"Et Tu, Brute"

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“Et Tu, Brute?” Three short Latin words, with heavy meaning behind them. The phrase translated means, “and you, Brutus?” and it’s a famous, or rather infamous line from William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Roman dictator Julius Caesar utters his shock, and his last words, to his dear friend Marcus Junius Brutus as he is assassinated by the last person on earth he ever fathomed to betray him. He is stabbed in the back, literally in this case, by his closest companion. The phrase is used now to signify when someone you love unexpectedly double crosses you. It’s really hard to imagine someone you care about forsaking you at your most vulnerable hour, when there is no one left but those whom you’ve entrusted everything to. Unfortunately, this does happen, and though it’s a heinous thought, and a place we don’t want to ever go in our minds, it’s wise to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. No one should ever be a victim to the cold treachery felt by Caesar in his last moments.

A more modern, but just as utterly despicable, case of betrayal is the case of Janet and William Powers from Fort Myers, Florida. They bought a home in the city where their son was living with the agreed upon expectations that when they could no longer live independently they would move into the mother-in-law suite and they would comfortably live out their remaining years. The couple assigned their son power of attorney and gave him access to their finances. He sold their previous home and the $72,000 dollars was supposed to be used to remodel the mother-in-law suite at the new house, and was meant to be a final income for the parents. Court documents filed with the Lee County Court tell a different story.

The elderly couple’s son, Ryan Powers, wasted away the $72,000 along with his mother’s social security to buy pizza, rent movies and pay his cell phone bill! Not only that, but he left both parents in a nursing home and refused to pay the bill! The disloyalty and deception didn’t end there. When his father died, Ryan Powers neglected to pay the funeral home and he left his dad’s body to rot, unclaimed for 90 days. His body finally was picked up by Lee County and he was cremated at taxpayer expense. Thankfully there was some justice served, and Ryan was found guilty of four first-degree counts of exploitation involving an elderly person. He was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

The story of the Powers family is a cautionary tale. Janet and William entrusted their money, their safety and their lives into the hands of their own flesh and blood and were still discarded like trash and robbed. When deciding upon a power of attorney, you obviously rule out non-relatives, you rule out anyone who has had past issues with finances, anyone who may hold a grudge against you or even someone else in your family, but, just to be safe, it’s wise to examine even those closest to you. It’s hard to tell what evil some may harbor in their hearts, but if there is even an inkling of doubt, it may be safer to assign such an important job to someone else. It is absolutely imperative you plan out your last days thoughtfully in order to avoid the Judas Kiss, instead, spending your time in comfort, knowing you’re in safe hands. At Layman, D’Atri and Associates, LLC we make it our job to ensure none of our clients ever wind up in a situation such as the case of the Powers, a true Shakespearean tragedy. 

For more information please visit our website, or give us a call. www.laymandatri.com 330-493-8833

Be prepared for whatever life throws your way

We have all seen the movies centering on a death; a sobbing, grieving widow, bereaved children and an attorney sit in an office. Before us, on the silver screen, the drama over the estate, and the inheritance ensue, tearing the family apart. While these types of movies might entertain us, leaving your own family with such a dilemma is not a pleasant thought. Estate planning may seem morbid, or perhaps uncomfortable to one that is blessed enough to currently be in excellent physical health, but it is actually one of the greatest gifts you can do and give to your children, or whomever you leave behind that loved you. One of the ways you can alleviate the pain, before leaving your family behind, is considering a power of attorney.

     In the tragic event you become ill, or incapacitated in any way, and you did not happen to plan ahead by assigning a power of attorney, your family and loved ones are left to decide major decisions for you, either medically or financially. In good times, most families get along wonderfully, they can easily agree upon things together as a unit, but sadly, in situations rife with stress, grief, and despair, it is sometimes difficult to think critically and clearly. That is where your power of attorney comes in, and relieves the doubt brought on by debilitating illness or worse.

     Choosing a POA is a daunting and important task. There are medical POAs and there are financial POAs. You can choose to use the same person for both, or you can decide to assign two separate people to each job. Your medical POA will, when the time comes, if it comes, make medical decisions for you if you cannot on your own. Your financial POA will be in charge of your money, allocating it where they deem fit, based, of course, on your best interests. That is why, when choosing, it is best not to assign anyone who may have had financial struggles of their own in the past. Nor should you plan on a POA who may hold any sort of grudge against any one of your family members.

     If your medical POA and your financial POA are two different people, it is a good idea to pick individuals who will manage to get along and be able and willing to work together. Sometimes your medical POA may need your financial POA to sign documents and disperse money owed on doctor’s bills. While all these arrangements may seem overwhelming, we here at Laymen D’Atri and Associates strive to make everything as easy and comfortable as possible. We can help to ensure, no matter what, you will be in the loving hands of those who have your best interests at heart and will be capable of making the right decisions for you. At any time, anything can happen. For the sake of your family, and your own sake, isn’t it wise to be prepared for whatever life throws your way? We think so, and we would be happy to assist in the various routes you can take to protect both you and your loved ones. Luckily life is not like the movies, we seek to be grounded in reality, and the reality is, looking out for what matters most is our utmost priority here at Laymen D’Atri and Associates.

Contact Us Today!

At Layman D'Atri & Associates, we are devoted to working with our clients to help them determine their long-term personal financial goals. We also work with our clients in building their estate assets with a view to minimizing tax liabilities. Protecting wealth for your loved ones and yourself is equally important to us, that is why we are here to help you.  We focus on a broad range of integrated and comprehensive personal services for the firm’s individual clients, families, and businesses. Contact us today and we will help you take the first step to something bigger.

Why You Should Consider A Trust

A powerful trust starts with documentation drafted with care. That is where Layman D'Atri & Associates come in, a qualified attorney with an understanding of your specific situation as well as current federal and state laws. 

1.) Pass wealth efficiently and privately to your heirs.

2.) Preserve assets for heirs and favorite charities.

3. ) Reduce estate taxes for married couples.

4.) Gain control over the distribution of your assets.

5.) Ensure that your retirement assets are distributed as you’ve planned.

6.) Keep assets in your family.

Let us go deeper into this topic, contact us today! 

What is a business plan?

When you get down to it, a business plan is just a guide. A map for your business that shows your goals and goes over how you plan to achieve those goals.

Business plans don't have to be a long drawn out document. In fact, they should be short and concise. 

If you have a big, detailed, and ongoing business plan that never seems to end, then no one is going to want to read it! We wouldn't want that.
An Excessively long business plan is a big pain to handle, you want to be able to refine this over time.

We offer the following services:

  • Review of governing documents to ensure they are current, properly coordinated and comply with state law;
  • Prepare notices and minutes of required meetings;
  • Assist with re-titling and transfer of assets into the entity;
  • Regularly update governing documents to incorporate new business strategies, changes in family and financial circumstances and improved legal language;
  • Annually review corporate documents; and
  • Assist with titling of newly acquired business assets