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By Jason Carrozza

When you’ve worked long and hard for your assets, the last thing you want is your money being spent on taxes and other unnecessary administrative expenses. To avoid such a fiasco, remember the following tips:

  • Verify your Beneficiary designations: If you fail to complete your beneficiary designation forms, these policies become part of your estate and your family will need to go through the probate process to claim them. This is true even if you have a trust! Be sure that your beneficiaries are properly designated and that you have not designated any minors.
  • Create a Trust: With a properly funded trust, probate can be avoided. A trust also allows you to choose who will handle your estate and how assets are to be distributed. Further, a trust is necessary for anybody with minor children to avoid Court entanglements. Married couples can also save a significant amount on estate taxes with the proper trust plan. Trusts can avoid probate, save on death taxes, and properly plan for minors and other beneficiaries.
  • Start a Gifting Program: Individuals are permitted to gift up to $15,000 per person annually without any tax consequences. If you’re married, you can combine your gifts to provide for $30,000! Not only is this excellent way to ensure that your money stays within the family, but it can potentially also make a tremendous difference for some of your loved ones.

There are many different planning opportunities and there are tax and administrative consequences to consider with all of them. Call us today so we can strategize how to keep the most money within your family.

About the Author
Jason M. Carrozza is a partner and founder of Family Legal Partners, P.C., previously owning Carrozza Law Office, P.C., which focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business formation. He was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016, an honor given to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. Graduating magna cum laude from New England Law and ranked 3rd in his class, Jason completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He gained experience in civil litigation, divorce, corporate, and insurance defense law firms before opening his practice in 2004. Jason is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Courts, is a trained family law mediator, and a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He has volunteered for pro bono panels with Senior Partners For Justice, South Middlesex Legal Services, and the New Center for Legal Advocacy. Dedicated to his community, he has served in various leadership roles including vice president of the Bellingham Business Association and Master of Excelsior Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. He teaches Estate Planning Basics at the Tri County Continuing Adult Education program and speaks at estate planning seminars throughout the year. An avid baseball fan and history enthusiast, Jason enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Zachary and Madelyn.