Being an Executor can be tough. Even when things look simple, odds are they are not. Here's a quick run down on some of the most common mistakes executors make. Please note, these may seem to go against common sense ... because they often do. [caption id="attachment_1509" align="alignleft" width="3...

This is from a friend who was an attorney who once did a fair amount of estate planning in the late ‘90s in the Greater New York City area. Stick around for the punchline: “I had a client who owned brownstones in Manhattan and apartment complexes in Brooklyn and Queens. Neat guy – French aris...

If you've been reading our blog for any length of time, you know that precious little of what happens in Probate Court is private. Look at it this way, it it was we wouldn't have enough material for one blog, never mind dozens. [caption id="attachment_1507" align="alignleft" width="300"] (Photo cre...

You probably know what your house is worth at any given time. Your 401k, pension plan, bank accounts, are all easy to value, you can find them on-line in a matter of minutes. But what about personal items, especially items that we think might be valuable but are entirely dependent on the marketplace...

It occurs to us that we write an awful lot about problems in probate, trusts, administration, executorships and much more. That's probably because it's a lot easier to learn from mistakes than the flawless execution of a document. As an old law professor of mine once said, casebooks are hardly fille...

Litchfield is a beautiful town in the Central Hills of Connecticut. It's sits on top of one of those hills, a New England town green is the center of town, brick and stone buildings line part of the six roads that cross in its center, white colonials and bright Victorian homes line the others. The ...

Over the last few months we've written a lot about conditions that slow the probate process down. Considerably. We've picked on the Prince estate, but only because it's continuously in the news and serves as a perfect example for a lot of what can go wrong. But, things don't always have to go wrong ...

A lot of estates are comprised of businesses that still have to operate while the probate court does its work. And more than a few of those estates are the estates of the owner and sole decision maker of that business. That complicates matters. As it has been since the unfortunate death of Prince ea...

We've come to the finale of our worst case scenario of undue influence. One case, from Massachusetts in the early 1990's that was in actuality a step by step guide on how it happens and how it is handled in the courts. We pick up this week with Lawrence's death in late 1993. His live-in 'caretaker'...

Last week we started our 'worst case scenario' post. The story of Lawrence Moretti and his lifelong friend, Rita Casoni, and the close knit neighborhood that is Boston's North End. When we left them last week, Lawrence, in his late seventies, had begun to suffer some health problems. Rita pitched i...

Sometimes the best way to understand a complex situation is to look at the worst case scenario. You know, the scenario where every possible thing that can go wrong - intentionally or accidentally - does go wrong. So, about undue influence. Here's a summary of what may well be the most egregious exam...

'Dead Hand' is not the title of one of next season's Walking Dead episodes. It is a term used to describe certain clauses in some wills and trusts. From the Beastie Boys to the great playwrights Eugene O'Neill and Edward Albee, to Franz Kafka, to parents worried about the spending habits of their a...

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