My wife and I hired Robert to do our wills and living trusts as we were awaiting the birth of our first child. Throughout the entire process, Robert worked with us to ensure that we clearly understood the various decisions to be made. Estate planning can be difficult, requiring that you consider events and scenarios that most of us naturally do not want to consider. Robert's professionalism and ...

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Getting Gratitude

In helping people and families with their wills, trusts, and probate issues, I often find that there is a lot of emotion involved and sometimes actual "pay back" in the way that people ...
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Attitude of Gratitude: Life's Too Short

A friend sent me a card last Thanksgiving with a nice family photo, and across the front of the card was just one word, in bold red letters that said "Thankful". The message of being ...
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The Strong Person, Doer of Deeds

I will ride my bicycle from Atlanta to Washington D.C. I the spring, raising funds for MS research and while in D.C., I will swear in as a bar member attorney of the US Supreme Court. This journey ...
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'Tis the $eason: People > Gifts

The holidays appear to kick off earlier and sooner every year. Now with the regular appearance of pre-Halloween Christmas merchandise, you can buy both Halloween candy and chocolate Santas in early ...
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Late For Your Own Funeral

I first heard the expression “late for your own funeral” from my mom when I was running late as a kid. The younger me thought: "How does a person show up late at their own ...
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Should I Have a Will or a Living Trust?

At their most basic, wills and living trusts are designed to achieve the same goals; namely, to specify beneficiaries of an estate after you pass on. However, life isn’t as simple as just the ...
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Choose: Fear of Death or Pursuit of Life

In one of my favorite movies, "Moonstruck," Cher's character's mother, played by Olympia Dukakis, kept on asking different people: "Why do men chase women?" After a couple ...
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Not IF but WHEN...

As life gets longer and the years roll-on, it seems that life gets more complicated and time runs faster. "When I was a child, life was so simple..." I hear all the time. Well, I hope so: ...
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Crazy Family, Normal Life

Everybody has some crazy in their family. I don't mean to cast aspersions, but I do mean to use the word 'crazy' in the larger sense of the unusual people and unexpected things that happen ...
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Stepfamily Assets at Risk: What Can You Do

If you have a stepfamily or you have a variety of valuable assets built up into a nest egg for retirement - they may be at risk if you have an ineffective will/trust or no estate plan at all. How do ...
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Mother's Incapacity

Jack's mother always took care of herself, paid her own bills, and looked after her own healthcare. When Mother started to forget important things and stopped going to her regular doctor visits, ...
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Resolutions and Death Plan

"It's a new year and your New Year's resolutions have come and gone," said a friend to me recently. As I may best paraphrase, he said to cogitate on the fact that people resolve to ...
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From Father to Son

My Dad sometimes forgets my name now. He usually remembers who I am when he sees me, but I can see that he's often searching to recall my name. Then, like catching a thread, he'll remember ...
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Where Family Fights Start

This piece is written in my continuing efforts as a trusts, estates and probate attorney, to inform about the long-term and postmortem effects of financial decisions made in the present. Even when you ...
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Why You Need an Attorney to Help With Your Estate Plan

Estate planning is a sophisticated process that involves those individuals or organizations that are important to you such as your family, close friends, or favorite charities. It also involves your ...
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Essential Estate Planning Documents

Most financially savvy individuals are aware that they should include estate planning as a part of their overall financial planning, but too many of us procrastinate, especially when we aren't ...
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When Will the Will Work?

How do you know if your will would work when it's needed? The only real way is to expire – but then you won't know if it worked as planned. Most people don't have a will, but then ...
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What Goes In a Will?

The content of a will varies depending on your needs and what you want to accomplish with it. You are able to create instructions for the distribution of your assets and your estate after you pass ...
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Weeping Widow

My client cried when I told her she wouldn't have to lose her home. Her husband died a few months before and his family was pressuring the widow to move out and let them sell the home. But the ...
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A Legacy of Trust

For the Bright Side News My godfather uncle and my godmother aunt passed away within the past few months. They both lived relatively long lives and the deaths were not unexpected. One godparent had a ...
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What is Probate? Should I Care?

Either you will encounter the probate of an estate or you already have. If you haven’t dealt with probate directly, then the encounter may actually be someone else handling yours. How will ...
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Avoidance of Attorneys

It is often the avoidance of attorneys that leads to the necessity for attorneys. In no area it is that more true and common to you than with estate planning, wills, legacies and the probate of ...
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Your Life Ever After

This is your story. You worked hard to get where you are in life. You have a good home, loving family and a good life generally. It’s not a perfect family or perfect home - as there is always ...
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Particular Planning Peeves

As a lawyer that helps people with wills, trusts, probate and estate issues, I have been around these issues enough to give a qualified opinion about estate planning. Not that you’ve asked, but ...
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You're an Executor. Now What?

When people write a will, they choose the most trusted and reliable person they know to help carry out their will-written wishes. That person is known as the executor. That is the person, for example, ...
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