The ACE Blog

Six Months And ……… Counting

September 2020 Between March and September, while the world struggled to deal with a pandemic, an economic shut down, protests, hurricanes, and now unprecedented fires throughout California, my client had his own personal struggle, not with any of these, but with aging. He does not have any family. He had named me as his agent…
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Joy Invites Practice: Practice Makes Perfect

(Revised and Republished from The Fifth Chapter Blog, original date 8/8/12) This blog article was written back when we had sports and Olympics. At a time, not so very long ago when we could measure the progress of a day by something other than how many millions of people in the world have tested positive…
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What Is Your Legacy?

(Republished from The Fifth Chapter Blog, original date 10/29/11) I have finished my Saturday chores. A practice that still evokes my mother busily catching up on cleaning after a week of full time work, and prodding me to do the same. She always told me her mother said, “Do your duties before you play” so I could…
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Brain Teasers or The Smell Test?

(Republished from The Fifth Chapter Blog, original date 10/28/11) There is a lot of research about brain function these days. No cure looming on the horizon, but some interesting possibilities that can either help stave off or detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. With our bounding border collies in tow we recently attended the Walk to End…
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When A Family Feud Needs An Umpire

(Republished from The Fifth Chapter Blog, original date 10/20/11) A family in conflict is not a pretty sight. Before you know it, a family can begin litigation over the family jewels; the family dog; or most often control of assets. It can get ugly very quickly. Litigation squanders family resources, but sometimes it is inevitable.…
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Small Boxes Have The Best Surprises!

It’s the time of year when some of the best surprises come in small packages. When we received that first check from an escrow company, I thought it was a mistake. We spoke with the escrow officer and she said, “There is no mistake. This check was directed to go to The ACE Fiduciary Group…
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Story Slam – The Ex-Nun

It was a chain-smoking ex-nun who taught me what my job required. More than the law firm, more than the fiduciary classes, she taught me that my job is often as “midwife into heaven”. She was one of the first “orphan elders” I helped as trustee and health agent. She taught me that an educated…
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Mark Shaw


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