Estate planning and elder law
By Lauren Schiffman, Contributing Writer
Westborough – A 36-year veteran of the legal field, Carolyn Spring has been advising clients for more than 25 years on estate planning and elder law. Her entree into the profession grew out of her own mother’s difficulties in managing her father’s affairs after he passed away.
“She knew nothing. She worked with an attorney who spoke down to her, and I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else,” said Spring.
Estate planning is the process by which an individual or family receives guidance and counsel about preparing their estates in the event of death.
While it’s never too early to begin planning for the division of assets upon one’s death, certain stages of life are prime for seeking out the guidance of an estate planning attorney. Young parents in their 30s, for example, can name a guardian for their child/children. In the case of a death, a custody battle among relatives may be avoided. Since the guardian is named in the Will, it is advisable for young parents to have one.
People in mid-life, who have children in college and beyond, should consider focusing on “not leaving a mess for their children” by avoiding the probate process. If, for example, there is an estranged child in the family, mid-lifers can ensure their assets are divided as they wish them to be, without hopefully, the beneficiaries undergoing a lengthy legal process.
Older adults, in their 70s and beyond, should deliberate and take the time to think carefully about protecting their assets, choosing how they wish for their assets to be allocated upon their death. This is especially important for people in a second marriage.
Attorney Spring also advises that all individuals over the age of 18, and especially those who travel or who are facing hospitalization, should ensure that their health care proxy and power of attorney are in place in the event the individual becomes incapacitated or unable to speak for themselves.
While there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to estate planning, said Spring, the ideal time to plan for end-of-life is when one is not in crisis and has the time to be deliberate about their choices for how they want their estate to be distributed.
Attorney Spring offers an initial 30-minute consultation at no charge, in which she secures information about an individual’s background, goals and more to determine the appropriate estate plan for them. The process by which Spring develops plans for her clients is “very individualized and customized,” she said.
“I have a lot of compassion because of what my mother went through, and I listen to my clients well – both their spoken words and what’s left unspoken,” she added.
The Law Office of Carolyn Spring is located at 1900 West Park Drive, Westborough. To book a consultation with Attorney Spring, call 508-898-1835. To learn more, visit www.cspringlaw.com.