Undue Influence: How to Spot When Assistance crosses the Line

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Undue Influence: How to Spot When Assistance crosses the Line
Posted on: April 23rd, 2013
By: Hallie Zobel, Esq.

Everyone has influence in their life. Influence is the ability to effect someone’s character and behavior. When raising children, a parent’s influence is generally positive. Parents choose their child’s clothing, diet, social environment, residence, education and entertainment.

So, what is undue influence? This type of negative influence involves a person taking a position of power over another person. To put it into perspective, ...

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Poor Man’s Probate is Usually Poorly Planned

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Poor Man’s Probate is Usually Poorly Planned
Posted on: June 29th, 2012
By: Hallie Zobel, Esq.

People often ask what seems to be the usual recurring question, “Do I really need a will?” After I ask a few questions about their circumstances, I usually discover that they have already done something about their estate plan. Unfortunately, this generally means that a non-attorney gave them legal advice and misleading direction. They’ve engaged in a course of action in which some call a ...

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Attention Florida Residents: Change in Power of Attorney Law

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Attention Florida Residents: Change in Power of Attorney Law
Posted on: October 2nd, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Just when you thought you had your estate planning documents in order, there sneaks up a drastic change in the power of attorney law. A durable power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to act on your behalf. You are the principal and the person you appoint is the agent. Effective ...

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Who Will Raise Hope?

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Who Will Raise Hope?
Posted on: March 27th, 2011
By: Hallie Zobel, Esq.

There is a corny television show named Raising Hope. It is about a twenty-something young man named Jimmy who is raising his daughter Hope because her mother was executed for a crime she committed. I am embarrassed to say that I watch it on occasion because it follows Glee. That is a whole other story. Anyway, Jimmy lives with his mother, Virginia, father, Bert, grandmother and daughter Hope. ...

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It (Still) Takes a Village for Special Needs Children

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It (Still) Takes a Village for Special Needs Children
Posted on: March 16th, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Back in 1996 Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us,” was published. No political figure can write anything without it stirring up partisan controversy, but this post isn’t being written for political purposes, so we’re going to set aside any conversation of her overt agenda in writing the book as well ...

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Grief Smells Like Orange Blossoms

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Grief Smells Like Orange Blossoms
Posted on: March 13th, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Smell invokes memory unlike any other sense. The treacly-sweet aroma of Florida springtime clobbers me with grief every March. Enveloped in the cloying perfume of citrus in bloom, I flash to my senior year of high school when Megan McCabe died. Megan was thoughtful and smart and funny and pretty, and a member of the rowing team with me. A group of us ...

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So You Want to Present a National Webinar?

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So You Want to Present a National Webinar?
Posted on: January 6th, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Congratulations! You’ve been asked to present with a group of experts on a webinar that will have people from across the country listening? Here are some helpful hints that I learned from my recent experience.

I was invited by WealthCounsel™ to be a panelist with Lew Dymond, Peter Parenti, and Paul Bernstein to discuss the new tax laws that Congress ...

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Hey, what about a Living Will?

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Hey, what about a Living Will?
Posted on: October 22nd, 2010
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Recently, I watched the season premiere of “Brothers and Sisters.” It was packed with legal issues, pertinent to the type law I practice. You know the show, the strong matriarch, Sally Fields, at the head of the whiny family known as the Walkers. It takes place one year after the horrible automobile accident that occurred at the cliffhanger last May.

Last season left ...

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Death Arbitrage: Should I Pull the Plug Today? There’s No Estate Tax.

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Death Arbitrage: Should I Pull the Plug Today? There’s No Estate Tax.
Posted on: January 10th, 2010
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

I’m angry. I’m disheartened, dismayed, and disgusted. But mostly, I’m angry.

One of my peers today asked me if I am advising clients to remove life support from their loved ones – their RICH loved ones – quick, right now, before Congress acts to bring back the estate tax.

Because, depending on the nature of the ...

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