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Recent Blog Posts

Balancing Life and Death

By Marlene S. Cooper |

Every few years national headlines are captured by news of a family caught in the throes of making difficult medical decisions. In the past we heard about Karen Quinlan and Terry Schaivo. In both cases the young women were kept alive for years by artificial means although they were in what is called “a… Read More »

The Informed Caregiver

By Marlene S. Cooper |

Did you know that we, humans, have added more years to our life expectancy in the past century than in all of history to this point? According to Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, most people living in the mid-1800s only lived to see their mid-30s. Today, the average life expectancy is 78. At this… Read More »

Great Expectations

By Marlene S. Cooper |

All of us have expectations, some great and some small, some of ourselves and some of others, some we verbalize and some we leave unspoken. They are in every relationship — from professional to familial to personal to romantic. Sometimes our expectations are met, making us feel happy and contented, like we’re “on the… Read More »

The Benefits of Hoarding

By Marlene S. Cooper |

The term “hoarding” has a negative connotation today. It conjures up visions of a house stacked to the ceiling with stuff, leaving only a little goat path for the occupant to get from one point to another. People hoard all sorts of things – papers, collectibles, food and even animals. Although a lot of… Read More »

Anatomy of a Living Trust

By Marlene S. Cooper |

A trust is simply a document that contains provisions whereby one person makes provision for someone to manage his or her property. There are several types of trusts in common usage. A trust can be characterized by whether its terms are revocable (subject to change or cancellation by the creator) or irrevocable (not subject… Read More »

An Estate Planning Primer

By Marlene S. Cooper |

Estate planning can be defined as the process of putting an individual’s financial affairs in order and telling their loved ones what’s important to them. The most important goals can be stated as follows: (1) maximize the individual’s enjoyment of his or her estate during his/her lifetime; (2) protect themselves, their loved ones, and… Read More »

The Pour Over Will

By Marlene S. Cooper |

James was a hardworking, middle-aged man with no wife, no serious love interests, and no biological children. His absolute “pride and joy” were his three God-children whom he loved as his own. So naturally, when James created his estate plan, he felt honored to leave everything to them. James’ father had divorced his mother… Read More »

The A-B Trust

By Marlene S. Cooper |

In the world of estate planning, many people have heard the term “A-B Trust”. The concept, however, can be misleading and difficult to understand. This article is an attempt to bring it down from the clouds. To start, consider the following example. Meet Bill and Carolyn, a couple in their late 60s who have… Read More »

Flexibility in Estate Planning

By Marlene S. Cooper |

“Mama, Dad’s been gone for two years now and you have lots of money in the bank; your home is paid for and your beat up car was paid for years ago; you should really go out and live it up! You deserve it! Buy a new car, go on some cruises, and visit… Read More »

The Special Administrator

By Marlene S. Cooper |

At 61, Dan was known throughout his community as a successful, active and fun loving person. He was a veteran, a college grad and all around good guy who loved people and loved his job — a small roofing business he’d started in his early 40s. He was in good shape and had a… Read More »

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