Sunday - April 14, 2024

Your Responsibilities for Paying Credit Card Debt as Trustee

August 24th, 2015

By Liza Weiman Hanks NABBW’s Estate Planning Associate Dear Liza,  My father passed away recently, and all of his and my mom’s assets are held in a living trust (except an individual checking account), of which I am now the Trustee.  A few collection agencies are now contacting me about collecting on some credit card balances, which are fairly significant.   From what I’ve read online, it sounds like debt collectors might not be able to lay any claims against the trust, but they can collect from the personal estate of the deceased (i.e. checking account or other assets held in the... Read More

Time for Not Being Selfish

September 15th, 2006

He had that look. That look that he was busy, rich and important. I could tell from the moment I walked into the plane that he thought he should be flying alone and certainly not in coach. He glared as each passenger walked down the aisle. We mere mortals were apparently holding him up from something important. I was inclined to give the man the benefit of the doubt. After all, I\’ve had bad days and bad flights. As I tried to stuff my briefcase into the overhead compartment, I tossed some light joke across the aisle to break the tension. While one gentleman got up to help me, the oh-so-important... Read More

Commercial Leasing From the Landlord\’s Perspective

July 1st, 2006

The terms of the lease will bind the parties for a considerable period of time and it is important, therefore, to carefully draft the lease up front. Also, often times, when the lease term is coming to an end and the parties want to negotiate an extension of the lease term, landlords are tempted to just amend the lease time and time again to extend the term. Certainly that is the quickest method to keep the lease going, but after a series of amendments, the underlying (original lease) may be 10 years or older. It may well be time to engage counsel, reevaluate the lease, and be sure it meets current-day... Read More

Home Buyers: Did You Know You\’re In The Real Estate Business?

June 1st, 2006

When purchasing your first home, you viewed the home, submitted a contract, obtained financing, and attended closing. Four steps and you completed the most significant single acquisition of your life. Would you follow those same steps to acquire another home? With the second-and third-time buyer market consisting of $500,000-$700,000 (and greater) homes, I hope your answer is “No.” Like it or not, with such value, you are now in the “business” of real estate, and residential transactions should be completed with the same thoroughness as the acquisition of commercial property. Residential... Read More

Considerations Involved in the Sale of a Business

May 1st, 2006

Business owners find themselves pondering a sale of their business for many reasons. Sometimes, it is because they really had not considered or developed a secession plan and, as they near retirement, a sale of the business can be a good and profitable option. In other cases, a secession plan has been developed, but just doesn\’t work out. For instance, the owner\’s children or other principals of the business decide they wish to pursue a different career. Sales of businesses are also contemplated as a result of bids for the business from a competitor or larger company. You may ask,... Read More

How To Look For A Lawyer

April 1st, 2006

From Shakespeare to Jay Leno, lawyers are the subject jokes. According to the jokes, lawyers are unprincipled, lawyers over bill and lawyers too often tell clients what the client already knew. The truth is that some lawyers fall within this stereotypical characterization. Run away from these attorneys as fast as you can! There is another group of attorneys, however, who you need. These lawyers are advocates for you when you are in trouble, counselors for you when you have difficult decisions to make and experts who know the intricacies of the law. These lawyers are ones you should seek out and hire... Read More

The Smart Business Women\’s Quick-Start Guide to Competitive Intelligence

March 1st, 2006

If the term “competitive intelligence” is not familiar to you, you should learn about it right away. Competitive intelligence is a concept derived from the manufacturing industry and military strategy, two fields not traditionally associated with women. This concept is defined as “a systematic program for gathering and analyzing information about your competitors\’ activities and general business trends to further your own company\’s goals.” Larry Kahaner, Competitive Intelligence (Simon & Schuster 1996) p. 16. Although the terminology may not be familiar to most women,... Read More

Name Confusion

January 1st, 2006

I have known men to have names which generate confusion. One of the senior attorneys in my firm, a man named Leslie Stellman, has often been confused, sight unseen, for a woman. This means that when applying in 1968 to the Johns Hopkins University, he was informed that as a female, he was ineligible for admission. Only after he sent in a photo did the admissions people allow him entry into the university. Imbued with a passion for gender equality, he became an employment attorney and spent the past 30 years educating employers about the evils (not to mention the costs) of sex discrimination and... Read More

Women and Estate Planning: The Need to Be Nontraditional

December 1st, 2005

I am now getting to the age where I have more friends working on their second marriage than their first. Some of those still in their first marriages often have in-laws or grandchildren living with them. And I can\’t tell you how many families I know where the wife is the primary bread winner and the husband the primary caregiver. With the mixture and matches that come with families in this modern world, it is becoming almost unusual to find a traditional family. . Nevertheless, we women often view estate planning in a traditional way. Traditionally, the husband alone met with the attorney... Read More

Preparing for the Worst

November 1st, 2005

I remember my first Christmas tree as a married woman. Spending the holidays away from my childhood home, my husband and I braved shopping center parking lots in search of the perfect Christmas tree. The tree we bought was beautiful—for two days at least. Then needles began dropping from the tree because neither my husband nor I knew that you had to cut the bottom of the tree so that it could absorb water. As the fallen needles left bare branches, ornaments which were family heirlooms began to fall to the floor. Our first great tree adventure was a disaster. It was a disaster because I had forgotten... Read More