I love practicing law in West Michigan because it puts me in touch with some really wonderful and humble people. You would feel the same way too if you had a chance to hear how a number of my clients discuss sharing their earthly belongings in their final statement -- their Trust or Will.
Some clients are shy, almost to the point of embarrassment, about how much money they want to leave to a cause, an organization, a family member or friend. For many of these clients, the amount of bequest won’t place their names on the scrolling credits of a PBS television special or play prominently in the annual report of a local foundation.
Hundreds of laws are passed by the Michigan Legislature each year on issues ranging from CPR instruction to morel mushroom hunting. It’s easy to assume that these new laws won’t have much impact on our lives.
In terms of sheer numbers, that attitude is understandable. For the past two sessions of the Legislature, more than 1,600 bills were introduced and more than 250 are passed annually. Because a majority of those bills are narrowly focused, we rely on the media to inform us about the few new laws dealing with hot button issues that impact us all.
Even though I visit court regularly as an attorney dealing with sensitive divorce and family law matters, I am still constantly surprised at how reckless some plaintiffs and defendants can be with their Facebook and other social media postings.
I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to cases on the docket just before mine and been stunned to hear the opposing side bring up some incriminating photo or statement that was posted on Facebook or another website for the world to see. Why hire a private detective to spy on a soon-to-be ex or a personal injury plaintiff when they sometimes serve up their own damning evidence on a silver platter?
With a firm belief that good planning makes events go smoothly, Martin wanted to determine and document how he wanted the last major event of his life to take place -- his funeral.
As he expected to celebrate his 89th birthday, Martin felt some urgency in getting everything planned, including the casket and funeral garments, the visitation, service at the church and music, luncheon and graveside ceremony.