Estate Planning

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fact or Fiction: Estate Planning Demystified!

Now is a great time to start the estate planning process. Begin by attending one of Julie Low’s complimentary workshops, Fact or Fiction: Estate Planning Demystified! Our next workshop dates are Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10 a.m.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Benefits of Comprehensive Estate Planning


Your personal estate encompasses all of your life assets, including cash assets, real estate, personal property (automobiles, jewelry, art, furniture, etc.), as well as items of sentimental value.  In the past, estate planning traditionally focused on how best to align the distribution of one’s accumulated lifetime assets with one’s values and desires, and on making that process as efficient as possible.  Modern estate planning involves more than just the distribution of one’s lifetime assets, however.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What are the Essential Legal Documents?

Most people think if you have a Last Will & Testament and/or a Trust, then your estate plan is complete. Come to our Essential Legal Documents Workshop on Thursday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. and learn why your estate plan is not complete without Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, HIPAA Authorization & Living Will documents. This complimentary workshop will be presented by Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney Julie Low of the Law Office of Julie Low. It will be hosted by Emeritus Cherry Hill at 220 Conant Street in Danvers. Click here to register or call 978-922-8800.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Visit™ for a Wealth of Consumer Information!

My firm's membership in WealthCounsel® and ElderCounsel® was one of the best decisions I made when I started my law practice in 2010. Yes, it was a huge financial investment and even a little scary because I didn't even have a single client lined up, but one I felt was necessary to provide clients with the best planning experience possible.

These companies equip me to serve my clients with the highest standards of practice excellence by providing a collegial nationwide network of estate planning and elder law attorneys from which to draw upon; drafting software programs that create the most comprehensive, thorough, and customized estate plans for my clients; and continuing education to ensure that I stay up to date with changes in the law and the latest trends in estate planning.

Now my clients and /or prospective clients can also enjoy the benefits of my membership by visiting, a website designed with the estate planning client audience in mind. provides my clients with opportunities to learn more about estate planning, to attend free webinars, such as the one coming up on Friday, June 21st entitled, "Life Expectancy and Health Care Planning," download a free "Six-Step Checklist Toward Successful Estate Planning," or learn why most estate planning attorneys think that DIY or online wills and trusts are a huge mistake!

One of my favorite quotes is "Whatever you are, be a good one." WealthCounsel® and ElderCounsel® are just two of the many tools I use in my practice to be sure I am a good estate planning, special needs planning and elder law attorney!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Planning" vs. "Crisis"

 We predominantly get two types of calls at the Law Office of Julie Low.  One is for "planning" and the other is for "crisis".  Estate "planning" involves the creation of specific documents such as a Will, a Trust, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, HIPAA Authorization and Living Will.  Having all these documents in place empowers your family members to act on your behalf if you are unable to do do.  We get "crisis" calls when these specific documents are not in place, a loved one is anticipating a move to a skilled nursing facility, and there is fear of losing all assets to pay for that care.  Although we love "planning" calls, we are uniquely equipped to handle crisis calls, too.  If you would like to learn more about estate planning, then please attend one of our bi-monthly workshops, Fact or Fiction:  Demystifying Estate Planning.  To see our upcoming schedule of workshops and/or to register, please click on Workshops at the top of this website.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What is a Power of Attorney & Who Needs One?

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.  At the Law Office of Julie Low, we often get calls from people who haven’t done any estate planning and now find themselves in a crisis situation with regards to a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease.  If you become sick or disabled, either temporarily or permanently, who will make financial decisions for you?  A  Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to do just that.  If you cannot pay bills, get records or make other financial decisions due to physical or mental limitations, your family may be prevented from helping you.  Arranging for a Power of Attorney now can save the $4000-$5000 in legal fees that a conservatorship or guardianship process can cost.  To learn more about Power of Attorney and other important estate planning documents, please attend one of our educational workshops.  Dates, times and further information are available here.   Or log on to and click on Seminars.  To learn more about National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, click here!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Caregiver Agreements in Current Events


The New York Times published an article earlier this month featuring an artist who acted as the primary caregiver for her developmentally disabled sister.  After their mother quickly and unexpectedly passed due to pancreatic cancer, Beverly McIver began to look after and live with her older sister. This story is captured in the documentary, Raising Renee, which delves into the ups and downs of a sibling caregiver arrangement. A 10-minute segment on the radio program "The Take Away," featured on WGBH, speaks with Beverly McIver and the filmmakers to provide an empathetic view of a caregiver situation, and the impact it has on the lives involved. Even though the basis of such an arrangement is an extraordinary amount of love, it is not to say that living with it is easy.  


If you are planning for a child with special needs, it is important to consider what will happen when you pass.  Who will take care of your child? How can you provide for your child's wellbeing? Where will they be able to stay? What happens if your appointed caregiver or Trustee can't handle the situation? What would you do if a loved one asked such a great responsibility of you?


You shouldn't feel trapped by these questions. Use your uncertainties to guide an open discussion with whomever you are thinking of naming to provide care for your child. A Special Needs Planning attorney can help guide your discussions with your loved ones, and provide support during the difficult decisions and conversations.  Oftentimes, attorneys act as co-trustees for Supplemental Needs Trusts, working closely with a family member to ensure that the emotional and logistical support is in place for the individual throughout their lifetime. Creating a partnership for the sole-benefit of your loved one is an excellent way to give yourself peace of mind, and one that can begin with a simple conversation with a Special Needs attorney. If you think that you or a loved one may benefit from Special Needs Planning, take the first step towards a better life; contact an attorney who is dedicated to finding the best possible solutions for you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quiz: Can my loved one stay at home alone safely?

1-18-12- Quiz: Can my loved one stay home alone safely?

Though it can be emotionally difficult, it is important to assess whether your aging parent has reached a point where they are not safe to be home alone.  A Geriatric Care Manager can make this process easier for you, and may provide a variety of solutions to keep your loved one independent as long as possible. If you feel your loved one is no longer safe alone, take action immediately, and call an Elder Law Attorney and/or certified Geriatric Care Manager.  Use these professionals as a network of experts in order to obtain the best care possible for your loved one.

Some questions to guide your discussion:

Quiz- Can My Loved One Stay at Home Alone?

True or False

  • My loved one is able to safely prepare nutritious meals.
  • My loved one eats and drinks well without supervision.
  • My loved one is steady on his or her feet.
  • My loved one is able to get in and out of the shower or tub safely.
  • My loved one keeps himself or herself clean.
  • My loved one can get dressed without assistance.
  • My loved one can get to the bathroom as necessary.
  • My loved one has interests and friends to keep life interesting.
  • My loved one is cautious with the stove, candles, irons, and other sources of heat.
  • My loved one is not likely to fall asleep while smoking.
  • My loved one does not have to navigate stairs, or if he or she does, it can be done safely.
  • My loved one can call someone if the need arises who can be there within a short time.
  • My loved one has access to transportation to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor and dentist appointments, and social occasions.
  • I feel at ease during the day and sleep well at night knowing that my loved one is home alone.

As you answer each question, consider their impact on the overall health and wellbeing of your loved one. The more questions answered "False" indicates a higher probability that your loved one needs extra care and supervision. For some, an Adult Day Care Program will be sufficient, but others may need professional care provided by an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.  If you have concerns, reach out to an Elder Care professional. You do not need to go through this alone!


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Thursday, January 12, 2012

What does the MUPC mean for you?

Massachusetts finally has an entire new set of probate laws after twenty years of debate. The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) was signed into law on January 15, 2009 and is intended to bring significant changes to the probate process and important reforms to probate procedure.  The MUPC was supposed to go into effect on January 2, 2012, but has recently been pushed back to March 31, 2012 to allow the legislature to make technical amendments and to help the court system, which is currently understaffed, prepare and make way for the myriad of changes the new Probate Laws will have on the courts’ administrative processes and forms.


The MUPC improves the process for administering probate. Probate is the process of gathering a deceased person's assets, paying all their debts and taxes, and distributing remaining property pursuant to the instructions left in the decedent's will.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When Long Term Care Becomes End of Life Care

Because we work in both Estate Planning and Elder Law, we often encourage our clients to contemplate possibilities about the end of their life.  These conversations are not always enjoyable, but are an essential part of the planning process, and can help create a clear path for your loved ones to follow when the need arises.


This difficulty was discussed during a recent series on End of Life issues, on NPR series Tell Me More. Karyne Jones from the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged summarized this difficult but essential preparation saying, "… I think it's something that people just need to be aware of and start really deciding-- at the end of my life, whenever that may be, because you don't know when it is-- this is what I want to happen." Though starting these conversations with your loved ones will be difficult, it is absolutely necessary to speak with your family about your wishes. 


This radio series delved into topics deeply intertwined with Estate Planning and Elder Law. These shows spoke with individuals who were at the heart of difficult matters, like the price of long-term care and the difficulties of looking after an dying parent. Though our clients may not find themselves in these situations currently, we do feel that these stories will resonate nonetheless.


Planning End of Life Care doesn't only mean sorting out the details of where or when, but looking at the bigger picture to make sure that your desires are being met, and your wishes respected.  As with most things in life, it is not the destination, but the journey that matters.  We are all aware of the inevitable, but how do you want to get there? Through proper planning and vocalizing your desires surrounding possible "if-then" scenarios, your family will have a clearer picture of how you want end of life care. This process may involve creating a Supplemental Needs Trust, or a Medicare Asset Protection Trust to protect your home from state liens, or may involve recording your wishes through a Will- based Estate plan.  Any or all of these may be strategies that could provide you and your family with extra peace of mind and guidance during a difficult time. For more information about these and other End of Life strategies, please ask us a question on our Facebook page, send us an email, or call us at 978-922-8800.


The transcripts to the Tell me More series can be found at the following links:

"Financial Planning for the End of Life"

"Soaring Prices, Sinking Resources"

"Guidance on Caring for Aging Parents"

"Advice for the Golden Years- Don't Ever Retire Mentally"

"Trusting Faith Learning Lessons in Golden Years"



Monday, September 12, 2011

Estate Planning for the Seasons

Labor Day has already passed, and whether we like it or not, we are reminded of Fall.  Sweaters, Pumpkin flavored goodies, leaves changing, and of course, winter.  In Fall, the world around us is changing-- it starts to harden, to yawn with brilliant crimsons and golds, and then turns over to sleep until better weather comes around again.  If nature thinks this is the best way to do things, then maybe we should pay attention to that cycle of change, and try to apply it to our own lives.


Spring: It is undoubtedly a part of life for each of us to feel invulnerable in youth.
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| Phone: 978-922-8800

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