Estate planning clients often seem to hold the misconception that once they have completed their estate plan, they are done. Nothing left to do but wait until they need to use it. Of course, for some, that “use it” date does not arrive for many, many years. In the interim, everything has changed, rendering their once state-of-the-art […]

The loss of a loved one, whether anticipated or not, is an awful experience accompanied by a variety of emotions — pain, anger, relief, guilt, and anxiety just to name a few. I am not qualified to help you work through a number of those emotions. But, I can help you understand the legal issues you might […]

One issue that frequently arises in child custody cases is where one parent wants to move a significant distance away from the other parent. These “move cases” might arise when a parent needs to move for economic reasons, or when the parent wants to move (such as to be nearer to friends or family). Where a […]

I’ve been working a lot in the family law arena lately — divorces and child custody cases. Thus, I’ve been thinking a lot about how and why divorces can lead to negative outcomes for kids. One major factor I’ve seen a lot of lately is the issue of parental alienation. Parental alienation is loosely defined to describe when […]

Many people scrimp and save in the hopes of having something left over for their children at their death. But as an estate planning attorney, I know that often times that hard-earned-by-mom-and-dad inheritance turns into a squandered opportunity for the kids. The money (much like lottery winnings) is quickly used on a new flat screen TV, that […]

In my prior post, I talked about some dangers in using DIY estate planning services such as LegalZoom. One of those dangers is the fact that, if you use an insured estate planning attorney and he screws up, your survivors are protected by his malpractice insurance. Services such as LegalZoom, though, are not your attorney […]

When I speak on the topic of estate planning, I am frequently asked why someone should hire a lawyer to prepare an estate plan. “Why can’t I just do it online through someone like LegalZoom for a lot less money?” In my mind, this is a bit like trying to perform your own dental filling […]

In my last post, I urged you to write down your wishes for a funeral or memorial service. This week, I’m encouraging you to create a financial cheat sheet for use by your loved ones should something happen to you (either death or disability). Write down or type up the following: The location of important legal […]

Most adults have been to at least one or two funerals, wakes, memorial services, or other end-of-life service. And most folks have a sense of what they would like for their own such service – big, small, somber, up-beat, formal, casual, traditional, modern, and of course cremation or burial. The problem, of course, is that many people […]

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry, it is time to discuss some legal and economic factors a couple might consider (in addition to the religious, societal, and emotional ones) when thinking about whether they should tie the knot: Taxes: Married couples typically get a reduction in taxes. However, if the […]