Planning Potpourri


House Closings.

Perhaps for the first time in memory banks have reneged on funding mortgage commitments they have approved. Buyers should protect themselves by having real estate counsel address this risk in the mortgage contingency clause in purchase contracts. Thanks to Kenneth J. Gould, Esq. White Plains, NY.


Legal Fees for Docs.

There's a website where docs can go to see what legal fees should cost for such "standard" legal work as reviewing an employment agreement. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Someone should set up a website telling you what surgery should cost. How about doing it the good old fashion way. Get references to find a lawyer who is reputable and skilled in the expertise you need. Then pay them hourly for the amount of work that is necessary to help you accomplish your goals. If you want to control costs there are real ways to do that (and looking at numbers on a website is not on the list!). Try these steps: 1) Vet the attorney before you hire; 2) Ask what can be done to control costs and do it; 3) Review detailed bills to monitor the process; 4) Cooperate and stay focused to minimize meeting and other controllable time; and 5) Do your homework. Inform your attorney of the business aspects of the deals, your goals, etc. Make concise lists. No attorney can know the intricacies of a particular practice, or the dynamics of the deal until informed. The real measure of the "cost" of obtaining legal help is not just the upfront cost, it's the results over the course of the deal. A cheap price up front can easily be outweighed by the costs of litigation on a sloppy deal later. Didn't mom warn you about being "penny wise and pound foolish"? While all this may be obvious, remember that millions of patients run to their physicians asking for the "purple pill".  People love simple answers. If life were only so simple…..


Care Taker Contracts.

The home health aide hired to take care of gramps also took care of herself by becoming a primary heir. While this might sound like a TV script, its really for a reality show, and its no uncommon. Gramps may well become attached to his caregiver. Once the caretaker is in gramps house it's tough to manage the situation. Your efforts to protect gramps from a manipulative caretaker might be viewed by him as a lack of caring.  Have an elder law or family law specialist address the issues head on in the initial employment agreement before the caretaker starts. Thanks to Pravin J.  Philip of

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