Action Items: Review Your Wills During Tax Time

If you are in the process of getting your financial paperwork in order to meet with your accountant, pull out your wills and other legal documents and take a look at those, too. Make sure the people you’ve named to help you are still available and the ones you still want to help you. Check the distribution scheme in your will or trust to see if any changes need to be made – have more children or grandchildren been added? Are there charities you want to change or add?
Getting all of your uncomfortable paperwork out of the way at once will make it possible to go into spring and summer knowing that you have a plan in place if something were to happen. So, review, make changes if needed and then go play!

The Cobbler’s Children And The Lawyer’s Father

I always tell my clients that it is better to talk with their families about their health care wishes ahead of time, before they land in the hospital. It gives you the time to really think about things, and to have the discussion at a time when no one is in crisis mode. So itContinue Reading

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 treeContinue Reading

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