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When Estate Planning Goes Wrong -- The Richard Pryor Family Feud

By | Celebrity Estates | No Comments

estate planningComedian Richard Pryor was a fairly controversial character when he was alive, so it may come as no surprise that his death in 2005 triggered a family feud that continues to make headlines to this day.  Pryor’s life included multiple marriages, a failed attempt at a blended family, deteriorating health that led to claims of incapacity, and even a secret marriage. Litigation started even before Richard’s death and continued for many years after he was gone. A recent interview given by Quincy Jones ignited the feud between Pryor’s widow and several of his children once again. Was poor estate planning to blame for the litigation that followed Pryor’s death?

Pryor’s Unconventional Family

Richard Pryor was known for being over the top. He loved to shock audiences, and he apparently loved to get married – so much so that he tied the knot seven times to five different women! Jennifer Lee-Pryor was both Richard’s fourth wife and seventh wife, making her his widow at the time of his death. Her final marriage to Richard lasted from 2001 until his death in 2005.  Although Richard and Jennifer did not have any children together, Richard had seven children from six different women.  Both before and after his death, at least three of the children -- Richard, Jr., Elizabeth, and Rain – did not get along with Jennifer. The bickering turned into full-blown litigation after Richard’s death.

The Family Feud Leads to Litigation

Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the 1980s. By the early 1990s, his condition had deteriorated to the point where he needed live-in help. In 1994, he hired Jennifer to oversee his caregivers and act as his personal manager. At the time, they had been divorced for years but remained close friends. Jennifer moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1994 to take care of Richard and manage his affairs, in exchange for a salary and rent.

Richard, Jr., filed for conservatorship of Pryor in 2000, alleging that his father had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer make decisions for himself and complained that Jennifer limited access, at times refusing to allow Richard, Jr., to see his father.  Jennifer fought back that Pryor had picked her and an accountant to make his decisions as agents under power of attorney documents, and also as co-trustees of Richard Pryor's Trust.  She contended that Pryor was well-cared for and a court-appointed conservator was not needed.  The probate judge overseeing the case ruled in Jennifer's favor.

In 2001, Richard and Jennifer married for the second time; however, they applied for a "confidential" marriage certificate, meaning the certificate was not made a matter of public record.  Pryor's children were never told about the marriage. Afterward the marriage, Pryor amended his trust, naming Jennifer as the primary beneficiary and the person with the right to control all of his intellectual property -- including his name and image rights, and royalties from his comedy albums and performances.  These changes to the trust left Jennifer in complete control, both before and after Pryor died.  He passed away from a heart attack in 2005 at age 65.  Estimates placed the total value of the Richard Pryor estate at around $40 million at the time.

In  2006, Richard’s daughter Elizabeth filed suit against Jennifer, accusing her of elder abuse, fraud, forgery, and taking advantage of Richard's weakened mental and physical state.  Due in large part to the fact that she was Richard’s widow, Jennifer prevailed in the probate court litigation.  Elizabeth then appealed to the California Court of Appeals.  She argued that the marriage was the product of fraud and should be annulled.  She also invoked California's statute prohibiting gifts and bequests to caregivers. The Court of Appeals ruled that Elizabeth did not have standing to seek an annulment, because under California law, such a legal proceeding could only go forward if one of the spouses had filed the case before death.  Therefore, the marriage was upheld as valid.  This ruling allowed Jennifer to use an exception to the law prohibiting gifts to caregivers if the caregiver was a spouse.  Because Jennifer was legally married to Pryor, any gifts or bequests he made to her, through his trust or otherwise, were protected.

Had Elizabeth been able to convince the court that Pryor lacked sufficient mental capacity to make the changes to his trust, that the changes were brought about by undue influence from Jennifer, or that the documents were forged, Elizabeth might have prevailed; however, it appears that Elizabeth lacked  sufficient evidence to prevail using any of those allegations.

Was Poor Estate Planning to Blame for the Litigation?

Amazingly, it is either poor estate planning, or a complete lack of planning, that often triggers probate litigation following the death of the “rich and famous.” Despite the resources with which to create a well thought out and comprehensive estate plan, many wealthy individuals fail to do so. That was not the case with Richard Pryor’s estate. Although his children, and others, may forever remain suspicious and skeptical about Pryor’s state of mind during the years leading up to his death, his wishes appear fairly clear and consistent. He sought out Jennifer’s assistance over a decade before his death. True, the secret marriage is somewhat unusual; however, in and of itself it doesn’t prove that the changes Richard made to his estate plan after the marriage were fraudulently made or coerced. Jennifer’s status as Richard’s spouse, coupled with the fact that Richard initially sought out her assistance long before his mental capacity deteriorated, gave Jennifer the advantage in the litigation. The estate planning lesson to be learned here is: plan early and plan well.

Contact Phoenix Estate Planning Attorneys

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

Aretha Dies Intestate!

By | Celebrity Estates | No Comments

 

 

 

 

 

Aretha may have wanted R-E-S-P-E-C-T, but instead got I-N-T-E-S-T-A-T-E.  According to reporting by CNN, Aretha Franklin died without a Will or Trust.  This made me Think.  An icon, a diva a woman who is Young, Gifted and Black, dying intestate is incredible (intestacy means that the State will determine who is in charge and the distribution of the assets).  This is somewhat surprising, in some Respect, since there Ain’t No Way a legend would have neglected this important part of her legacy.  But you are not Day Dreaming, the Natural Woman did not listen to the advice of her attorneys.  Her attorneys tried to build that Bridge Over Troubled Water, and get her to get her wishes in writing.  But Aretha was Rock Steady, and kept putting them off.  Now her four children have to be Willing to Forgive, and file a probate in Michigan.  It may work out, and I Say a Little Prayer that it does, but any time any estate is in court, you are not in control – it is up to the State.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/22/entertainment/aretha-franklin-will/index.html

 

 

 

Planning for your frequent flyer miles. How Anthony Bourdain did it.

By | Attorney David Eastman, Celebrity Estates | No Comments

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Bourdain did something most American's fail to do- he created an estate plan and laid out exactly who he wanted to get what when he died. I think that most of us would have imagined that he would have had a larger estate than he did with his success he had later in his life, but it is not about how much you have when you pass on but rather what you do with it when you pass on. He made sure his one and only child was provided for and he did something most of us forget to do - he planned for his frequent flyer miles. Your estate plan should include provisions regarding what you want to have happen to your frequent flyer miles when you pass away. Each airline has different rules and regulations on what can be done with these valuable assets upon the owner's demise so you need to read the contract very carefully, but most of them should allow for you to pass on these miles to your loved ones after you die. Some clients have passed these miles on to some great charities like Make-A-Wish, thereby allowing the charity to grant wishes to children who are terminally ill. There are many planning opportunities with these types of assets. If you have not planned for your frequent flyer miles come in and see us and we can talk about how you can leave these to your loved ones.

 

You can read the full story about Anthony Bourdain's estate plan here https://www.forbes.com/sites/megangorman/2018/07/06/why-anthony-bourdains-estate-plan-reflected-the-two-most-important-parts-of-his-life/

For more information on estate planning or to find seminars in your area, visit us at morristrust.com or call 888-222-1328.  

Prince

Probate of Prince’s Estate Drags On While Beneficiaries Wait and Expenses Mount

By | Celebrity Estates | No Comments

PrinceDespite acknowledging the importance of having at least a basic estate plan in place, over half of all Americans do not have one. One of the most important motivations for creating an estate plan should be to ensure that you do not leave behind an intestate estate. Amazingly, it is not only the average American who fails to heed the advice of experts when it comes to estate planning. A surprising number of celebrities also die intestate (without executing at least a basic Last Will and Testament), including the music superstar known as Prince. Two years after his death, the heirs of his estate have yet to see a penny, but bankers, lawyers, and consultants have drained the estate of a small fortune.

Prince Died without a Will

Prince died of an accidental opioid overdose at his suburban Minneapolis studio on April 21, 2016. At the time of his death, Prince was not married and he did not leave behind any children or other descendants. He also failed to leave behind a Will. Consequently, Prince’s estate, rumored to be worth at least $200 million, is being probated as an intestate estate. That means the Minnesota intestate succession laws govern what happens to his estate assets. With no spouse or children and because Prince’s parents pre-deceased him, his estate will be split among his six surviving siblings. So far so good. Then the problems begin—with no end in sight.

How Much Will Gift and Estate Taxes Diminish the Value of the Estate?

By failing to execute a Will prior to his death, Prince lost the ability to choose an Executor of his estate. The court, therefore, appointed Comerica Bank and Trust as the Executor of the estate. One of the biggest delays in distributing the estate’s assets appears to be the inability of the Executor and the Internal Revenue to reach an agreement on the value of the estate at the time of Prince’s death. The estate’s value determines how much the estate owes in federal gift and estate taxes, and in this case in state estate taxes as well. All estates are potentially subject to federal gift and estate taxes. In addition, a handful of states, including Minnesota, also impose a state level gift and estate tax.

Because attorneys, accountants, and industry experts have yet to finish appraisals and deals for the use of his music, videos, and assets including his Paisley Park studio, the actual value of the estate is unknown. With an estate valued in the $200 million range, however, both the federal and state governments stand to gain a substantial sum in taxes. Unfortunately for the estate heirs, every dollar owed in taxes is one less dollar they will inherit. A well thought out estate plan could undoubtedly have incorporated tax avoidance tools and strategies that would have significantly decreased the estate’s tax obligations.

Legal Battles Continue, Expenses Mount, and Heirs Wait

In the meantime, the six heirs have been bitterly split. Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, and John R. Nelson form one faction that has battled Comerica and other heirs on several fronts, including Comerica's decision to move the contents of Prince's vault of recordings from Paisley Park to Los Angeles. All six siblings came together though recently when Tyka Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson joined the other three in strenuously objecting to an unspecified "entertainment transaction" in the works that they say would be "an embarrassment to Prince's legacy."

While the squabbling continues, everyone but the heirs is getting paid out of the estate.  Public filings don't say how much the estate has already paid the IRS and state of Minnesota, but Comerica and its lawyers have already collected at least $5.9 million in fees and expenses, as of March 2018. "There is legitimate concern that at the end of the Estate's administration there will be little, if anything left to pass on to the Heirs," said attorneys for Sharon, Norrine and John. That $5.9 million figure doesn't include a pending request for nearly $2.9 million in fees and expenses for Comerica and its lawyers, nor does it include fees for the heirs' lawyers and other attorneys, or fees for the estate's main music adviser, Spotify executive Troy Carter.

The Lesson

Prince’s estate offers to teach all of us a very simple lesson – the only people who benefit if you die intestate will be Uncle Sam and the professionals involved in probating your estate.

Contact an Arizona Estate Planning Attorney

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you wish to get started creating your estate plan, contact the experienced Arizona estate planning attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

Tragic loss at All Ages

By | Celebrity Estates, E-Alert | No Comments

This weekend demonstrates that Death treats us all equally.  Death does not care if you are rich or you are poor.  Death reaches out and takes you when it feels it is your time.  As a sports fan, I was impacted by last weekend’s loss of Arnold Palmer and Jose Fernandez.

At 87 years young, Arnold Palmer, one of golf’s legendary figures, passed Sunday evening waiting for cardiac surgery.  Though he was approaching his 9th decade, his passing was still a shock.  He was the epitome of sportsmanship, and can always be seen at the golf course.  Greatness could not save Arnie.

Contrast that with the loss of Jose Fernandez at the age of 24.  Forgive me, but a 24 year old shouldn’t die.  It is not right.  But Death cares not.  Age is not a hurdle that Death has to clear.  The news shocked his home country of Cuba – he was more than a ball player, he embodied freedom.

With Arnie, we can celebrate a life lived.  We can celebrate the accomplishments and accolades.  We can revel in all that he gave to golf and the rest of us.

With Jose, it is pure loss.  It is the loss of opportunity.  The loss of his joy.  The loss of his future.  And our loss to be able to watch his accomplishments amass.

We have always said everyone needs an estate plan – what that plan entails varies with age, wealth and goals.  And this weekend’s sports losses is a striking example as why this is so.

Make sure you have a plan, and that it has been reviewed to ensure it does what you need it to.  See one of our estate planning attorneys today.

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

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, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, 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.

This is what it sounds like When Doves Cry

By | Celebrity Estates, Estate Planning | No Comments

Purple rain, purple rain is falling upon the millions of fans who grieve over the death of rock and pop legend, Prince.  Prince, also known as Prince Rogers Nelson, passed last week at his Paisley Park home.

Now what happens to his estate?  When you are rich and famous, the popular misconception is that you have your Diamonds and Pearls and your Little Red Corvette planned for.  But there must have been a Breakdown, because Prince’s sister filed to open a probate in Prince’s home county in Minnesota.

In the court documents, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, claims that Prince did not even have a will.  But Let’s [Not] Go Crazy because even if Prince had a will, a probate would still need to be opened.  A will simply tells the court your wishes as to who you would like to be in charge and who will receive your “stuff.”

To avoid the publicity of a court case (and that is what probate is), as well as the cost and potential Controversy, Prince, as well as anyone, should have planned with a revocable trust.  U Know this could be any of us.  We all put off planning, as we live for the Days of Wild; death and incapacity and those drab topics makes us feel like we have a Dirty Mind.

We all want to party like its 1999, and Prince, evidently, was a Partyman.  But unlike a good wine, putting off talking with a qualified attorney about your plans does not get Better with TimeBreakfast Can Wait, but your estate planning should not.

In addition to Tyka, Prince also has five half siblings.  With no planning done, it does not matter if Prince had a Darling Nikki, or Another Love, the state of Minnesota makes all distribution decisions through their laws of intestacy.  You don’t need an Act of God to see that the State’s plan may not be what you need or want.

For You, one of our estate planning attorneys will sit down with you, at a complimentary consultation, and see what plan works best for your situation.  So put on your Rasberry Beret, and use Prince’s lesson as a Sign O’ the Times, and make your appointment today.

jim-plitz  Contributed 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, Sedona, 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.

The Mastery of David Bowie

By | Celebrity Estates, Estate Planning, Other | No Comments

We lost one of the greatest singers and songwriters of any generation.  David Bowie succumbed to his fight with cancer on January 10th.  His voice and his lyrics resonate with millions of people.  But his mastery of music is only one area he is a genius.

David Bowie has written over 700 songs, and  sold 140 million albums, which makes it shocking to find out that he has ever encountered financial trouble.  But in the ‘70s David Bowie was at the brink of bankruptcy.  Though he was a masterful musician, the business side of the industry trapped him in “bad deals.”

This is not uncommon.  When we are young, we are more prone to making bad decisions, regardless of our aptitudes and our gifts.  But the key thing in the David Bowie story is that he did not let it keep him down, so when we lost him this week, he is said to have passed 135€ million to his wife Iman, and his two children.

What David Bowie did, we all can do.  He realized what he wanted to do – he wanted to leave his loved ones a legacy.   He got professional advice.  Consulting with professionals, they developed a plan to be able to return the entire inventory of songs to his control and ownership.  David Bowie did not know that he was going to die at such a young age.  But he knew that if he did, he wanted his loved ones to be cared for.

Most of us will never know what it is like to have hundreds of millions of dollars (unless you were one of the three Powerball winners on Wednesday night).  But we all can get professional help to formulate and implement a plan to help you achieve your goals.

Call us today to make an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys so we can give you the advice and implement a plan designed for you.

 

jim-plitz  Contributed 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.

Some of the Most Interesting Gifts

By | Celebrity Estates, Estate Planning, Estate taxes, Other | No Comments

Robin Williams is blocking an Aladdin sequel even after he died.  His will has provisions that Disney cannot use his voice from outtakes from the original movie until 25 years after he passed (so the year 2039!).  When drafting an estate plan (a trust or a will), there are countless ways to distribute your possessions (or postpone them).  Recently, I had the opportunity to read some of the worst, or should I say “interesting” distributions that was specified in a will or trust.  The question becomes not whether you “can” put something in your plan, but whether you “should.” Most people we meet with want to minimize problems after they pass, but without the right guidance in drafting their plan, these strange distributions or requirements create the biggest problems.

Let me describe some of these interesting bequests:

  1. Upon a certain gentleman's death, he requested that the doctor drive a wooden stake through his chest. It wasn't because of vampire fears, but simply to ensure he was dead.  He further insisted that the casket not be nailed down, just in case he needed a means to “escape.”
  1. One famous singer decided that, at the time of her death, her cat would live in a lap of luxury. The cat was 13 years old, at that time of her passing.  It was fed only baby food imported from the US, and lived in a seven foot tree house.
  1. TM Zink was a man that admittedly hated women. At the time of his death, he had a small estate of roughly $100,000.  He asked for the amount to be placed in a trust for 75 years.  At the end of that time, it was to be used to open a womanless library.  The library was to feature no written works, art, decor with any relation to a woman or speak of one.  The family contested the request and the court did overturn it.
  1. Jack Benny was a lovable guy. His sweetness survived him.  In his will, he arranged that his widow receive a long stem rose to be delivered every day for the rest of her life.  She lived another nine years.
  1. One of our famous magicians notated 10 words that he claimed he would communicate with his wife from the grave. For 10 years, his wife held séance’s and finally gave up after never making contact with him.
  1. Gene Rodenberry, creator of Star Trek, asked that his ashes be launched where no man has gone before. Some of his ashes have made a trip around earth. In 2016 there is a plan for the remainder of his ashes to be launched into space, along with his wife’s.  (interesting side note, one of his daughters was disinherited because she started to contest his will, and the Court of Appeals felt that was enough to trigger the “no contest clause”)
  1. Sandra (Ilene) West a wealthy socialite had insisted that she be buried in her night gown, sitting in her Ferrari.  Her brother-in-law was to receive $2 million if the request was carried out, but only $10,000 if it was not.  After unsuccessfully fighting the request in court, he buried her as she requested. However, he encased everything in cement to deter thieves

 

  1. Mark Gruenwald, a writer and editor for Marvel Comics insisted that his ashes be mixed with the ink to be used in the printing of upcoming comics. He received his wish!
  1. Napoleon Bonaparte requested that his hair be set aside and used for bracelets. These bracelets were then sent to his relatives.
  1. Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog, Trouble, along with a list of very detailed instructions. In the end, the court reduced the amount to only $2 million, but the Maltese was still very well cared for in a Miami Beach resort.

Just because you can put it into your plan, does not mean you should.  Provisions that you are able to put into your trust can vary widely.  Some can be very difficult to administer as well as very costly.  Through our office, you can get the advice and counsel as to what the effect would be if you choose to distribute in an uncommon way.  What we want you to do is make a choice that would result in a good estate plan, both for you while you are alive, and when you are gone.

dan-morris  Contributed by Morris Hall PLLC Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Senior Partner, Dan R. Morris.

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, Sedona, 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.

 

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.

 

Time Flies

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

As April showers are springing into May flowers, I realize how quickly life moves.  It seems only yesterday that we were taking down the Christmas tree, and now we are quickly moving into summer vacations.  The way time slips past, I realize more and more the importance of what I get to do for a living:  I get to help people and their families plan and prepare for life’s most difficult times.  As an estate planning attorney, I get to mitigate the harshness of dealing with death or incapacity, and allow the families to concentrate on what is most important – the people.

I was flipping through an article about some of the famous people who have died in 2015.  It is an amazing list, some very influential people in their respective fields, from Andrew Lesnie to Stuart Scott to Ernie Banks.  One of the things I noticed was that death does not have an entry age.  Unfortunately, we are all prone to that one moment that takes us from this life.  The question becomes what have you left for your loved ones to deal with?

Losing someone is hard enough without the hassles and headaches of dealing with that person’s estate, if not planned properly.  Proper planning is important at every age because it means that you have the plan to handle your specific set of circumstances and goals to make it easier on your loved ones if you were to become incapacitated or pass away.

The good thing is that you each have the power to get the legal advice and put a proper plan in place.  But it is up to you.  You have to make the call.  You don’t have to, and you shouldn’t “wait until you retire”.  Time moves quickly, and life is unpredictable.  Take the few moments to get your plan in place, so you will be able to enjoy life with the peace of mind you deserve because you did more than leave your loved ones an inheritance.  You left them a legacy.

 jim-plitz Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces estate planning attorney, and partner, James P. Plitz.

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.