Demand for Professional Guardians and Conservators is on the Rise

As the Baby-Boomer generation ages, many of them do not have someone in their lives to act as a guardian or conservator if the need arises. Que the professionals! In these types of cases, it is not uncommon for attorneys or social workers to be appointed for these roles, although a professional guardian can be [...]

Marriotts: Dirty Laundry Airing in Probate Court

The Marriott hotel always looks polished and professional from the outside. Recently, however, we learned that the Marriott family does have some dirty laundry airing out in a probate court. The good news? They are just like every other family – interesting, and not without drama. Meet the Marriotts: J. Willard and Alice Marriott first [...]

Social Media v. Privacy: What’s the Verdict?

Just recently, traditional notions of privacy have clashed with social media, prompting a headline-making case: Yahoo is denying two personal representatives access to their deceased brother’s emails. What’s the Story? John Ajemian was just 43 when he died in a bike accident in 2006. He did not have a Will, so his brother and sister [...]

Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions for 2018 are Official!

For many, “inflation” might as well be a four-letter word. But in terms of the federal estate and gift tax exemptions for 2018, it seems to be inflating smiles and opportunity for many. In the New Year, estate and gift tax exemption will be $5.6 million per person and $11.2 million for married couples. The [...]

Special Needs Planning v. Traditional Estate Planning

Last week, the NICU Grandpa from Atlanta went from comforting premature infants in a local hospital to warming hearts across the nation. A retired international marketing executive, David Deutchman didn’t exactly set out to regularly get “puked on and peed on,” but it’s quickly become a new-found joy. He told CNN that one of his [...]

National Estate Planning Awareness Month

It’s estimated that more than 120 million Americans do not have updated estate plans, according to www.AmericanBar.org. Unlike the fun, daily holidays, such as national pasta day, that we like to celebrate with delicious dinners and social media hashtags, the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) created a congressional proclamation for it in [...]

Columbus and Probate: Then and Now

Because most of us are going about our normal days at work, home, and school, it’s easy to forget that today is (already!) the second Monday in October, which means that it’s Columbus Day. I, too, almost glazed over the holiday, but it got me thinking: if Columbus had the opportunity to estate plan, how [...]

October is “Organize Your Medical Information Month”

Think about this: there are about 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s – only one of many incapacities a person can endure – and only 40 percent of Americans have a medical directive. Living with any illness, disability, or other incapacity is understandably challenging. However, ensuring that you have a patient advocate designation, also called [...]

Undue Influence: Recognize the Signs. Stop the Abuse.

Your aunt was in a car accident. Thankfully she made it through, but the injuries she sustained required that she have a full-time caregiver. Your cousin, her eldest, adult child, took up the role. You visit your aunt frequently, and you have noticed she is not making rational decisions that are in her best interest [...]

Fall Into Estate Planning!

It’s almost unbelievable that this Friday will be the first day of Fall! Although these unusually warm September days make it difficult to believe pumpkin-spice season is already here, chilled Autumn days will be blowing in quickly. Many of us will start settling in with heavy blankets and hot chocolate, and breaking bread over comforting [...]