Assets Archives - Morris Hall, PLLC

Life Happens… Is your plan up to date?

By | Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Other, Will | No Comments

We have reviewed thousands of wills and trusts.  Often we find when someone creates a Last Will or Living Trust they put it in a file or on a shelf and forget about it.  Dust collects and life continues.  But what impacts has life’s movements had on your estate plan?  What about the individuals that you have listed, as a beneficiary or decision maker - Over time situations change, relationships change and people die.

I recently met with a couple that had created their Living Trust many years earlier.  They came in to meet with me about a simple change - adding a beneficiary.  As part of our normal process, while reviewing the documents I asked them about certain people named in the trust.  They were surprised at my question because some had died several years earlier.  I then joked with them that their deceased friend will have an awfully hard time serving as their successor trustee.  They had completely forgotten that they had listed their friend to manage their trust after they pass.  Together we reviewed more of their plan and found several items that needed to be updated.

 

Estate plans need to be reviewed on a regular basis.  We recommend to all of our clients that a review every three years is prudent.  Sometimes there are law changes that can significantly affect the plan or there might have been a falling out with someone that was asked to serve an important role such as a health care agent or power of attorney.

When we build an estate plan, we try to build to be as flexible as possible; trying to account for some of life’s uncertainties.  However, the plan is based on the criteria, needs and concerns at that particular point in time.  And as we know, the old saying goes…life happens.

west-hunsakerContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Carefree, Sedona, Flagstaff and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, West Hunsaker.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

What Happens to your On-Line Presence when you Die

By | E-Alert, Estate Planning, Other, Planning Ahead: One Week at a Time | No Comments

My great aunt Barbara is now on FaceBook!  She is the sweetest, nicest and best person you can ever hope to have a part of your life, but never in a million years would I have expected a “Friend” request from her.  Just about all of us are on-line in some way or another.  From printing your photos at Walgreens, or storing your frequent flyer miles, to all the social media sites to your basic e-mail account.  Our on-line portfolios are growing each and every day.

But what happens if you are not there to deal with your on-line presence? Who can fill your shoes, so to speak?

In many instances, getting access to these “digital assets” is critical from an information standpoint – there could be the e-mail that can show where the life insurance policies are stored.  It is also critical from an emotional standpoint – there are so many pictures, movies and other media that helps tell the story of “you”.

But access to these digital assets can be difficult, if not impossible – the number of hoops that someone has to jump through.  FaceBook and Google have worked to put some solutions in place.  But these are just two companies (though they are extremely large!).  What about everything else you have on-line.

 

We have worked to solve this problem with language that will give you trusted agent, the person you want to handle your affairs when you can’t, the power to deal with your on-line portfolio.  This allows access to the person that you trust to gather the information, close accounts as appropriate, and get the digital asset to your loved ones in accordance to your overall plan.

Please make sure you have this ever growing asset class covered in your plan.  Contact us, and make an appointment to have your plan reviewed to see if your Digital Assets are covered.

jim-plitzContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, James P. Plitz.

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Planning for Life’s Unexpected Turns

By | Estate Planning, Healthcare documents, Other, Will | No Comments

The television show “The Goldbergs” has some pretty funny moments.  In this scene, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFKUg1rs4IQ we learn an interesting “fact” about parrots.  Tim Meadow’s character exclaims, “Oh also, I have a parrot that I can’t get rid of. They live for 80 years. Did you know that? Nobody tells you about that. You have to put them in your Will. It’s a nightmare.”

Life is not always scripted.  Life sometimes throws surprises into our mix that have unexpected consequences.  When thinking about your legacy and developing your estate plan, be sure you are thinking beyond just leaving what to whom.  You need to think about protecting that inheritance for life’s unexpected turns.

Often we make the mistake of thinking our estates are merely sums of money that we have accumulated.  It can make us think we do not have much to pass along, let alone protect, upon our passing.  Even if your home is your one “big” asset to leave to your children, would you want it to be lost to a bankruptcy proceeding or in a nasty divorce?  What about the cost for care of a beloved pet upon your passing?  The inheritance you leave to your children could be diverted down any of these avenues.  When properly planned, the inheritance and legacy you leave can be protected, stay within your family and to be spent for the benefit of your loved ones.

This post began on a light-hearted note to pass on a serious message: Do not overlook the “little” things when creating your estate plan.  While many get caught up thinking about how much they have to leave behind, we often do not put enough time thinking about how we choose to leave those things behind.  With the help of a licensed estate planning attorney, you can be assured that you have considered enough of the possibilities life may throw before your children to adequately protect the legacy you leave for them.

 

Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Phoenix Estate Administration Supervisor, Heidi Harris.

Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, Morris Hall is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only three firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with Morris Hall.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Help Your Parents

By | Estate Planning, Planning Ahead: One Week at a Time, Probate | No Comments

Did you know that without proper planning, you are sending your loved ones to court?  That is so strange to me.  We try to avoid going to court during our daily lives, but 70% of Americans are effectively saying, “I love you so much, off to court with you!”

I hear all of the time, “I will be dead, I don’t care how long it takes.  I don’t care how much it costs.”  And that is true, so I am starting a new campaign:

Help your parents plan their estate

By having your parents meet with an estate planning attorney, and to implement a proper estate plan (there are many unintended consequences for not having a proper estate plan), you are helping yourself (as well as your parents).  So if for no other reason, having your parents meet with one of our attorneys will save you a lot of headaches later on.

You will have a clear document that guides you through the administration process (the steps to be followed after a person dies with a proper estate plan).  There will be no court delays.  There will be no court cost.  There will be no court.  A proper estate plan, which utilizes a revocable trust as its foundation, avoids the court process of probate.

And that is the tip of the iceberg.  A proper plan can provide so much more for your parents, and ultimately for you.

Help your parents plan their estate their estate today.  Have them give us a call, and make an appointment to meet with one of our estate planning attorneys.  We will help them, and in turn, it will ultimately help you.

jim-plitzContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, James P. Plitz.

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Tom Brokaw’s Living Will:

By | Attorney David Eastman, Guardianship, Healthcare documents, Living Will | No Comments

The purpose of this blog is to recommend every American to outline directives for doctors to follow if they were ever in a Terry Schiavo situation.  If you are unfamiliar with the Terry Schiavo case, a quick summary here will suffice:

 

Terry Schiavo suffered a cardiac arrest in her home in Florida in 1990.  She suffered major brain damage as a result. Her doctors diagnosed her as being in a persistent vegetative state. From 1998 to 2005, her husband and parents engaged in a fierce legal battle over whether to keep her on life support or not.  The legal fees to settle this matter were in excess of $1 million. Finally, on March 18, 2005, after 14 appeals and numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts; and after five suits in federal district court; struck down legislation by the Supreme Court of Florida; enactment of federal legislation (the Palm Sunday Compromise); and four denials of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the United States, the feeding tubes were removed.

Everyone in a persistent vegetative state should have the right to decide how they want their life to end.  We should never have the courts or the government interfering with this life decision.  The best way to insure that your wishes will be carried out, should you be in a Terry Schiavo situation, is to have a Living Will in place.

A Living Will is a physician’s directive that tells doctors whether you do or don’t want to be kept on life support if you are in a persistent vegetative state.  A Living Will would have prevented the courts and government from meddling in Terry Schiavo’s personal matters, had a Living Will been prepared prior to her cardiac arrest.

 

Once you have created your Living Will, it is critical to then talk to your loved ones about your wishes and how you want those wishes carried out. It is also vital that your loved ones know where your Living Will and other estate planning documents are kept. In an article titled, Do Your Clients Have the Same Problems as Tom Brokaw?, Randi Siegel, President of DocuBank, talks about where and how these documents should be kept so they can be accessed by your loved ones in times of emergency.

To be kept on life support is a personal decision.  It is a decision that you should make while you have the mental capacity to make such decisions; it should not be made by some government official or judge. Please take the time to have this important document created for you and your loved ones.  Please call us to schedule an appointment so we can create a living will for you and your loved ones.

dave-eastmanContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Arrowhead, Scottsdale and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.

Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, Morris Hall is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only three firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with Morris Hall.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Learning from the Robin Williams’ Estate

By | Celebrity Estates, Estate Planning, Estate taxes, Trust Administration | No Comments

Actor Robin Williams passed away in August 2014. Prior to his passing, he established a trust that gave the majority of his estate to his three children. The trust also directed that one of his homes go to his wife for the remainder of her lifetime. This type of transfer is called a life estate.

A life estate allows for the transfer of real property upon a person’s death. One person, called a life tenant, is given an interest in the property for his or her lifetime. The life tenant has a full right to possess the property and may even be able to transfer that interest during their lifetime. At the life tenant’s death, the property passes to another person or entity, called the remainderman.

The life tenant typically assumes financial responsibility for the home, including the payment of utilities, real estate taxes, upkeep, repairs, maintenance and insurance for the duration of the life estate.  Some folks, like Robin Williams, want the estate to pay for these things – which, if not properly planned, can create serious complications with the estate administration.

Mr. Williams’ trust directed that his wife receive “enough money” to maintain the home over the duration of her lifetime. Since a dollar amount wasn’t specified, Mr. Williams’ three children are unable to collect their share of the inheritance because the amount of money needed to maintain the residence for the duration of Mr. Williams’ widow’s life is uncertain.  Mr. Williams’ family is presently in mediation to determine a specific amount to maintain the property for over his wife’s lifetime.  If a solution cannot be determined in mediation, the matter may end up in court.

This is just one example of how a seemingly minor detail can adversely affect your estate plan if not properly drafted.  If you have questions or concerns regarding your estate plan, contact our office for a free consultation.

darren-richardsonContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney, Darren L. Richardson.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Value in Flat Fees

By | Business Planning, E-Alert, Estate Planning, Other | No Comments

Thankfully, I have not needed to employ an attorney.  I have heard too many horror stories of how expensive attorneys are.  And sometimes, paying all that money to attorney is simply “not worth it.”

And you are thinking, “aren’t you an attorney?”

Yes, yes I am.  The difference is, our practice handles matters on a flat fee basis, rather than hourly.  This gives you, the client, certainty of what the fee is up-front, so there are no surprises in the end.

It also eliminates the “worry” of what a question may cost.  If you call an attorney charging on an hourly basis, a “quick question” may cost $60, and any question that requires an in-depth answer may be $450+.  We want you to have the peace of mind that your plan provides to you, and, to us, that means being able to ask questions without concern over additional costs.

When an attorney bills at an hourly rate, that attorney may have the motive to stretch out the work (more hours worked, more fees for that attorney).  But an attorney charging a flat fee is motivated to get the work done as quickly as possible, while assuring that it is all done right.

I hope if I ever need an attorney, I find one who, like us, charges at a flat rate. I find the value in knowing what the bill will be is fantastic – I am not a fan of surprises.

jim-plitzContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, James P. Plitz.

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

What is a Step Up in Basis?

By | Business Planning, Estate Planning, Preparedness | No Comments

When establishing an estate plan it is important to consider whether a particular asset has a cost basis associated with it.  There are certain types of assets that get a “stepped up” basis when the owner of these assets dies.  Not all assets receive a step up.

 

Why is this important? When a beneficiary receives an asset with a cost basis, the value is stepped up to the value at the time the owner dies. For example, if Joe bought a home for $100,000 in 1970, and when he dies the home is worth $200,000, the beneficiary receiving this home will assume the basis of the home at $200,000 and pay no capital gains tax. The beneficiary, now owner of the home, has a cost basis of $200,000 for the home. If the beneficiary later sells the home for $210,000, the capital gain will be calculated on $10,000 ($210,000 - $200,000), not $110,000 ($210,000-$100,000).

Many assets, including real estate, mutual funds, and stocks not in a qualified plan, receive this step-up basis at the date of death. Annuities, 401(k)s and other tax deferred qualified plans do not receive a step -up. Therefore, the beneficiaries must pay tax on the asset as ordinary income.

If Joe had given the home to his daughter as a gift during his life, the daughter’s basis would be $100,000 (the value when Joe purchased it in 1970). If daughter later sells the property for $210,000, she would have a hefty capital gains tax on the amount of the gain of $110,000.

Why is this important when creating an estate plan? Because not all assets have a cost basis, it’s important when making your distribution choices that you have considered either the basis adjustment or the lack of such adjustment.

For example, you have two daughters that you intend to treat equally after you pass away. Assume you have a $100,000 IRA and a home you bought for $50,000 in 1960 that is currently appraised at $100,000. Betty receives the IRA, and Julie receives the home. Since the IRA does not qualify for a step-up in basis, Betty will have to pay taxes on the $100,000 as ordinary income according to her tax bracket. If Betty is in the 35% tax bracket, her inherited amount will total $65,000. On the other hand, Julie sells the home immediately and receives $100,000 because the home receives a step-up in basis and pays no capital gains taxes.

 

What happens with assets held in a Revocable Living Trust? Assets held in a Revocable Living Trust do receive a step-up or step-down in basis upon death. Having assets held in a trust does not change the basis associated with appreciable assets with a cost basis.

It is therefore very important to recognize that the basis for the recipient of an asset with a cost basis may vary dramatically depending upon whether the asset is gifted during the donor’s lifetime or distributed to them at the owner’s death. Typically, it is best to gift assets that have a basis near fair market value while retaining assets that have a low cost basis to pass upon your death.

Wendy-Harn-PhotoContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Tucson and Oro Valley Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Wendy W. Harn.

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

 

A Sign of the Times: Planning for your Digital Estate

By | Attorney Andrea Claus, E-Alert, Other, Preparedness | No Comments

The 21st century has brought exciting new technologies.  And has given us platforms to do things that were only dreamt of in Star Trek or the Jetsons.  With these new on-line, or digital platforms, comes a whole new type of asset that we need to plan for – who can access these “digital assets” if we are unable to due to death or incapacity?

There are countless Americans who’ve failed to create even the most basic estate plan, and we’re all aware of the issues this choice creates.  Even those who’ve planned carefully – those who have a comprehensive estate plan in place – tend to overlook a planning aspect that is new to this century:  planning for your digital assets and accounts.

Digital assets are those you only have in electronic form.  Think about your photos and videos (shutterfly.com and youtube.com).  Think about your frequent flier miles, your CVS account, and your iTunes accounts.  Can your loved access these areas and download your pictures? Who do you want doing this? Where do you want these items to go?

When it comes to this type of planning there are financial and social considerations to be made.  Financial digital assets, such as online bank and brokerage accounts require authority for access.  Download destinations like Amazon and Netflix, require direction to your successor trustee or agent as to access and handling of the accounts at your death. Social accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram, require similar directives.

Some of the on-line providers are starting to get out in front of this issue.  In this vein, Google has launched an Inactive Account Manager feature, which lets you tell them what you want done with your digital assets on its various services (e.g. Gmail, Blogger, Google Drive, Picasa, Google Voice, YouTube) when you die.  This service is a single example of what some companies are calling planning for your “digital afterlife.”  There are several services that will store all personal digital information and release the data to the agent of your choice upon proof of your demise.

Estate planning strategies and practices change and evolve with the passage of law, modifications in tax law, and developments in the probate system.  The evolving manner in which we interact and manage our finances and our on-line presence necessitate consideration of how we’ll plan for our digital assets.

To make sure your plan captures your instructions and has the proper authority, make an appointment today with one of our Estate Planning attorneys.

 

andrea-claus Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Phoenix, Scottsdale and Prescott Estate Planning Attorney, Andrea L. Claus.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Identity Theft – Proactive Steps to Minimize the Risk

By | E-Alert, Estate Planning, Other | No Comments

As an estate planning attorney, I look to help my clients keep their personal information out of the public domain.  The primary means to do this is to avoid court proceedings, mainly probate court.

But there are steps that you can take now to help reduce the risk and/or the impact of identity theft:

  1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Write 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'  It creates a little more hassle at the cash register, but you are better off if your card gets stolen.
  2. Do not put the entire account number on your checks when you pay your credit card bill. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
  3. Try to use a PO Box and/or your work phone number, rather than your personal information on your checks.
  4. Photocopy the contents of your wallet. Make sure you copy both sides of license, credit card, insurance card . . .  This gives you a list of everything in your wallet, including the phone numbers to cancel credit cards. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.  Update the photocopy as necessary (maybe once a year). When you travel, bring the list of phone numbers with you, in duplicate (one in your luggage and one in your carry-on).  This way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you can make the appropriate calls immediately.

Here is further information on how to limit the damage if your wallet is lost or stolen:

  1. Cancel your credit cards immediately. To do this, you will need the phone numbers (see #4 above).
  2. File a police report. If the credit card fraud team does “further investigations”, your diligence will support your claim.
  3. Call at least one of three national credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your name and information (they are required to report to the other two).  The Federal trade Commission provides further details here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert
  4. Call the Social Security Fraud line at 1-800-269-0271. You can read more about identity theft and your social security number here: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10064.pdf.  And more about reporting fraud to Social Security Inspector General here: http://oig.ssa.gov/report.

 

Identity theft is a crime with lasting ramifications.  We hope that these steps can help prevent it from happening to you or your loved ones.

 

jim-plitzContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney, and Partner, James P. Plitz.

Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, Morris Hall is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only three firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with Morris Hall.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Schedule Your Free Consultation Click Here