MA Wills and Trusts in Plain English is the online home of Joel Bernstein a Lexington, MA attorney with a sole focus on estate planning with wills and trusts. And handling wills and trusts after a person has passed - we're mentioned in a 100+ year old law book for this type of work.
Because of my focus, sometimes a person wants me to explain to them what their current estate planning documents mean. (They tell me the previous attorney didn't explain them clearly enough and they haven't heard from that attorney since the day they signed them.)
Unlike most law firms, we write to clients at least twice every year - asking if meaningful changes have affected them or their family members and thus their estate planning needs. So their estate planning can be kept up to date. We've done this for almost 24 years - it sets us apart.
By the way - about 6 am each morning with a cup of coffee in hand - I continue to study this subject. Because it's a complicated field.
And I read like this each morning because the more law I know, the better I can explain it to clients.
In addition, I teach the topic to other professionals. Again, to sharpen my communication skills.
I've focused in this area, having done 2500+ estate plans (wills and trusts) over 24 years.
And I've modernized the traditional will and trust documents to get rid of old-fashioned, confusing legalese - making the language much easier to understand.
After a death we know how to handle wills and trusts, to make the difficult time in life easier. The classic treatise, Loring and Rounds: A Trustee's Handbook, notes our office for our ground-breaking work in this field. The book has been updated since 1898 and is well-known in the field.
Our legal documents are:
What our clients say...
Joel Bernstein interviewed on television, explaining wills and trusts in plain English, August, 2016
We aim to give clients plain English documents and letters - by editing our work until we get to the core meaning.
We read, and listen to, the experts:
From Legal Writing in Plain English, Bryan A. Garner (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2001) makes these suggestions. He recommends replacing the legalism with the plain English in documents and letters.
ADDITIONAL PLAIN ENGLISH INFORMATION
These oil paintings are available from NYC artist Bennett Horowitz, a high school friend of mine. (c) Bennett H. Horowitz, 2016. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like him, I strive for both clarity and beauty in my work.
And a little bit of humor (with permission from the New Yorker)
"Now read me the part again where I disinherit everybody."