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 [...]

JEOPARDY

A "Jeopardy!" contestant who passed away a week before her string of taped appearances on the show aired this week won her third consecutive game in an episode that aired Thursday night. Cindy Stowell buzzed in swiftly, blurted out answers in the form of questions, and soundly vanquished her opponents. Her latest victory was a [...]

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 [...]

National Do Something Nice Day – Pay It Forward!

In just the last month or so, our nation has seen incredible devastation: hurricanes, earthquakes, and the Las Vegas mass shooting. National Do Something Nice Day Hearing about all of these tragedies so close together can make it seem as if the world is caught in a negative rut, but that couldn’t be farther from [...]

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 [...]

Probate Appeals: Telling It Like It Is!

Remember when you were a kid, and consistently tried to negotiate everything? Lesser punishments, later bedtimes, the top bunk bed, more junk food, and anything else you could cook up an argument for? Well, I never really grew out of that phase, so I had to make a career out of it. I often blog [...]

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 [...]