Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Not Too Late

It’s January already, and Pam and Tom are surprised to realize that they still do not have an estate plan. Like many parents, they wanted to see an attorney about doing a Will before the baby was born. 

All that pregnancy excitement and then baby milestones somehow flew by, and now their first baby is eleven and has two younger siblings.  So they are feeling a bit chagrined, but they decide to finally get this off their minds. 

When they mention their delay to the attorney, she explains the obvious – it is better to do it late than never.  In fact, most estate plans are done much later than originally intended.  A survey of attorneys revealed that the average “age” of an estate plan that clients bring in to review is 30 years, older than all of Pam and Tom’s kids combined. 

Fortunately, neither are dead nor disabled, so it is clearly not too late.  On the other hand, the 30-year average age of an estate means that their attorney should ask some questions about farther out in the future than Pam or Tom have probably considered.  After all, she can’t realistically assume that they’ll revisit their plan in less than 30 years.

Estate planning is future planning for our families and should be thought about regularly.  We suggest that each person review their estate plan with an attorney at least 10 times more often than average.  In plain English, that would be at least every three years.  To review yours, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.  ©2014 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jack Was Good Enough?

Jack had a close call with Charley, the ‘elf on the shelf’ at his mother’s house.  Charley does unexpected things and reports to Santa when those discovering his mischief behave badly. 

Charley sometimes hides things just to see if someone will slip up and give him something interesting to report to Santa. 

Jack hadn’t even noticed that Charley was already out at his mom’s house until he’d already found two copies of her Will right where he expected them, but still could not find the original. 

Not finding the original would be a problem because when no original Will is found and filed with the probate court after a death, the court presumes that the deceased person destroyed the Will in order to revoke it, unless it is proven otherwise. 

When Jack happened to spot Charley sitting in his favorite place on the clock over the fireplace mantel, he realized he simply had to behave properly long enough to stumble on the original Will.  Charley usually does not make his hiding places very tough. 

So once Jack realized the Will could be anywhere, not just where his mom would normally put it, Jack found the Will in the top drawer of his mom’s dresser rather than in the top drawer of her desk where she’d always kept it. 

Good thing Jack realized he should watch his manners and be patient – because Charley could have hidden it again in a better place and still reported on Jack to Santa. 

Here’s hoping that your own elves only hide what you are glad to lose and that your holidays are filled with love and fun for the whole family.  ©2012 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Over - For Real

This election season (the several years long that it was) has been tough on our country.  It might be fair to say that we are not sure we even like each other anymore. 

We have certainly heard much criticism of our politicians, neighbors, society, and government.  Of course, some of the criticism is well deserved, making it harder to hear. 

At Thanksgiving, perhaps we can change our perspective for a moment to remember some of the common treasures we have. 

It is so very easy to take our freedoms and democracy for granted.  We not only have the right to freely explain what we think is right or wrong, we also have the well-grounded expectation that our leaders will actually heed the ruling we citizens make at our voting booths. 

Perhaps they won’t fully understand the message we thought we were sending, but they will in fact leave office and take office based on who won or lost in the election.  Looking at Syria and other countries, we see that this is no small thing.

When we pause to reflect this Thanksgiving, noticing the absence of political ads at long last and the fine food, we can also appreciate at least one of the many treasures of our citizenship.  As we ourselves give thanks, we and our staff wish you a happy and appreciative Thanksgiving.  ©2012 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

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