lawyer

A Big Problem With Fill-in-the-Blank Wills

Posted on 04/11/2014 by | Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIt’s tempting, I know. You’re trying to save money. You don’t have lots of property to leave to others. Your estate isn’t complicated. So you go to an office supply store, bookstore or online legal site, grab a standard will form and fill it in yourself. That’s what Ann Aldrich of Keystone Heights, Fla., did back in 2004. She left her property to her sister, Mary Jane Eaton, and added in a clause stating that if Eaton died before she …

An Unusual Challenge to an Actress’s Will

Posted on 02/11/2014 by | Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayImagine that you die after a long series of illnesses. Because you’ve been successful in your field and leave a considerable estate. You might expect a will challenge – sure. But from your former lawyer?  Now, that’s one weird situation. But that’s exactly what has happened with the estate of Julie Harris, the renowned actress who died late last summer. Back in 2009, Harris had fired long-time lawyer Herbert Nass, who was potentially the executor of her will.  Several months …

In $300 Million Estate, Lawyers Lose a Piece of the Action

Posted on 10/1/2013 by | Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayMost of us don’t have $300 million to leave behind when we pass on. But for those who do, it’s no surprise when there’s a fight over their wills. And when they leave most of their estate to charities and caretakers instead of family members? Bring on the trusts and estates lawyers. A couple of weeks ago, I told you about Huguette Clark, the New York City heiress who died after living for 20 years in a hospital room, treating …

Where There’s a Will There Isn’t Always a Way

Posted on 09/16/2013 by | Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayMost lawyers say, emphatically, that all older Americans — heck, all Americans, period — should have a will. But let’s face it: Even by the time they die, most people haven’t accumulated much in terms of an estate. So why do lawyers say a will is so important? Well, because a properly executed will helps survivors know what a deceased person wanted to do with his or her assets. Except when it doesn’t. Lack of clarity is especially a problem …

A Pianist Who Plays for Charity

Posted on 08/30/2013 by | Best Life | Comments

Bulletin Today | Your LifeWhat did you do this summer? Hit the beach? Visit the in-laws? Take the grandkids to Disney World? Ask Mark Damisch and the 57-year-old Chicago lawyer will tell you he spent five weeks on tour playing piano concerts in Scandinavia and Russia to raise money for worthy causes. Damisch’s exhausting schedule – 21 concerts in six countries  – isn’t for the faint of heart. But he’s a pro at marathon travel. (He was in Copenhagen, Denmark, when we spoke.) This …

Ronald Motley: The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco

Posted on 08/30/2013 by | Who's News | Comments

LegacyIf Ronald Lee Motley hadn’t existed, some novelist or screenwriter surely would have made him up: a high-powered, flamboyant attorney with a smooth-as-silk Southern drawl who fancied ostrich-skin cowboy boots and liked to sail on a 165-foot yacht named after Themis, the female Greek titan of law, whenever he wasn’t in a courtroom whacking corporate bigwigs around like so many piñatas. Motley, who died on Aug. 22 at age 68 in Charleston, S.C., was both so larger-than-life colorful and so effective …