Monday Thoughts

8.31.09

August is almost over and here comes September, a typically beautiful month in New England! I will be in San Francisco for most of the month though starting September 9 so you all will have to tell me just how beautiful it was.

Government Runs Business Better Than Private Management?

I read an interesting article last week in a magazine called Washington Monthly, which I found out mostly leans liberal. One article inside made the point that when government takes over a business, they often do a better job than the previous private management. Of course I had to read this and found most interestingly, that the author makes and debunks his own point in his own words! I won’t get into it now because I plan to make my analysis of this article more thorough, but in summary, he says that when governments run a business, they learn just how awful their rules and regulations over that business are and are forced to change them in order to save the business – basically, it’s the charge often leveled at government when it tries to run something – people who often have no business experience make the rules and end up killing competition to the detriment of all. I will cover this article more later this week but find it timely in this current environment with “Government Motors” (GM) and the health care debate.

Legal Documents Go Stale?

On a personal financial note, I have been focusing on informing people about updating their legal paperwork. Apparently, in some instances (depending on the financial institution), some companies are not honoring an executed Power of Attorney document if it is more than a few years old. This problem of documents growing “stale” was addressed at the Massachusetts update of Probate Laws July 1. According to an attorney friend (John Hope in Watertown, MA) the state particularly addressed this issue because of the problems people have had with companies. John informed me that if a company doesn’t accept a document, then one must often sue the company to accept it – which of course adds to one’s legal bills. It’s a good idea to update one’s legal documents so it may be a good idea to visit with an estate planning attorney to make sure your estate plan is what you want.

Also understand – if you don’t have an estate plan, then the state has one for you. There are laws in place to handle cases where a person dies without proper estate planning. If you don’t like the state’s plan then you might want to consider having one of your own.

It’s Fall Farm Season

I was up in Maine last week (continuing my super busy August) and visited clients who have 4 acres in a quiet town near the New Hampshire border. On the drive up, on one particular road, I drove about 10-15 miles and passed NO OTHER cars. It was beautiful driving through lakes, hills, and forest on a bright sunny day. it’s route 25 in Maine and I recommend it on quiet Thursdays in the summer!

Anyway, my clients have a nice garden on their property and they gave me some potatoes they had grown (they were also growing sunflowers, pumpkins, butternut & acorn squash, tomatoes etc). and I brought those home, boiled them with some broccoli and farm-fresh corn and wow was that delicious. If you’re up in New England this fall, get yourself some corn, blueberries, apples, pumpkins etc. So good! And visit Maine – just a beautiful state that is as large as the other 5 New England states combined (I think at least!).

Ok that’s it for me today – enjoy your Monday – I am off to Rhode Island today for a meeting.

Chris Grande