Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Legacy

The royal Wedding is very symbolic. It represents tradition with a touch of modern flare that must be timeless. As William and Kate begin their royal life together as husband and wife, they will be creating a legacy that will be documented in many ways for generations well beyond their lifetime.

With royalty, many things are already addressed for them as pertains to inheritance, incapacity and other life and death planning.

You can take responsibility of your lifetime planning. We are here to provide the advice and guidance that you will need. Contact us at for your Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and other probate and elder law needs.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Legacy of Immortality - The Story of Henrietta Lacks

While vacationing with my family in Jamaica, the Island of sunny skies and warm people, I was able to leave behind our hectic work and home life. So between eating the speciality dishes, climbing the falls of Dunn River; swimming with Dolphins, Sharks and Stingrays at Dolphin Cove and Bobsledding in Mystic Mountain, I read. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The story of Henrietta Lacks is both disturbing and comforting. Disturbing in the unsettled nature of the acquisition of her cells and comforting in the contribution her cells have made and continue to make to advances in science. "HeLa" the name of Henreitta Lacks' cells which continue to live and multiply well after her death in 1951 were vital in the development of the polio vaccine, gene mapping and helped in developing drugs for influenza, Parkinson's disease and continues to aid cancer research and all other medical research.

Henreitta Lack's stories raises for me yet another question regarding our assets and the extent to which we can control the distribution of them during and after our lifetime. Contact us at with your estate planning, elder law and probate questions.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Legacy of a Nation

This was shared with me so I pass it along to my blog colleagues, friends and family!

Go to this website and enter the amount you paid in Federal Taxes in 2010. See your “tax receipt” for how your tax dollars were spent. Be sure to “expand all” to see the detail in each category. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the receipt to see your share of the federal debt.

For many Americans, the amount they pay in taxes is larger than any purchase they make during the year, but studies show they know almost nothing about where that money goes to. An electorate unschooled in basic budget facts is a major obstacle to controlling the nation’s deficit, not to mention addressing a host of economic and social problems. This website suggests that everyone who files a tax return receive a “taxpayer receipt.” This receipt would tell them to the penny what their taxes paid for based on the amount they paid in federal income taxes and FICA. It’s truly enlightening.

Contact us for your estate planning, probate and elder law needs at

Monday, April 18, 2011

Who's Gonna Take Care of Fido?

Many people make plans with a friend or relative regarding the care of their pet after they die. However, a sure way to make sure your pet is covered is to make the pet's care a part of your Will. Even though a pet is legally considered property, you can leave money for your pet in a trust. You bequeath money into a trust with your pet as the beneficiary and a trustee named. A caregiver for your pet is also named. The trustee could be a friend or a relative or an institution willing to serve. Make sure all your loved ones are covered in the event of your death. Contact us at for elder law, probate and estate planning needs.

Friday, April 15, 2011

To Be or Not To Be, That is Your Decision!!

You can dictate whether you want to be on life support. If your condition is terminal without any hope of recovery because you are in a permenant state of unconsciousness or in a vegetative state, your Living Will can speak for you. The Living Will is the fourth important document of your estate plan. It is also referred to has your Advance Healthcare Directive. You can let your family as well as medical professionals know your preference for life-sustaining treatment. Plan for those important decisions in your life. Contact our offices at We can help you with Probate, Estate Planning and Elder Law.

For the Love of a Friend

"HEARTS FOR JAYLA" continues to garner lots of support but can always use more. Since her eye inquiry in 2009, Jayla has endured numerous surgury with the most recent one, April 13th. She is a phenomenal child with the spirit of a winner no matter what. You got to love her!!

There are a lot of people in her corner as demonstated by this most recent article. Her friend, Brett Hoffman (11 years old), is making a difference with his jewelry design for Jayla (10 years old). My marathon run could only have happened with the energy obtained from the charities I represented.

Contact us for your continued support of our charitable endeavors.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Business Succession Planning

Whether you are a mega corporation or a Mom and Pop operation, business succession planning is critical. Do not let your business go down the tubes because you fail to anticipate the next generation of business ownership. There are many scenarios a business owner may want to consider. The primary ones are: (1) Your children will inherit AND run the business. Have you talked to your children about their interest? Are they currently involved? Do they care about the business? Are some children more involved or interested than others? Take the time to answer these questions and plan accordingly. (2) Your children will inherit BUT others will run the business. Do you have an agreement in place with current or potential partners of your business? What are the expectations upon your death or your disability? How would your family be compensated for their interest in the business should you die? Take the time to answer these questions and plan accordingly. (3) You have a Key Employee or potential third party purchaser. Do you want to retire from the business and reap the benefits of your labor. Take the time to answer these questions and plan accordingly. Contact us at for expert assistance with businses succession planning and other estate planning, probate and elder law needs.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Death of a Salesman

A young man was standing at the Pearly Gates wondering whether he would be allowed in. Just as he was about to turn away, the gate slowly opened and he cautiously stepped in. Before he could go further, a voice spoke clearly and loudly to him. "Are your affairs in order?" The voice asked. "I have no affairs to get in order" was the young man's reply. "Think again" said the voice. So the young man sat and pondered. "Ah ha", he exclaimed. "I hope my wife knows where the insurance policies are. I want to make sure the kids use the money I left for their college education. Who will take care of those payments I have been making for my mother's home care? What did I do with that special collection of baseball cards? They have really increased in value." "Young man you have some unfinished business. Now go back and get it done!" Right at that moment, the young man woke up. What a dream he thought. That day, he got his affairs in order. Unlike a dream, there is no second chance in death. Do not let it be too late for you to get your affairs in order. Contact us today at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Why You Need A Will

There is a pervasive belief that estate planning is only for those with wealth. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Most people own some type of property, whether it is a family home or bank account and most people have loved ones, children and spouse, that they want to take care of. Without a will, the state gets to decide how to distribute this property at death according to the state's intestacy laws. These laws generally leave the property to the surviving spouse and/or children. The problem with state intestacy laws, however, is that they are based on blood relation. They do not take into account the fact that many Americans have non-traditional families. For example, if a person has been married more than once with children and step-children from each marriage, has a civil union, domestic partnership or wishes to leave property to an unrelated person, then the intestacy laws will not carry out their final wishes. By preparing a basic will, an individual gets to control how their property is distributed. If they want to leave money to charity or create a trust to take care of a pet, they can do that. If they own a family business they want to see carried on rather than broken up, they can do that too with the right estate planning tools. There are many other things that can be done through estate planning. Contact us at

Friday, April 1, 2011

Selling The Family Home, Oh My!!

We have a combination of rain and snow this morning, the first day of April. April showers bring May flowers. What does April snow bring? Well, let's wait and see. There are some things we have no control over. There are many that we do but we fail to act on them. I am in the middle of an estate matter with lots of family disharmony. We have a home that clearly needs to be sold but there was no Will providing those instructions. Since the 5 beneficiaries can not agree on selling the home, the court appointed Administrator will have to Petition the court to sell the property. More money coming out of the estate to pay the expense of filing the petition. In addition, since there was no Will and the beneficiaries did not agree on which one of them should be the Administrator, the court interceded and appointed its own Administrator, more money coming out of the estate. AND the only money that the estate has will be what comes from the sale of the house. SO, it appears that not only will the home no longer be in the family. The beneficiaries will get much less than they anticipated. We do have control in managing some things but only if we act while we can. Got a Will, if not contact us at for estate planning, probate and elder laws matters.