Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Wills
No one wants to contemplate becoming seriously ill or disabled, but the reality is this difficult subject needs to be addressed with spouses, significant others and family members. It is important to make decisions regarding what wishes are while healthy. The Arizona Secretary of State allows you to register, free of charge, living wills and medical power of attorneys on their web site. Simply go to … Read More
Estate Tax Laws Warrant Exclusion and Portability in Planning
The new estate laws are challenging to comply with and will require most high net worth individuals to review their existing plan. One of the major issues is how the trust is divided on the death of the first spouse, and who makes certain elections. There are other critical decisions that need to be made to protect assets and minimize or delay estate taxes.
Prior Exclusion and 2013 Change
Estate tax was … Read More
Section 529 Plans - Qualified Tuition Program: College Savings Plans that the IRS Embraces
As higher education costs continue to escalate, parents or grandparents may look to different savings vehicles for their children's college fund. The IRS, under section 529, provides parents with the opportunity for a higher education savings plan.
There are two sets of tax rules for 529 plans (the "Plan"). One relates to the income taxation of the owner and the beneficiary of the Plan, while the … Read More
In a volatile economic climate, such as the current economic downturn, there is a significant increase in litigation cases and bankruptcy filings. When economic times flourish, people focus on acquiring assets and doing "deals". During slower times, people may look for an opportunity to protect their assets from potential creditors' claims. There are planning tools - entity selection, separation of personal and … Read More
When Do I Need a New Will?
You may think you don't need a will because you don't have many assets. However, if you don't have a will, the state could determine who gets your property and even who will take care of your children should both you and your spouse die at the same time. Many changes and events occur during your lifetime and if you have experienced any of the following life events recently, it is a good time to prepare a will or … Read More
Having It, Holding It, & Sharing It
A variety of charitable gifting techniques are available during your lifetime and as part of your estate plan. Depending on your income, or the size of your estate, you may find tax savings so significant after making a charitable gift that the net after tax effect is minimal.
Here is a summary of some of planning ideas which will help you start your charitable gifting program.
Charitable Giving & Taxes
The … Read More
Funding Long-Term Care Without Draining Your Estate
Start Now, Before Your Options Become Limited
Good news: Thanks to medical advances in the past few decades, you - and your parents, if they're still alive - will probably live longer than previous generations.
Bad news: The cost of living in a nursing home for a year, now averaging around $51,000, will triple over the next 20 years, according to the General Accounting Office. So will the cost of other … Read More
For the Person Who Wants to Avoid Probate and Reduce Estate Taxes
Simple Rules to Avoid Probate. In Arizona, any assets that are held in your name outright must be probated to pass to the next generation or your intended beneficiaries heir(s). This includes property held as community property and tenants in common. However, there are many assets that never pass through a probate. For example, retirement plan benefits, IRA's and life insurance proceeds pass directly to the named … Read More
How You Hold Title to Real Property May Create a Real Life Problem
If you were a married couple living Arizona, you had three options as how to hold the title to real property in Arizona. The choices were:
joint tenants with right of survivorship ("JTWROS") and
tenants in common.
Now, under A.R.S. § 33-431, there is a fourth option - community property with right of survivorship ("CPWROS").
Prior to the existence of CPWROS, if … Read More
Transfer of Small Estates without Probate in Arizona
Effective September 2013, small estates in Arizona increased in the value of assets that may be transferred without requiring a probate of the decedent's estate.
On April 16, 2013, Governor Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1232, which amends A.R.S. §14-3971 governing the collection of personal property, vehicles, and succession to real property by affidavit. Therefore, decedent's estates … Read More