Choosing a Personal Representative for Your Estate

Have you decided who you should name as personal representative of your estate (and successor trustee of your trust, and agent under your financial and health care powers of attorney)? Make sure you’ve chosen wisely. Consider what can go wrong, as described this week in the Wills, Trusts and Estates Professor’s Blog.

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Financial Exploitation Case Leads to Judgment, Disinheritance

MARCH 2, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 9 We hear variations on this same story once every week or so. Dad (it might be Mom, or Aunt Bridget, or a long-time family friend) seemed to be adrift after his wife (her husband, her long-time companion) died. Then he met this woman who moved in with him […]

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Nursing Home Resident’s Lawyer Did Nothing Wrong

FEBRUARY 23, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 8 From time to time we report on cases in which lawyers are disciplined for behavior involving clients who are older or have disabilities. We do that not out of any sense of schadenfreude, but because the behavior described in the disciplinary proceeding is illustrative of an important limitation […]

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Court Rejects Challenge to Living Trust After Settlor’s Death

FEBRUARY 16, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 7 Jessica Waltham (not her real name) died tragically in 2012, when her home south of Tucson burned down. She left a small estate, three sons and a bubbling dispute over the validity of her living trust. Jessica had first signed a living trust in 2000. She titled her […]

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Medicare Savings Programs: QMB, SLMB, QI, QDWI and Extra Help

FEBRUARY 9, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 6 Health care programs for the elderly, the poor and the disabled can be complicated and confusing. We frequently find that clients are unclear about the differences — in eligibility and in coverage — between Medicare and Medicaid, for instance. Add in the fact that Arizona calls its Medicaid […]

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Top Ten Reasons to Skip the Living Trust and Sign a Will Instead

FEBRUARY 2, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 5 Last week we suggested some of the reasons why you might think about having a revocable living trust as part of your estate planning documents. This week we’ll try to turn it around, and give you ten reasons why you might prefer to have a will (“just” a […]

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Top Ten Reasons You Might Want a Trust, Rather Than Just a Will

JANUARY 26, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 4 Do you need a living trust? Even with an estate tax threshold of over $5 million (and double that, for most married couples)? That is the primary question posed by most of our estate planning clients. For years the answer depended mostly on the size of your estate. […]

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“No-Contest” Clause in Trust Can Be As Effective As Will Provision

JANUARY 19, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 3 When we prepare wills and/or trusts for our clients, they often ask if they should include a “no-contest” provision. Typically, they want us to add language that would penalize anyone who challenges the validity of their estate planning documents. Are such provisions effective, or even permitted? We explain […]

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New Tax-Related Numbers for 2015

JANUARY 12, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 2 Welcome to 2015! Who thought we’d ever make it? The Internal Revenue Service did, that’s who. They’ve busily updated numbers for the upcoming year; most of the new numbers have actually been known for a couple months. Once you get used to writing “2015” every time, we have […]

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Forgot to Make New Year’s Resolutions? We Can Help

JANUARY 5, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 1 First we’d like to apologize for not getting this to you last week. We know how hard you were working to prepare some good New Year’s Resolutions. You wanted some that you could actually count on satisfying, that would really be beneficial, and that would make you sound […]

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