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 few decisions for my clients to make and then go from there.

Here are the basic decisions you’ll need to make in order for your attorney to draft the proper legal documents for you:
1. Who are the people that you would want to make health care decisions for you if you were unable?
2. Who are the people that you would want to make financial decisions for you if you were unable?
3. Who do you want taking care of your children if something were to happen to you?
4. Who do you want to receive your property after you pass away?

Those are the basic decisions. Once you have those made, if you want, you can move on to more complex decisions:
5. Do you want your children’s inheritance to have any kind of a age limit on it or restrictions on expenditures?
6. Are there family members with special needs that you want to make provisions for?
7. Are there charities that you want to remember in your will?
8. Do you want to make provisions protecting a spouse who may need nursing home care in the future?
9. Are you leaving a piece of property to multiple people and want to make provisions for its management?
10. How do you want to provide for different sets of children in a blended family?

You don’t need to know all of the answers to these before getting yourself to the lawyers office, but it is helpful to at least know some of the things you’ll need to consider as you plan for your future.

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!

Where is your will?

In the “old days” lawyers used to keep their clients’ Last Wills in their offices. Lawyers tended to stay in their practices for decades, and people didn’t move as often as they do now. It also made it so that the client’s heirs had to go back to that attorney when the client passed away,Continue Reading

The Top 5 Mistakes Clients Like Mine Make

There are many mistakes people can make when planning for their future. Usually the biggest one is not planning. Most of the time, by the time they get to me, we can make sure to remedy these mistakes. 1. Not talking to their families. Leaving a house to multiple children and hoping they will “workContinue Reading

What I’ve Been Up To

When I tell people what I do in my law practice, it is usually something like “I help people with wills and dealing with the process of transferring property after someone passes away.” Despite all the instruction to have an elevator speech, I do not have a snappy one liner that sums up all IContinue Reading

Action Item: Share Some Information This Week

What is a quick action you can take this week to make your and your family’s life easier in the event of an emergency? Share some information! This can be as little as telling someone who your attorney, accountant and financial advisor are so they can contact them if they need to help you. OrContinue Reading

Book Review: “Moving Out A Family Guide to Residential Planning…”

Moving Out – A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities is a wonderful resource for families exploring living options for their loved ones. Written by Dafna Krouk-Gordon, the founder and president of TILL, Inc., and special needs attorney Barbara Jackins, the book is a wealth of information in an easily understandable format.Continue Reading