Entries by George Fox

The Rules of Stuff

He had adult children from his first marriage. He and his second wife had a great marriage for fifteen years. She was in her 70s when he suddenly died. Very sad.  Even sadder: when she returned home from the funeral, she found his children had backed their cars up to the house, opened the trunks, […]

Brotherly Shoves and Business Agreements.

This sorry story deals with three brothers but it applies to anyone who’s an owner with others in a privately-held business. Corporation? General or limited partnership? LLC? Percentage of an oil well? Mineral rights? Doesn’t matter.  (“Not us.” “We would never disagree.” “We never fight.” “We’re family.” “We’re all on the same page.” Hah. We’ve […]

A Joint Will Is Not A Bargain BOGO

Two for the price of one is irresistible. The proverbial “Buy One, Get One Free” (compressed these days into the acronym “BOGO”) is a pretty good deal: buy the 2-liter bottle, get a second one at no cost. Some people figure that idea applies to legal documents, too: “If I don’t have to get two […]

Asset Protection ABC’s: They Won’t Protect Themselves.

Lawsuits are filed for all sorts of reasons. Some are justified, some are frivolous and meant to shake down a settlement. Unexpected things also happen, and sometimes they lead to suits. And people who are perceived as having assets are easy targets to blame . . . and sue. So how do you hedge the […]

Fish, Yodels, and Why You Can’t Always Beat Probate.

Remember “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  But teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  So said Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism. Not quite as wise: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to yodel and you make him […]

A Few Seconds on Minutes.

Minutes are required by law. Sure, there are no Minutes Marshals who will come arrest you if you don’t do Minutes for your business. But there are consequences, and it’s not worth avoiding your doing Minutes. Note for the uninitiated: Minutes go into a Minute Book, which is not what you use to teach a […]

A Gift from the New Tax Act: Kill that Trust.

The new Tax Act makes one thing a lot simpler: you can be left alone when your spouse dies.  You won’t have to ask for something from, and you don’t have to answer to, someone supposedly on your side (i.e., a trustee). In other words: you don’t need a trust for any estate tax savings […]

The Not-Very-Subtle Thanksgiving Placemat.

Have a placemat for Thursday? Just print this out. And while your Loved One is waiting for the platter to work its way down the table, he or she will get some not-very-subtle hints about a matter they refuse to discuss with you but which you’re very concerned about. It’s no joke. But in the spirit […]