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Keeping it simple on my 20th Mother’s Day

To all the moms, soon-to-be moms, and grandmothers out there, I extend a very happy Mother’s Day to all of you! I’ve written about this before, but Mother’s Day is always extra-special for me.  Our older daughter, Hannah, was born the day after Mother’s Day in 1997.  This year she turns 21!  (Did I just write 21?!) It’s such a cliché, but it really does seem like just yesterday that she was singing along to Barney Read More

Naming Guardians for your Children: The 6 Steps to Do It Right—Part 1

One of your most important responsibilities as a parent is to select and legally document guardians for your children. This doesn’t mean just naming godparents or trusting the grandparents will step in if necessary. It means consciously deciding who would raise your children if you cannot. And then it means legally documenting your choices and making sure the people you’ve chosen know what to do if they’re ever Read More

Common Estate Planning Issues to Navigate Before a Second Marriage

These days, a second marriage (or even a third,) are fairly commonplace. And the estate planning issues that arise from multiple marriages can be highly complex and confusing. Merging two families into one presents unique legal and financial challenges that can cause significant conflict and distress unless effective estate planning has been put into place early on. Here are a few of the most common issues that Read More

As Your Kids Become “Adults,” Make Sure They Sign These Documents

With high school graduation coming up, many parents have and will soon watch their children become adults (at least in the eyes of the law) and leave home to pursue their education and career goals. Turning 18, graduating high school, and moving out is a huge accomplishment. And  it also comes with some serious responsibilities that probably aren’t at the forefront of their (or your) mind right now. Once your Read More

Tips for Ensuring Your Estate Plan Takes Good Care of your Pets

This is Louise. She's a redbone coon hound and she's my pet, but she's also my family. It’s sad, but unfortunately very true, that many furry family members, like Louise, end up in shelters after their owner dies or becomes incapacitated. In fact, the Humane Society estimates that between 100,00 to 500,000 pets are placed in shelters each year for exactly this reason, and a large number of these animals are Read More

Lessons learned from an Emergency: He Said

Back in January, my wife, Paula wrote about my holiday adventure with the emergency room (ER.)  In response to that email, I received an outpouring of ‘get well’ wishes from concerned clients.  When I started this firm (20 years ago this year,) I wanted to build a firm that valued client relationships, one where I would not only be a valuable resource to my clients, but someone to whom my clients could turn in times Read More

Same-Gender Couples Still Face Legal Challenges Over Parental Rights—But Protections Via Estate Planning (Outside of Adoption) Are Available

In 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that same-gender couples had the right to marry, the LGBTQ community celebrated a huge victory. With the issue of marriage settled, it looked as if same-gender couples were finally going to have equal standing with heterosexual couples in the eyes of the law. But while same-gender couples now have nearly all of the same matrimonial rights as heterosexual couples, there is one Read More

How Will the New Tax Law Affect Your Family?

President Trump signed the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill into law on December 22, 2017, and the law includes a number of historic changes to the federal tax code. However, the vast majority of the most dramatic changes are aimed at business taxation, not individual taxpayers. That said, there are several fairly significant changes to personal income tax laws, which we’ve highlighted below. But keep in mind, unlike Read More

Giving thanks, facing death, and other ways to increase happiness during life

Bhutan is an independent state in Southeast Asia, bordered by China to the north and India to the south.  Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan is the last remaining Buddhist state in the world. But one of the most unique aspects of Bhutanese government is the country’s use of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index to measure the society’s level of happiness. The country reports 91.2% of Bhutanese are narrowly, Read More

Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions- National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2017

I hope you've enjoyed National Estate Planning Awareness Week as much as we have! It's our mission to ensure that every child in the Commonwealth is protected -no matter what- and we appreciate you, area parents, for partnering with us in this mission, as you make educated, loving choices regarding estate planning for your family. To wrap up the week, I'd like to take a moment to summarize everything we've covered Read More