Mark’s SuperLawyers Question

My partner Annette and I each get to answer one question of our choosing on the SuperLawyers website. (Yes, I know, its “Super Lawyers,” but I like writing it as one word anyway.) I’ve been on the SuperLawyers list since 2008 (thank you, SuperLawyers!), but this is the first time I’ve sat down to write an answer to a question. Annette’s question (and answer) are really good. She answers “Should I have a Special Needs Trust in Massachusetts for my disabled child?” Her answer is clear and concise. If you have a special needs child (even a grown up special needs child), and don’t have a special needs trust for him or her, you owe it to yourself to read her answer.

As for me, I fumbled around a lot, asking myself what would be a good question people could really use answers to, and where I could give that answer in a short writing and really deliver something valuable. I considered lots of topics that frequently impact people, like all the pros and cons of jointly held accounts and real estate, and how joint tenancies can go wrong. But I was looking for something I would not feel compelled to write an entire treatise on (which is almost everything, Annette can tell you), and something where I can give short, written advice on what to do once you have a problem, as opposed to “how do I avoid the problem in the first place?”

Anyway, a month ago I finally posted something. What I came up with is “What do I do if a bank, insurance company, brokerage house or another financial institution refuses to honor my mother or father’s Massachusetts Durable Power of Attorney?” I have to say my overall reaction is kind of “Meh.” It is all correct, but there is less advice I can give you about fixing the problem on your own than I would like. There is good advice there on avoiding the problem in the first place, however. But I may decide to replace the question with another one later this year. Feel free to email me with praise or criticism (nice criticism!).

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