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September 24, 2018 Office News

Recently Kathy attended a planning meeting in her town to discuss an upcoming charity event. During the break one woman spoke about not having planned for her father’s death and how much it cost for the funeral and burial expenses. She said that children shouldn’t bear the brunt of their parents expenses when they pass away.

Kathy spoke up and said, “well, that’s why we have wills and having help with estate planning to be prepared for this kind of thing.” Another woman said, when I turned 30 both my husband and I had wills drawn up. I said, “good for you! You planned ahead.” Kathy indicated that it’s been 36 years since she first had the will drawn up, but wondered privately whether it had been changed since. She wasn’t able to ask her since the meeting got back to the business at hand.

Your will should be reviewed every five years to make sure it is up-to-date. Consult your advisors if you believe changes to your plans may be in order.

 

 

September 14, 2018 Office News

Parties reach agreement, filed with Court and approved. Made a final judgement. In July. Less than 3 months later, Mother admits in texts she can’t be bothered to cash a money order, so an action she brought last year gets put on docket in court by DOR.

No wonder the court system is clogged. No wonder people go through emotional gyrations. All it takes is someone who has the spite, self-will and time to kill to file things and lives are disrupted, costs incurred, time from work lost and everything else.

MAKE SURE you get counsel. This Office understands and won’t charge you an arm and a leg. We all suffer from the consequences of poor choices, so if you can’t be good, be careful.

September 13, 2018 Office News

The same personal dynamic of spite applies to wills and trusts. The daughter, made trustee by default, has problems with a sister, so distribution is delayed. The trust instrument is used as a shield to allow someone to hold on to funds for minors, instead of distributing to their parents on their behalf and other encumbrances.

As one client said, “you must have a PhD in soap opera.” I used to hear I had a PhD in grief. In my old age I’m collecting earned degrees out of life experience.

That is why it is so IMPERATIVE to plan ahead, draft the proper instruments that take into account the possibilities of sibling discord and eliminate provisions that could be used as tools to frustrate YOUR intentions and allow some family member to dominate over the rest. The Boy Scouts certainly were inspired in coming up with their motto – Be Prepared.

September 12, 2018 Office News

The previous post is the culmination of a series of aggravations suffered recently regarding child custody/visitation problems. It seems people want to use children and time spent with them as weapons. If you don’t apologize about something, or jump through the hoops set up by someone, then visits are withheld, schedules unilaterally changed, the whole 9 yards.

Often these people don’t have lawyers, and make all sorts of threats, pontifications and announcements on a whim. All they’re doing is providing proof as to why the people broke up to begin with.

Remember: you ex-spouse doesn’t have YOUR best interests at heart. Otherwise they wouldn’t be an ex-spouse.