Category Archives: Parents of Minor Children

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 I do, but here is a sample of things I have helped my clients with recently, and other activities in my practice:

  • helped clients make changes to their existing estate plan, to change the order of some of the agents they had named.
  • facilitated a family meeting to talk about what to do with a vacation home after the parents passed away.
  • assisted a client in preparing the final accounting for a probate estate.
  • spoke to a group of eating disorder professionals about guardianships and its alternatives.
  • worked with a family to choose future guardians for their child with special needs and set up a special needs trust.
  • worked with a client’s bank to help them properly title the accounts into the name of their trust.
  • took at class on updates to the guardianship process.
  • spoke to a reporter about what instructions people should leave behind for their families.
  • helped clients with a MassHealth application for their relative who had been admitted to a nursing home.

As you can see, there is a lot more to an “estate planning and elder law firm” than might first be expected. If any of these things seems like services you might need, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.

“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 howContinue Reading

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