Massachusetts has a large and vibrant Irish population…whether you be Irish by heritage or adoption of the culture on St. Patrick’s Day! As you plan for the holiday’s festivities, the Boston and Newport parades, sharing a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage, and donning your favorite green outfit, take a moment to remember this Irish blessing: "May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night." If you’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed with heavy pockets, by luck, hard work, or a combination of the two, consider the best way to pass those blessings, or “Luck O’ The Irish,” on to your loved ones. In Massachusetts, your assets can be passed directly to your beneficiaries without the need for probate through the use of a Revocable Living Trust, saving your family thousands of dollars. A Revocable Living Trust not only avoids the delay and expense of probate, but it can be used to minimize or avoid estate taxes if your estate is worth more than $1 million dollars. It can also include language designed to protect your beneficiaries against losing their inheritance to creditors, divorce, or a lawsuit, all while allowing you unfettered access to the trust assets and the ability to change the ultimate beneficiaries of the trust. If you want to protect your assets against the cost of potential long-term care costs so that you may leave hard-earned assets behind to your loved ones, you may want to consider an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust, if drafted properly, not only avoids the delay and expense of probate, but can shield assets from nursing home care costs if you make it through the associated five-year look back period imposed by MassHealth. If you own your own business, then choosing the right business entity can protect you from creditor claims. A Limited Liability Company can shield your personal assets from debts and liabilities of the company. A Limited Liability Partnership will protect your personal assets from the mistakes of your business partners. The Family Limited Partnership is an ideal legal entity for the family business venture. The main benefit is that the partnership itself pays no taxes. Rather, individual partners report all property or assets in direct proportion to their respective interests on personal tax returns. If you are interested in learning more about the strategies discussed above, or if you want to have your current documents/plan reviewed to make certain that it will work as needed when the time comes, we invite you to contact our office to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys to gain clarity on your plan and learn recommendations to best accomplish your objectives. If interested, please contact our office at 508-994-5200. With warm wishes from my Irish family to yours: "May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!" ©Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 35 Arnold Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 336 South Street, Hyannis MA 02601 and 45 Bristol Drive, Easton, MA 02375. This article is for illustration purposes only. This handout does not constitute legal advice. There is no attorney/client relationship created with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. by this article. DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this handout. Every family is unique and legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an elder law attorney. Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems.