a Living Trust will be the best choice for your situation. Michael can assist you with the successful establishment of your Living Trust package, so you will never be accused of leaving life-critical decisions concerning your assets, finances and Inheritance to complete strangers — government workers who don’t know you nor your family.

Set Up a Day, Evening or Weekend Appointment with a Boston Living Trust Attorney

Boston living trust attorney, Michael J. Hurley, offers you a Free Phone Consultation at (617) 712-2000. If you want to proceed to the next step following your phone call, Michael invites you to visit with him for a sit-down meeting at his Boston or North Andover office. Our two locations ensure a reasonable drive from most places in the Greater Boston area including Essex County, Middlesex County, Suffolk County, Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Lawrence, North Shore. Our Boston office is 1,000 feet from TD Garden and North Station for those who take the train. Attorney Hurley routinely drafts estate planning packages ‘remotely’ for folks from other states with interests here in or anywhere in Massachusetts. Drafts are emailed back and forth until they are just the way you want them and final notarized and witnessed signatures are a simple matter of a FedEx envelope.

Call (617) 712-2000 today for a free phone consultation or to schedule a reduced-fee initial sit-down strategy meeting to review all your unique options in our offices, your home, your business, a hospital room, or even at your corner Starbucks.

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