Specialized Life Planning
Basic estate planning is important for everyone, of all-walks-of-life, and regardless of personal net worth. Estate planning should be a part of everyone’s “family planning”. Whether a simple will, health care proxy, or durable power of attorney, these simple documents can make any family’s life easier at a time of personal crisis, both in life and in death. A family trust can help with regard to the ease of administering and managing a person’s property at the time of death, often avoiding the lengthy court probate process, and creating family legacies!
Trust law continues to evolve to help with:
- Higher net worth individuals reduce their tax liability within the parameters of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Preserve assets and real property if an individual requires assisted living.
- Land conservation and preservation.
- Protecting beloved pets after the passing of the owner.
Proper planning is key for conservation land legacies. The “Mumford Wildlife Forest” in South Natick, Massachusetts was the product of a gifting of about 35 acres to the New England Forestry Foundation. The forest hosts deer population, a standing family of coyotes, and is part of eastern Massachusetts’ Bay Circuit Trail system, offering trails for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and, bird watching.
The forest now connects to an additional 70 acres of Trustees of Reservation (TTOR) and Dover Land Conservation Trust land that includes wetlands, fields, oak and white pine forests, and Pegan Hill, which is part of the Blue Hills chain. On a clear day, Mount Monadnock can be clearly seen over 60 miles away!
Natural Resources Advising
The three Ws – Wetlands to Woodlands and Wildlife. Identifying and addressing issues regarding flooding, wildlife habitat management, wildfire mitigation, disaster vulnerability, and much more! As the global climate changes, whether naturally occurring or human-induced, our natural resources environment on every interconnected level is at the mercy of fluctuating environmental extremes.
Recently, the Boston metropolitan area has seen record flooding over the years, which has resulted in the killing-off of vast areas of wetland trees, but allowing the proliferation of invasive species, such as the now iconic purple loosestrife. Yet, a few years ago, the same region experienced a record-breaking extreme drought, which not only depleted many area reservoirs of valuable drinking water, but also, recreational activities, such as fishing, and, creating wildfire vulnerability. The drought also killed-off a fungus that is the only defense against the invasive, and tree-defoliating, gypsy-moth caterpillar. The return of late spring rain falls and record-breaking low temperatures in June, brought the fungus back, but not until many areas looked like winter-time, except for the evergreen trees, which were also void of their needles.
Equine Law and Pet Trusts
There was a time when all equine-related transactions took place with an acknowledgment of just how valuable horses were for lifestyle, if not actual survival – everyday transportation; plowing fields; hauling firewood; The Pony Express; cavalries; to open sleigh-rides at Christmastime… with historical accounts going back many ages on all continents.
Whether Massachusetts or Wyoming, all horse-related transactions over the centuries and generations in the United States have been with a “wink and a nod”, or better yet, a handshake. However, the Annual Equine Law Conference hosted by the University of Kentucky illustrates the ever-growing complexity of the equine industry, with international and national interstate implications (diseases; the gaming industry; the breeding industry; basic commerce; pet trusts and sport horse industry).
Although more complicated in the present “equestrian world”, many horse-related transactions and issues can still be handled with a more current version of the old-style “handshake”. And, in the present world, all pets can now even part of a person’s legacy.