Category Archives: Estate Planning

How is Arizona Community Property Transferred at Death?

Arizona is a community property state. With certain exceptions, all property owned by either spouse during the marriage is deemed the joint property of both. But when one spouse dies, does anyone but the other spouse have a right of inheritance? And if so, how is it determined? The answers depend on whether the community […]

Making a Charitable Gift Annuity a Part of Your Arizona Estate Plan

A charitable gift annuity is a fund-raising device — popular with colleges and other nonprofits — that allows donors to receive as well as give. If used wisely, this vehicle can shelter large amounts of income from taxes while still serving as an income source for years to come. An annuity is usually a contract […]

Special Needs Trusts Provide Extra Help for Loved Ones with Disabilities

If you have a relative with special needs such as a disabling injury or mental and physical limitations, you may wish to help them with their expenses by giving them financial support. However, Medicaid and other government benefits for those with special needs are available only to people with income below certain levels. Any assets […]

Using Your Living Will for Organ Donation Preferences

Most people know that you can use a living will to specify what life-sustaining measures you wish to be taken or withheld if you become brain-dead or permanently incapacitated. But did you know you can also use a living will to convey your preferences regarding organ donations? A living will is an optimal way to […]

How a Revocable Living Trust Can Avoid Probate in Arizona

When planning your estate, you should keep in mind that the decisions you make now may place responsibilities on your loved ones when you die. Your estate will be subject to probate, a process that can take several months or longer depending on the size of the estate, and it involves court fees, attorneys’ fees […]

Income-Only Trusts Can Help Obtain Medicaid for Long-Term Care

Perhaps the greatest myth of retirement planning is that you only need to worry about having enough income to take care of basic living expenses. Many a person has retired with a comfortable retirement “salary,” sourced from a 401k, Social Security, an IRA, and perhaps a pension, only to find themselves in financial ruin when […]

Make Every Child a ‘Trust Fund Baby’

There’s a pejorative term for rich kids that you have probably heard on television: the trust fund baby, loosely described as a young person who enjoys a reliable steady income from a trust established by parents. The term brings to mind a spoiled child with a sense of entitlement engendered by not having to work. […]

Three Things You Didn’t Know a Trust Could Do

The beauty of a trust is that it allows the grantor to control assets while putting them outside the reach of taxes and creditors, both during life and after death. There are various and sundry purposes for a trust. You may wish to provide for the care of a child or other loved one with […]

Trusts Can Provide Care for Pets Who Are Like Family

Our pets do a lot for us. They offer unfailing love and companionship, act as wake-up or intruder alarms and even help with household pest control. They can also serve as agents of therapy to aid recovery from emotional trauma or tragic loss. Without a doubt, our loyal pets are invaluable members of our families. […]

Five Essential Documents for Estate Planning

Everybody understands what a will is: a document outlining your wishes for distributing your property after you are gone. But a will may not go far enough to settle all potential issues that may arise, such as providing for loved ones with special needs, attending to healthcare and end-of-life wishes and managing finances upon incapacity. […]