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...

(DON’T) DO IT YOURSELF!

By Timothy Barkley. May 2021 You’re standing on a playing field, a ball in your hand, facing a crowd of burly guys running helter-skelter around the field. Some of them seem to be running at you. You weave and dodge. People are yelling and gesturing, and you...

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

By Tim Barkley. April 2021. The best-laid schemes of mice and men … The phone rings. “This is Tim Barkley.” “My dad just died and we found his will you drew up. It doesn’t look like he ever signed it. It says ‘DRAFT’ at the top. Can you check and see if he signed it?”...