Keep Peace in the Family

Would taking extra steps to establish a more thoughtful estate plan prevent the family battles so common these days? That’s the question addressed at a recent continuing education program I moderated. Ruth Dixon-Mueller, a sociologist and author of 2017’s fascinating Passing On: What’s Fair in Family Inheritance?, and Frederick Hertz, a Bay Area attorney and mediator, weighed in on the…

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Lawyer Explains Mediation

We all experience conflict. Often, when we can’t work it out, we turn to the courts. As a result, San Francisco courtrooms are overloaded with cases brought by people who are unable to solve their own problems. These people quickly find that litigation is stressful, expensive and time-consuming. While it is true that some cases can only be settled with…

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What are your rights as a stepparent?

In the United States, approximately 40 percent of all married couples with children are blended families. That means that in each of these households, at least one-half of the couple is helping to raise their spouse’s children. The question is often raised, what rights do step-parents have when it comes to their step-children, not only in their daily lives, but…

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What’s the best way to deal with combining families with kids in a second marriage?

Were you expecting a simple formula? If so — you’ll be disappointed! There IS NO simple formula. No one-size-fits-all. No quick fix. No magic wand. Blending two families with children into one new household is an important and often daunting task that takes great communication, compassion, and planning. What will the new rules be? How will expenses for the children…

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