Legal Preventative Maintenance

Lawyers are not only for people involved in controversy or for the wealthy.  This is a complicated world in which we live.  We need advice and input from a variety of people to take care of our needs.  We regularly employ doctors, insurance agents, tax advisors/preparers, accountants, auto mechanics, computer experts, even car-buyers and others as a part of our team of people to help us deal with the everyday issues of our lives.  A most important part of your team is your lawyer who can help you make informed decisions, save you money through negotiation, street smarts, tax planning or the like, create options, guard against fraud and help you get what you want.  Most of all, your lawyer provides comfort in your knowing that you and your family are well represented in a world that is often unpredictable and hard to understand. The following is a handy checklist of the types of matters on which the average person or family frequently consults a lawyer.  Think of it as a “semi-annual checkup.”



  • TAX – if you have a taxable estate, there is a lot of money which you may give to Uncle Sam when you don’t have to.
  • PROBATE – you can avoid the time and expense of probate by planning ahead.
  • INTESTATE SUCCESSION – If you don’t have a will, the law will dictate where your money goes.  In multiple marriage families, this could prove to be a problem.
  • SPECIFIC REQUESTS – who gets your great grandma’s candlesticks?  Your memorabilia collection?  The dog or cat?
  • TRUSTEES – who is best suited to manage your money that you will leave to your minor heirs?  Is it the same person you want to care for them or should someone else be their guardian?  Are your heirs able to handle the money without advice from a trustee?  Will they be at age 30, 40 or 50?
  • GUARDIANS – who is best suited to raise your children?  Is it the same person you leave to handle the money, or another person(s)?
  • PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES – who should handle the winding up of your affairs when you die?
  • COMMON DISASTER – you may be able to avoid a double estate situation.
  • LIFE INSURANCE POLICY PAYEES – coordinate with your will and financial plan.
  • LIVING WILL – establish or disconnect life support?  You must direct in writing specifically as the law requires.
  • DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY – if you are incapable, who will run your business affairs, write checks, deal with creditors, etc.?
  • MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY – who makes your medical decisions if you are not able to do so?  What if your children need medical care when you are out of town?
  • OTHER POWER OF ATTORNEY – to close real estate deals, handle assets.


  • HOME – protect your biggest asset, whether purchase or sale.
  • TITLE POLICY – if title to your property was a bundle of sticks, which sticks are missing from the bundle that you are buying?  How do they hamper or devalue your interests?
  • LEASING – leasing your property to best economic advantage and with the best posture if legal issues arise.
  • WRAP LOANS / ASSUMPTIONS / SUBJECT TO – there is danger whenever you take on someone else’s loans and relationships!  Don’t be squeezed by parties without having any leverage.


  • LIMITED LIABILITY – the name of the game.  Don’t bet all your assets on any venture.
  • ALTER-EGO – dangers of form over substance.
  • RECORD KEEPING – lack of same can cost you.
  • TAX LIABILITY – be smart, take advantage of what the law allows.
  • PARTNER AGREEMENTS – the time to make them is when the bloom is still on the rose.
  • EMPLOYEE ISSUES – protect yourself from those who wish to set you up for a fall; non competes, confidentiality clauses:  when, and when not, to sign.
  • TAX BENEFITS – it cannot be mentioned enough.  Know what can be used to your advantage.


  • GIFT TO MINORS – don’t create taxable events, e.g. parents giving down payments.
  • PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT – for young and old alike.
  • SEPARATION – asset- and people-planning.
  • CHILD SUPPORT – there is no more important subject and time is always of the essence.

PERSONAL INJURY – Negotiate for yourself and lose money!  Don’t talk with the insurer until you talk with your lawyer!


  • HOMESTEAD – protection is available.
  • NEGOTIATION – there is always room to save money with a comprehensive settlement.
  • ASSET PLANNING – if times get bad.
  • ANTI-DEFICIENCY – you may not have to pay for a shortfall on your mortgage if your home is sold from under you.

DEBT COLLECTION Lawyers’ demands get attention.

GOVERNMENT BENEFITS – help through the maze.

BUSINESS, INVESTMENT COUNSEL – obtain over 35 years of experience with a phone call.

BUSINESS BUYING/SELLING – fraught with perils and issues.  Make informed choices.

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ARIZONA - 14500 N. Northsight Blvd. Suite 101 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Phone 480-991-9077 Fax 480-443-8854
NEW YORK - 525 Chestnut Street, Suite 203 Cedarhurst, NY 11516 Phone 516-596-8366 Fax 480-443-8854