For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

Getting Legal Documents Signed During COVID — A Reason To Not Go It Alone

Wills, trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney, and legal guardian nominations are on many of our hearts and minds as COVID-19 compels us to face our own fragility and mortality. It’s not as if we didn’t know we would all die (or become incapacitated) one day, but within our current reality, that “one day” […]

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Online Wills? When You Should, When You Shouldn’t and Where to Do It

With all of the media about “digital wills” and “online estate planning” it could be tempting to think you can do your estate planning yourself, online. And, maybe you can. But, if you do, you need to know the potential pitfalls. Online estate planning could be a big trap for the unwary and actually leave […]

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How to Plan a “Pet Trust” to Protect Your Pet After Your Death

In my previous article, I talked about what to take into consideration when you’re planning for your pet’s care, in the event of your incapacity or your death. This week, I’m going to give you the steps to take in creating a pet trust to provide for your companion animal, or animals, if you cannot […]

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False Security: Is Your Will Legally Valid?

A last will and testament can ensure your wishes are respected when you die. But if your will isn’t legally valid, those wishes might not actually be carried out, and instead the laws of “intestate succession” would apply, meaning that the state decides who gets your stuff, and it’s very likely not to be who […]

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Buyer Beware: The Hidden Dangers of DIY Estate Planning—Part 2

Last week, we shared the first part of this series on the dangers of do-it-yourself estate planning. Here, we’ll look at how online legal documents can even put your minor children at risk. Given how far web-based technology has evolved, you might think online legal document services like LegalZoom® and WillsandTrusts.com have advanced to the […]

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Buyer Beware: The Hidden Dangers of DIY Estate Planning—Part 1

Do a Google search for “online estate planning documents,” and you’ll find dozens of different websites. From Legal Zoom® and Willing.com to Rocket Lawyer® and Willandtrust.com, these do-it-yourself (DIY) planning services might seem like an enticing bargain. The sites let you complete and print out just about any kind of planning document you can think […]

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Who Will Be Emani’s Legal Guardian After the Death of Her Dad?

In the aftermath of rapper Nipsey Hussle’s murder this March, his family and ex-girlfriend have been locked in a bitter battle for custody of one of his young children. And as this ugly drama plays out in the courtroom and tabloids, it highlights the single-most costly estate-planning mistake a parent can make. Hussle, 34, whose […]

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Estate Planning Concerns For Married, Same-Gender Couples

Now that same-gender couples can legally marry in all 50 states, more Americans than ever before are enjoying the rights and benefits that come with marriage. Estate planning, in particular, is one arena where these new rights and benefits are readily apparent. With marriage equality, same-gender couples no longer have to pay exorbitant amounts of […]

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The Real Cost To Your Family of Failed Estate Planning: Not Updating Your Plan

This is the fourth in an ongoing series of NLBM articles discussing the true costs and consequences of failed estate planning. The series highlights a few of the most common—and costly—planning mistakes we encounter with clients. If the series exposes any potential gaps or weak spots in your plan, meet with us, your neighborhood Personal […]

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The Real Cost To Your Family: Having No Estate Plan At All

This is the third in an ongoing series of NLBM articles discussing the true costs and consequences of failed estate planning. The series highlights a few of the most common—and costly—planning mistakes we encounter with clients. If the series exposes any potential gaps or weak spots in your plan, meet with a Personal Family Lawyer […]

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The Real Cost To Your Family: Relying On A Will Alone

This is the second in an ongoing series of NLBM articles discussing the true costs and consequences of failed estate planning. The series highlights a few of the most common—and costly—planning mistakes we encounter with clients. If the series exposes any potential gaps or weak spots in your plan, meet with a Personal Family Lawyer® […]

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