Choose Your Team

Estate planning is a team effort.  Actually, there are two teams – the team that creates the plan and the team that implements the plan.  Usually, there is considerable overlap between the two.  I will begin with a description of the implementation team. The...

The Truth About Trusts

This must be the season. Maybe it’s because snowbirds return to Arizona. It seems many companies are advertising in newspapers or sending out mailers warning of the perils of probate. They warn that your survivors are likely to be required to pay huge fees, and that your assets will be eaten up by the cost and expense of probate. In order to avoid probate, you must have a trust, according to the advertisers. So, you are invited to a “seminar” where you may be fed both food and information (and maybe misinformation), and you will be pressured into having a trust done by their company.

The Perils of Being an Agent

What if you find yourself acting as someone’s agent under a financial power of attorney?  Or if you assume the responsibilities as a personal representative (executor) or as a successor trustee?  In all three of these roles, you have fiduciary duties prescribed by the...

Library Fires and Ethical Wills

There are actually three types of documents referred to as “wills.”  First, is the will of inheritance, often known as the Last Will and Testament.  This will is designed to be effective upon death, and its primary purpose is to direct the final administration of the...