THE LAST WORD

By Tim Barkley. November 2021. It was a bright and airy day a quarter-century ago when a mild-mannered young reporter for the Mt. Airy News purchased the paper from her employer. A reporter was transmogrified into an editor, a newspaper’s name was changed, and the...

PROBATE AVOIDED

By Tim Barkley. October 2021. We all sat down, appropriately distanced at opposite ends of the conference table. They began: “Our folks both died earlier this year, and we’re trying to sort things out. We really don’t know where to start.” “Sorry to hear,” responded...

POWERLESS

By Tim Barkley. September 2021. “I don’t need a power of attorney. My spouse and I own everything jointly.” “My daughter is on all my accounts, so I don’t need a power of attorney.” “I’m not letting anybody take control over me! I’m not signing that paper!” “I don’t...

PROBATE AVOIDANCE ON A BUDGET

By Tim Barkley. August 2021. We shook hands and sat down. “Now, if I understood you correctly when you called to set the appointment, you are here to talk about wills.” “Well,” ventured the husband, “wills or trusts – I’m not sure what we need. We hear a lot about...

TO TRUST… OR NOT

By Tim Barkley. July 2021. “Do I need a living trust? I’ve heard a lot about them, and my brother said I need to get one. He has one, and he says it helps avoid probate. What is probate, anyway?” A living trust is a useful tool for many situations, but is not needed...

PROBATE: THE GOOD, THE BAD …

By Tim Barkley. June 2021. Probate. The word has achieved a Dickensian notoriety conjuring up greedy lawyers, helpless widows and children, and unscrupulous creditors. The avoidance of probate is now a cottage industry, carried on in the back offices of lawyers and...