Unreachable Joint Account Makes Applicant Ineligible for Medicaid

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 43 Paul (that’s not his real name) needed long-term care. His health and his mental capability had both declined, and he could no longer handle his personal affairs nor take care of himself. Paul’s assets included a car (titled in his and his daughter’s names) and three Bank of […]

Durable Powers of Attorney: “Springing” or “Surviving”?

NOVEMBER 7, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 42 For over four decades, Arizona law has permitted residents to create powers of attorney that continue to be valid even after the signer becomes incapacitated. That simple concept, once thought to be radical, has become widespread: all U.S. states now permit powers of attorney to be “durable.” To […]

Undue Influence and Limited Capacity Do Not Necessarily Justify Conservatorship

OCTOBER 31, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 41 In our legal practice, we frequently deal with individuals with limited capacity. Sometimes we speak of them being “incapacitated” or “incompetent.” Sometimes they are “disabled,” or qualify as “vulnerable adults,” or are subject to “undue influence.” But each of those terms means something specific, and some variations even […]

Challenge to Will Leads to Further Problems for Stepson

OCTOBER 24, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 40 We often tell clients that they should think twice (or perhaps thrice) before challenging a will. It is difficult to prevail in a will contest, but there are also other problems. The will in question might have a provision that completely disinherits anyone challenging their reduced share. There […]

Arizona Appellate Decision Addresses Interesting Parentage Question

OCTOBER 17, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 39 Kelly and Sam are a married couple. They want to have a child, but cannot do so together, so they agree that Kelly will undergo artificial insemination. The process is successful, and Kelly delivers a beautiful baby boy, Edward. Does Sam have any duty to support Edward? If […]

Trust Decanting Used to Implement Special Needs Provisions

OCTOBER 10, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 38 Let’s say that your mother wants to leave an inheritance for your son (let’s call him Daniel), but that Daniel is a minor. How can she arrange his inheritance? By putting it in trust, of course. Pretty commonly, Daniel’s trust might continue until he is 21, or 25, […]

Young Man’s Father Secures Guardianship After Summer Visit

OCTOBER 3, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 37 Sometimes a legal proceeding in another state can help illustrate the procedures in your own state — because they are different. A guardianship case in Georgia last week is a good example. Melvin Peters (not his real name) is twenty-one years old, and he lives with his father […]

Special Needs Trust Pays Substantial Legal Fees in Dispute

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 36 Questions often arise about what kinds of payments may, or should, be made from a trust. When the trust is a “special needs” trust, the questions sometimes can be even more pointed — the purpose of a special needs trust, after all, is usually to provide for supplemental […]

Public Fiduciary Offices in Arizona

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 35 When an individual living in Arizona becomes incapacitated, or needs financial protection because of diminishing capacity, a family member, friend or private professional fiduciary might be appointed to act as guardian (of the person) or conservator (of the estate). But what if there is no one available to […]

When You Might Want to Open an ABLE Act Account

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 34 Now that ABLE Act programs have been set up in several states, you might wonder if it’s time for you to set up an account for yourself or a family member with a disability. How can you figure out whether ABLE is right for you? We’ll try to […]

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