Category Archives: Parents of Minor Children

“Mom, do you have a will?”

“Mom, did people come and watch you when you signed your will? Do you have a will?”

This is what my 9 year old niece asked her mother while the three of us were lazily paddling our kayaks down the Mystic River on Easter Sunday in search of turtles. I had been talking about how I was having a friend come to the office on Monday to serve as a witness  to a will signing since the rest of the office was off on vacation.

My sister sputtered slightly. “Well….no….not yet…..because we got stuck on one the questions and were going to come back to it and one day I was determined we were going to finish the decisions and then we didn’t…” she trailed off.

“You don’t even have to pay for it!” I called from my boat as we went under the bridge.

“Do you have a will, Auntie?”

“Yes, and a health care proxy and a power of attorney….oh look, there are the turtles!” We stopped paddling to coast slowly past the 7 turtles sitting on a large branch sticking out of the water.

The cobblers children may have no shoes, and the lawyers siblings may have no wills, but at least we got to see the turtles.


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will

In an utterly predictable fashion, now that the media has calmed down about his overdose, they have turned their attention to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s will. I can just picture the eager little interns running down to the Manhattan Surrogate Court (which we call the Probate Court here in Massachusetts) to get a copy of hisContinue Reading

As Your Family Changes, So Should Your Estate Plan

I have noticed that clients sometimes have difficulty making decisions on their estate plan because they can’t see the future. They get stuff on the “what if…” “We could name our friends out of state as guardians now while our kids are babies, but what if when they are older they don’t want to move?”Continue Reading

Pros and Cons of Having A Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is a legal entity (and a document) to which you transfer all or part of your assets during your lifetime. You retain the power to remove or sell the assets and to change or revoke the trust. It provides for the management and distribution of your property during your lifetime andContinue Reading

Being Prepared Has Its Benefits

I talk a lot about being prepared here – having the legal documents in place so that your family and advisors can step in in the event of an emergency and make sure that your finances, health care and children are taken care of.  It’s not that the chances of an emergency happening on anyContinue Reading

“We Can’t Decide On Guardians for the Kids”

This is, by far, the number one thing that holds up parents of young children on their way to the attorney’s office to get their wills and guardianship nominations done.  I’ve had people tell me that their solution was to just wait until the kids turned 18 to do any sort of planning so theyContinue Reading

Who Should Be Trustee of Our Special Needs Trust?

When parents are setting up a Special Needs Trust in Massachusetts for a child, one of the primary considerations is who will serve as trustee in the event that the parents can no longer fill this role.  The trustee is the person who would be in charge of making decisions about money and property, makingContinue Reading

What I Meant Was….

In my line of work, I spend a lot of time with my clients talking about their wishes for the future. Who they want helping them, what kind of help they want, where they want their things to go when they pass away.  I spend a lot of time making sure I understand completely whatContinue Reading

How Does Property Pass Without A Will For A Married Person With No Children?

If someone without a Will passes away in Massachusetts, the law states how their property is distributed. When that person is married, but has no children, many people think that all property would pass to their spouse. But that’s not actually what the law says. Let’s say for example we have a couple named CarrieContinue Reading

How Property Is Distributed Without A Will

Many people pass away without a will in place. When meeting with clients who have no Will I like to let them know how their property would pass if they died without a Will in place. This way, even if they decide not to proceed they will at least know what will happen, and explainingContinue Reading