Planning for Life

Getting Together Later in Life? Put Your Intentions in Writing

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 13, 2021

Harry S. Margolis


When couples marry or move in together when they’re young, they probably don’t need a prenuptial agreement or anything in writing about how they will share expenses and what will happen if they go their separate ways. They probably have little in savings or other assets and what they do accumulate, they will do so together.

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Topics: second marriage, prenuptial agreement

Should You Use a Lawyer or LegalZoom for Your Estate Plan?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 20, 2014

While the goals of attorneys and their clients are supposed to be aligned, often they are not—or at least not completely. I've been thinking about what this means in the field of estate planning and how we can better serve our clients.To lay the groundwork, here are the premises I'm working with:

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Topics: long-term care planning, Estate Planning, second marriage

All Senior Marriages Need Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 27, 2012


By Harry S. Margolis

For a long list of reasons, we recommend that all seniors contemplating marriage enter into a prenuptial agreement. Such agreements don't just govern what would happen to their property and income in the event of divorce, but also who is responsible for various living expenses, including maintenance of insurance, and what will happen to each spouse's property upon their death.

While men and women getting married at a younger age often have little or no assets to begin with and create an estate and family together, older newlyweds are more likely bring with them both children and property accumulated over a lifetime of work and saving — often, in partnership with a predeceased spouse. Without planning, assets can easily end up paying for a new spouse's long-term care or pass to the family of the surviving spouse, rather than to the children and grandchildren of the first spouse who passes away.

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Topics: long-term care planning, MassHealth, Estate Planning, second marriage

What Can Jim Morrison’s Simple Will Teach Us About Estate Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 29, 2012

By Jeffrey A. Bloom

It’s a bit of ancient history, but Jim Morrison’s will highlights a misunderstanding in estate planning that is still common today—what happens to the balance of a bequest when the beneficiary dies. The Doors lead singer’s will provided that his entire estate would pass to his girlfriend Pamela Courson, provided she survived him by three months. If she didn’t, then his property would instead pass to his brother and sister. Well, his girlfriend did survive Morrison by three months, but by less than three years. And when she died in 1974, Morrison’s property all passed to the girlfriend’s parents–- not to his parents or brother and sister.

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Topics: Estate Planning, second marriage

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