Here’s a Project For You: Write Your Own Obituary

APRIL 14, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 14 I have a new aspiration. I want my obituary to appear (at the appropriate time, of course — not before) in someone’s blog, newsletter, book or other publication as “one of the best obituaries ever” — maybe even to “go viral.” I’m just not sure I can count […]

Do-It-Yourself Will May Not Save Costs After All

APRIL 7, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 13 From time to time we devote our weekly newsletter to a story about estate planning gone wrong — often (but not always) because of an individual’s decision to forego the help of a lawyer in drafting a will or trust. Lawyers also make mistakes, of course, but they […]

Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship, or Community Property?

MARCH 24, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 12 Which is better? How should we take title to our house? How about our brokerage account? These questions are really common in our practice. The answer is actually pretty straightforward, but we do need to lay a little groundwork. Arizona is a community property state. That means that […]

Tax Tips for Those Caring for a Child with Special Needs

MARCH 17, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 11 We last wrote about income tax issues associated with providing care and support for relatives two years ago — just before tax filing time. Since we’re just a month away from tax time 2014, it’s a good time to review and update. What’s changed since our 2012 newsletter […]

Same-Sex Married Couples Should Pay Attention to Income Taxes

MARCH 10, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 10 Income tax filing season is upon us, and so it’s an appropriate time to turn our attention to what’s new (or little-known) in the income tax world. We’re particularly interested, of course, in income tax issues that affect our clients, who usually are more interested in estate and […]

Agent On Power of Attorney is Personally Liable for Legal Fees

MARCH 3, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 9 Let’s say that Billy signs a power of attorney, naming his friend Joyce as his agent. Later Billy becomes incapacitated, and his agent needs legal advice about her rights and responsibilities. Who will pay for their legal advice? Generally speaking, you are not supposed to have to spend […]

The iWill — Might It Be the Future of Probate and Estate Planning?

FEBRUARY 24, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 8 News reached us this month of a November, 2013, probate court order in Australia admitting an unusual will to probate, and it made us wonder if we should anticipate a digital future for estate planning. An Australian probate decision would have to be pretty unusual to get noticed […]

Trust for Surviving Spouse Leads to Dispute With Stepchildren

FEBRUARY 17, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 7 When Albert Findlay (not his real name) died in 2002, he left a trust for the benefit of his wife Sharon. Sharon was named as trustee, and the trust document directed that she was to receive “the entire net income” from the trust for the rest of her […]

More Definitions for Estate Planning Terms

FEBRUARY 10, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 6 Last week we gave you short definitions of some common estate planning terms, like “will” (and “pourover will”), “trust” (including both “living” and “testamentary” trust), “grantor trust” and more. This week we want to continue that project with another batch of common terms: Durable power of attorney — […]

Definitions For Common Estate Planning Terms

FEBRUARY 3, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 5 Judging from the questions we field online and from clients, there is a lot of confusion about some of the basic terms commonly used in estate planning. We thought maybe we could do a service (and make our own explanations a little easier) by collecting some of the […]

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