Michael Jackson and Estate Planning

Yesterday we found a useful article on the Kiplinger web site, on the subject of legacy planning and retirement planning. Here’s the link:   Michael Jackson and Estate Planning

 Actually we found the link to Kiplinger’s on the Consumerist web site. 

The Consumerist

 The Consumerist has a useful discussion on estate planning we’d like to pass along. Here’s the link: 

Michael Jackson Trusts and Estates discussion 

Personally we like the Consumerist web site and use it for reliable information about products and services.

Thomas Moore

Office Manager

Moore Family Law

Plymouth, Minnesota

Thomas.Moore@MooreFamilyLawMN.com

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FIRST DIVORCE, THEN ESTATE PLAN? 

After your divorce, things will have changed, forever.  Your income, home, automobiles, leisure time, family routines, time with or without the children; and how you feel about all this – will never be the same.  You may also have some hurts and real psychic damage to heal. 

 MOST DIVORCES…

Most divorces involve a full measure of unpleasant expense, conflict, and emotion.  Planning your estate, which contemplates your own personal demise; can also be fraught with negativity.  So why would anyone in their right mind want to do first one, then the other?  I would reason that because of and in spite of these traumas, this may be the very best time to plan your estate, your legacy

 FIRST,  EAT A BULLFROG

I’m returning here to a theme that has occurred to me in the course of our trusts and estates practice and our family law practice:  “Eat a bullfrog the first thing in the morning and everything else all day will taste delicious!”  <Author unknown.> My point is, you will have gone through a lot in your divorce.  It has no doubt strengthened you to take this necessary difficult step.  Now may be the time to use your strength and understanding to clean up the loose ends, start afresh, and look to the future.  Post divorce may be the best time of all for planning your estate.  There are a myriad of new legal tools for incapacity planning, wealth transfer planning and beneficiary protection.  I can only hint at what tools are available, but here they are.

 TOOLS THAT HELP PLAN YOUR ESTATE

You can use a revocable living trust to protect your assets.  An enhanced health care directive empowers individuals to carry out your medical decisions.  HIPAA authorization ensures family access to your health care information.

Your last will and testament or a beneficiary designation provide for the transfer of wealth.  

You can safeguard your family by establishing a beneficiary protection plan to designate guardians for your children, provide them child-rearing instructions.  You can establish trusts to protect beneficiaries by safeguarding their inheritance from excessive taxation, creditors and predators.  

 Thomas Moore

Moore Family Law, P.A.

 (763) 951-7330

Thomas.Moore@MooreFamilyLawMN.com

 www.MooreFamilyLawMN.com

Death and Divorce are Traumatic

 

OK, here you are seeking a divorce, or planning for the death or disability of yourself or a loved one.  You seek out an attorney to handle the divorce, trust or estate.  This is an emotionally charged time for you and your family.  We understand.  Many family law clients are angry, often but not always justifiably so.  Divorce, child custody, child support, property settlement, and alimony are hard topics.  So are probating a will, drawing up a will, crafting the estate plan you want for yourself or your loved one.  No wonder people get angry!

 

 

Not every good lawyer gets every client mad, but a really good lawyer can actually get you more annoyed, not less!  Why?  Because they’re good, that’s why. How do I know?  Look, I’m only the office manager at a small family law firm.  But I have survived a divorce, I’ve taken people to court over civil matters, and I‘m the fly on the wall when the lawyers in the office make legal decisions. 

 

 

What I notice is a lot of difficult communication.  We have attorneys because the law is complex, changing and can be unpredictable in its outcomes.   The law has been around for centuries — and it shows!

 

There are rules and regulations and laws the ordinary person cannot be expected to know about and who can be expected to have a difficult time grasping.  There are doctrines in the law that are so much a part of everything that lawyers and courts do that it can be a culture shock to you, the client, when you find out about them.  For instance in Minnesota family court fairness – not victory — is the point of the proceedings.  Family courts in Minnesota are a really bad place to get revenge.  You can get justice regarding your divorce, alimony, child support, child custody, the division of marriage property, yes; but these are based upon fairness to all parties concerned, especially the children.  You cannot expect the court to base their decisions solely upon your case and especially not on your feelings.  The courts and the laws are required to balance the needs of all parties concerned.

 

 

What a Real Divorce or Trusts and Estates Lawsuit is NOT!

 

If a lawyer is really good, she or he will do things you never thought possible, necessary, or sufficient for your case.  Let me break this down.  First, here are a few examples of what will not happen:

 

*             A real case is not heard in a courtroom resembling “Judge Judy,”

“Law and Order” or “Boston Legal.”  Emotions don’t win cases. Facts, a winning strategy, and understanding and applying the law wins your case.

*             You won’t see someone on the other side break down and jump up

shouting from the witness chair, “Yes, I did it!  I did it!  I lied, lied about everything and I’m glad do you hear me, glad!!!”  Nope, that’

s not going to happen. 

  

*             A real case, especially one in Minnesota regarding family law

(divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, etc.) or one involving trusts and estate (Trusts, estate planning, probate, legacy planning,

etc.)  – is most probably not a celebrity case.  It will not involve a phalanx of attorneys on either side and it will not involve a barn full of evidence and a courtroom full of perky, quirky and technical expert witnesses who work in those really futuristic crime labs like you see on

CSI:  Miami!.

 

*             Your case, with a good lawyer, will probably involve fewer

witnesses, fewer exhibits and less time and emotion, and quite possibly

more money, than you think necessary.   

 

 What a Competent, Caring Family Law or Trusts and Estates Attorney Will Do

 

How come?  Well, here are some examples of what I think a good lawyer would do.

 

*             A good attorney will bear in mind where he or she is practicing

law.  We practice law in Minnesota.  Not only does that involve knowing Minnesota law, it involves knowing what judges here tend to like, and dislike, what the case law is, what juries like, and dislike, and so on.

 

For instance, Hennepin county juries do not usually award large dollar settlements for anything.  

 

*             A good attorney will charge you what they are worth, because a

good attorney has to pay for research, computers, office staff, think time, writing time, and so on.  You get what you pay for.  This does not mean your bill will be astronomical, but it also does not mean you want to retain the cheapest attorney, or that you can make a decision based on hourly rates alone.

 

 

*             A good attorney will carefully craft a strategy and tactics for

the case that will not only be designed to bring you justice but will also be designed to bring you the justice you can afford.  Let me be clear – you may be able to get a settlement more favorable than might ordinarily be expected, but doing so will almost certainly cost you more time, anguish, money, and work than if you get a good, but not astronomical settlement – one you can afford to pay for.

 

 

*             A good attorney who knows the family law and probate courts here

in Minnesota, will present the most telling argument, the most telling strategy, the most telling evidence, in your case.  She or he will not necessarily present all of the evidence you have helped gather and paid your attorney to gather.  Courts do not necessarily need to hear the same conclusion propped up in all sorts of different ways.  The courts are usually most impressed by a tight, cogent and brief argument which they can assume is your best argument.

 

 *            A good attorney won’t just throw affidavits, evidence, and

arguments at your case.  She or he will work to get the sharpest, most relevant argument winnowed out of the mass of emotions and data and paperwork involved.  

 

I hope you have found this informative.  I’m Tom Moore, the office manager at Moore Family Law.  You can reach us at:

 

 

 

Moore Family Law, P.A.

www.MooreFamilyLawMN.com <http://www.moorefamilylawmn.com/>

 

3350 Annapolis Lane North, Suite C

Plymouth, MN  55447

(763) 951-7330

 

mfl@MooreFamilyLawMN.com <mailto:mfl@MooreFamilyLawMN.com>

 

A Community of Trust

Moore Family Law works hard and long and carefully to build a community of trust with you, the Court, and the opposing party.  Trust is based upon:

  • Achieving results:  In some cases it’s necessary to give in on small points in order to prevail on large ones.  Sometimes you must accept temporary hardships in order to achieve the best results later on.  We work on your case under your direction; based on a strategy and a legal theory designed to do you justice in whatever conflict or problem you are involved in:  divorce, child custody battle, alimony and support payments. We will explain to you what we are doing and why and we will help you past the rough patches and complexities.

 

In our estate planning practice, we are versed in the powerful techniques of incapacity planning, wealth transfer planning and beneficiary protection. We are equipped to deal with the most straightforward estate plan as well as complex legacy planning involving the handicapped, a blended family, your will, trusts, durable powers of attorney and health care directives.  It’s a new and complex world in estate planning and we are well equipped to guide you through life’s transitions.

  

  • Acting with integrity:  If we cannot help you we will say so.  If what you want from us is not possible for us to deliver, we will tell you.  We will also work to provide you the best family law and estate planning legal advice of which we are capable.

 

  • Caring:  We know that you, our client, may be upset, angry and hurt; and justifiably so.  Sometimes it’s all rough patches.  We know that.  We also know that what works best is the careful application to your case of a ‘tough love’ attitude combined with an application of our knowledge of family law and estate law, our skills in litigation, our ability to work hard and our ability to work smart in advocating for your family’s future.

 

  • Communicating bad news as well as good:  Family law especially is built on concepts of equity and concern for the children involved.  This may mean that you get less than or different from what you want and even from what you actually need.  We will not hide this from you.  We will also work to achieve the best outcome practicable for you and yours.

 

Prevailing in your family law case, no matter how difficult; or drawing up the estate planning documents you need, no matter how complex; depends on establishing a community of trust between us.  We are confident we will prove worthy of that trust.

 

Plymouth Minnesota Attorney Firm

Welcome to the Moore Family Law blog. I’m Tom Moore, the Office Manager here at our offices in Plymouth, MN.  I’d like to write briefly on something important for our practice of family law dealing with divorce, custody, alimony and support; and also to our estate planning practice dealing with wills, trusts, estates, and legacy planning.  My thanks to “Professional Legal Management Week” magazine for the articles which inspired this post.

Efficiency
You may never meet me in person, but the important result of the work I do for you is that Moore Family Law can always provide superior legal advice and that we can do so at the lowest practicable cost to you.

As Office Manger, my job is to handle the business side of the firm – finances, computer systems, paying the bills. This helps ensure that our attorneys, Jennifer Moore and Emily Matson, have the time and energy to focus on what they do best – representing you and our other clients at a difficult time. Since Jennifer and Emily are not interrupted by the details of the business, they are more able to focus on the strategy, legal issues, and details of your case.

Thank you!
I plan to post weekly to the Moore Family Law blog. We hope that by providing some relevant behind-the-scenes information on the practice of family law and estate planning law, you will come to better understand how and why we do what we do the way we do. It’s all part of advocating your family’s future.

Welcome to the Moore Family Law blog and the new web page www.moorefamilylawMN.com and to our new trusts and estates line of business.  Our web site is up and working.

Thank you!  Please feel free to contact us at Moore Family Law