You Never Give Me Any Money – Estate Planning with an Irresponsible Child

Difficulties with estate planning Estate planning is a commonly overlooked tool that can give you peace of mind and help your children after your passing. Parents want what is best for their children: to live happily, healthily, and hopefully to be more successful than their parents before them. Sometimes, however, you might understand that your [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

I Don’t Agree with Their Trust/Will. Can I Change It?

Fictional Scenario: Our client who we prepared an estate plan for had just passed away. She had named her oldest daughter as the sole successor Trustee and divvied up her remaining assets among all four of her adult children. Three of her four children had given her grandchildren. The youngest daughter decided that she and [...]

Have Some Will Power

Some personalities are just too strong to die. In life, they’ve made it their mission to have a reputation – the one who could make anyone laugh until they cried, the over-bearing mother who “always knew best” for her kids, or the sarcastic father who took nothing seriously, even his last Will and Testament. Willing [...]

WHAT IS A HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY/PATIENT ADVOCATE DESIGNATION?

As mentioned in a previous blog post titled “The DL on POAs,” a Power of Attorney (or “POA” for short) is a legal document that gives another person, who is often called an “agent,” the authority to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated and unable to care for your own affairs.  The two [...]