What kind of tree would you be?

Barbara Walters apparently once asked Katherine Hepburn what kind of tree she wanted to be. She was often mocked for this, but according to a wikipedia article, she was just following up on a comment by Hepburn that she would like to be a tree.

Well, now we can each decide what kind of tree we want to be after we die. Or at least what kind of tree we want to be buried under. A company in Italy is designing a pod that one can be buried in, which is then planted under a tree. Their idea is that instead of cemeteries being filled with stones, they can be filled with trees.

Capsula Mundi is planted like a seed in the soil, and on a tree is planted on top of it. The tree is chosen when the person is alive, relatives and friends look after it when death occurs. A cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest.
Whether you want to be planted under a tree, buried in a traditional cemetery, cremated, or sent to a forensic anthropology body farm  – the important thing is to make sure you family knows what your wishes are.  We are all going to die someday, and someone is going to have to figure out what to do with our earthly remains. They will be dealing with enough stress at the time; anything you can do to make their decision easier is a friendly thing to do.

Ms. Hepburn wanted to be an oak. I’m not sure yet what kind of tree I’d want to be, which is ok because the tree/pod burial is still in the development stages.

Should I Put My House In A Trust?

A question I get asked a lot by clients is “should I put my house in a trust?” The answer, of course, is “it depends.” Imagine walking into a doctor’s office and asking them “should I go on [insert medication you heard about on the radio here]?” or “should I have [surgery your friend justContinue Reading

An online option for estate planning

I think we are up to 5 feet of snow at this point. I’m shuffling client appointments again this week since either the roads are too dangerous for driving, my clients haven’t been plowed out yet, or there are child care issues since their kids are home from school for the 6th time this month.Continue Reading

Avoiding Conflict In a Blended Family

Another celebrity death, another article about how the family is headed off to court to fight over things. Apparently, Robin William’s children and his wife are arguing over his estate. According to the New York Times article, Williams left his property in a trust for his 3 children, with another trust for his wife thatContinue Reading

How To Research Family History

Stuck inside during a blizzard and need a fun project? Searching your family tree can provide hours of interesting discoveries (assuming you have electrical power, of course.) There are a few sites you can use: Family Search https://familysearch.org/ is free to use. You can also volunteer to help index old records to make them accessible.Continue Reading

Is indecision bugging you?

Having to make too many decisions can hold people up from taking any action. (This is why I sometimes leave the peanut butter aisle in Whole Foods empty handed: there are too many choices.) This can hold true for people thinking about doing their wills. I always try to start out with just a fewContinue Reading

Read the Fine Print!

I’ve run into a couple of situations recently where clients received mail that looked “official” but turned out to be a company trying to make my client pay for something that they could get for free. The first was an unsolicited mailing from a company offering to help my client transfer some stocks after herContinue Reading

Doctors Without Wills

The herniated disk that plagued me most of the fall finally resolved itself.  However, dealing with it meant visiting with lots of doctors. In the course of the visits, my profession would come up and every single one of the doctors – without fail – said “oh, I really need to do a will” andContinue Reading

Contingency plans

I’m a big fan of contingency plans.  Most of the work that I do with my clients is to help them set up contingency plans as well. When someone signs a durable power of attorney allowing a family member to sign checks on their behalf that’s a contingency plan. If my client is hospitalized andContinue Reading

The office has moved!

I moved my office last week, just down the street – literally! You can now find your South Shore estate planning attorney at 190 Old Derby St., Suite 211 Hingham, MA 02043. I hope to see you soon!