November 19, 2018 Office News

We heard recently “Oh, I did a will….twenty years ago.” The good news is they thought ahead – the bad news is enough has probably happened so that the will needs updating. Someone who’s a retired attorney is calling in this week with that exact situation.

People have so many preconceived ideas – I don’t have much, so I don’t need a will; if I draft a will, something bad will happen (stop and think – BETTER you had that will, the something bad was going to happen anyway – It DIDN’T HAPPEN BECAUSE YOU WROTE ONE); I’ll spend it while alive, leave nothing (the ten who told me that died unexpectedly – THEY have no regrets in the grave, but their heirs do).

Go to OTHER “Probate Lawyers” sites; particularly their blogs. Most all of them will give you all the explanations and reasons why a will is so important.

Ran into the post office mail carrier. He’s over 50. No will. Told him of our mutual friend who I blogged about who said on a Friday, “Remind me Carol, to have Alex draft a will next week.” Then died Sunday. Scared him enough to take a card. We’ll see if phone rings. We’re not going to back off on this – EVERYONE 50+ needs to make arrangements. Strokes are not planned events.

November 7, 2018 Office News

In an effort to network our doing probate administration, wills and trusts and estate planning, we have connected to a number of attorneys with other specialties (personal injury, bankruptcy, worker’s comp, etc.), providing them cases in exchange for their referring their probate matters.

CALL US if you need legal help. We can help you choose that attorney in an area of specialty who we can interact with, guarantee you won’t be ripped off and it would be a plus to you, us and them.

Everyone thinks they know a lawyer. I’d encourage Kathy’s Facebook friends and others to read my reviews. We don’t write them ourselves; they are clients who honestly can’t believe we DO do things different – we put the client ahead of ourselves, taking satisfaction out of being an instrument of aid, not seeing the person in need of help as a cash register.

November 6, 2018 Office News

Another Office Facebook and personal post for Kathy. Kathy recently attended a seminar and distributed where a number of articles showing instances of where a lack of a will creates chaos, uncertainty and potential expensive legal hassles for various celebrities and known individuals.

Our office has seen this same situation in less celebrated instances-throughout Walpole, Randolph, all of Norfolk County. Attleboro and Bristol; Brockton and Plymouth. A couple in Suffolk County in Boston. We harp about the need for a will for a reason-it makes a difference.

Can’t shake what my CPA said – 1/2 of the people who have enough to spend money on someone doing their taxes don’t have a will. Is that you? Is yours up-to-date; or are you like the retired lawyer we met at an assisted living facility who had one so old it needed updating? Escape regret, BE PREPARED.

November 5, 2018 Office News

An important note on guardianship.

Well-established Massachusetts case law makes clear that a parent, biological or adoptive, is presumed “fit” to care for his or her child. Absent a showing of “unfitness,” a parent will prevail in a custody dispute over a non-parent. Whether a proceeding is to remove custody of children from parents or to restore custody to parents from a legal guardian, a parent is denied custody only if the Court finds him or her unfit to further the welfare of the children.

Consistent with these principles, courts look at current fitness, rather than at a history of unfitness. “The mere fact that (a parent) has an occasion shown some lack of interest or involvement in the child’s life clearly does not rise to level of disinterest, abandonment, or inattentiveness which demonstrates parental unfitness. Lack of involvement “in the past does not, standing alone,” render a parent unfit. At the same time, a judge is allowed to consider a past pattern of parental conduct for its “prognostic value” in determining current parental fitness.