Lawyers Continue Battle After Guardianship Dismissal

MAY 23, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 20 It will come as no surprise to anyone who has been involved in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings: the legal fees and related costs can often spiral out of control. Though most guardianship proceedings do not cost tens of thousands of dollars, some do. In fact, the battle can […]

Notarized Will Fails for Lack of Witnesses

MAY 16, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 19 Frankly, we are surprised by the number of cases we see in which wills are improperly prepared or signed. The rules governing wills are not really that complicated, and it should be pretty straightforward to comply with them. The cases we see mostly involve people who want to […]

“Right of Survivorship” Terminated by Co-Owner Unilaterally

MAY 9, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 18 First, a short primer on “joint tenancy with right of survivorship”: In Arizona, there are two main ways that two or more people can own property together (assuming they are not married). One choice is for the owners to be “tenants in common.” The other is to be […]

Guardianship / Conservatorship Petition Backfires on Son Who Exploited Mother

MAY 2, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 17 When a litigant asks the court for particular relief, lawyers call the request a “prayer.” It isn’t always as spiritual or respectful as that sounds, but it does give us a chance to offer good generalized legal — and life — advice: be careful what you pray for. […]

Murder-Suicide Case Leads to Complex Probate Claim Analysis

APRIL 25, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 16 It was a horrible, tragic story. In June, 2012, Phoenix resident James Butwin killed his wife and three children, drove the family car to a remote area in the desert, set the car on fire and killed himself. News stories soon revealed that the couple were enmeshed in […]

The Difference Between an Heir and a Beneficiary

APRIL 18, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 15 Your estate is simple, your family relationships clear, your intentions easy to understand. Why can’t you just write your own will, and save the legal fees? Because of Esther Hill, that’s why. Actually, that’s not her real name — we change the names of most of the people […]

Not Every Confused Senior Needs a Guardian or Conservator

APRIL 11, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 14 It is unusual to see an appellate court decision overturning an order appointing a guardian (of the person) or conservator (of the estate). Judges tend to be protective about elderly people showing even a little evidence of mental decline — often to the point of paternalism. It was […]

Intestate Succession Rules Can Be Tricky to Apply

APRIL 4, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 13 March was “Write-a-Will” month (sometimes referred to as “Why a Will” month). Though we’ve never understood the difference, August will be “Make a Will” month again this and every year.  In the United Kingdom, every March and October are “Free Wills” months. Or is it April?Or is that […]

Dispute Between Special Needs Trustee and Beneficiary’s Family

MARCH 28, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 12 A recent case from the Alaska Supreme Court addresses special needs trusts. It doesn’t break any legal ground (the decision actually focuses on an entirely procedural issue), but it does give us a chance to talk about common problems arising in the administration of such trusts. “T.V.”, then […]

You Have a Trust — Now You Need a Beneficiary Designation

MARCH 21, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 11 You have decided to create a revocable living trust, naming your oldest daughter as successor trustee. Your trust directs that, upon your death, $10,000 is to go to each of your grandchildren, $50,000 to the Good Intentions charity, and everything else will be divided equally among your three […]

©2016 Fleming & Curti, PLC
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