Getting Started

People generally avoid estate planning. Here, we discuss ways to find a lawyer, as well as newer options including virtual law offices and do-it-yourself planning, to hopefully motivate you to get started.

Last Week in Estate Planning (August 21 to August 27, 2011)

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One thing I enjoy about most of the top estate planning blogs is that they go to the trouble of citing others’ fine work.  In this week’s top 10 posts and articles, you will find several examples of this praiseworthy practice. Top Posts and Articles of the Week Post of the Week Be Mindful of…

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What’s Missing From This Trust? Not Knowing Could Cost You Thousands

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There are plenty of articles, books, blog posts, etc. that explain the benefits of hiring a lawyer to do your estate plan, rather than doing it yourself.  Similar articles, books, blog posts, and et ceteras also recommend that you hire a lawyer instead of using an online company. On the other hand, fewer resources explain…

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Professionalism Still Exists (Thank You David A. Shulman, Esq.)

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It is perhaps not very well known that the ethics rules for lawyers cover behavior not only during but also outside of working hours.  According to the Preamble of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct: [1] A lawyer is a representative of clients or a neutral third party, an officer of the legal system and…

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Interview: Middle-Aged Person Without an Estate Plan

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Let me open by quickly sharing a favorite joke:  “What’s the difference between ignorance and indifference? I don’t know and I don’t care.” If you have thus far avoided creating an estate plan, ignorance and indifference may be two big reasons why.  Read more...

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5 Reasons Digital Estate Planning Hasn’t Caught On … Yet

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I got a nice note from a Boston University graduate student several weeks ago asking me to address some of her questions about digital estate planning, which in turn triggered this post.  For a summary introduction on this topic, I humbly offer these posts (Digital Assets, Part I, Digital Assets, Part II, and Steps to…

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Last Week in Estate Planning (July 17 to July 23, 2011)

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One of my favorite passages in literature comes from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII, by poet John Donne, written in 1624:  Read more...

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“Hey Lawyer, Why Can’t My Will Just Be One Page Long?”

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OK, OK, OK, we’ve been sitting here for almost an hour and you’ve been asking me all kinds of questions about my family and my goals and my situation.  Why do you need all of this information? I need this information so that I can see what is most important to you, and to make…

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Last Week in Estate Planning (July 3 to July 9, 2011)

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In the previous “Last Week in Estate Planning” entries, I placed the “Post of the Week” at the bottom as a way of building suspense.  However, I have been advised that burying the lead in a blog post is perhaps imprudent. So now, the “Post of the Week” goes first, which is especially appropriate given…

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Last Week in Estate Planning (June 17 to June 25, 2011)

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While reviewing last week’s blogs and articles, imagine the fantastic surprise I got when I saw Julie Garber’s recent “Estate Planning Roundup” article on about.com blog commending this blog.  That’s really some compliment — I have always thought her blog is one of the best, especially in terms of timely information and readability.  She has…

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Estate Planning Post of the Week (May 27 to June 2, 2011)

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Introduction (or Why Do We Need an “Estate Planning Post of the Week”?) I have always found it interesting that when it comes to death planning, significantly more people view life insurance as a higher priority than estate planning.  Read more...

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