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Charitable Giving

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Charitable Trusts Explained

By | Charitable Giving | No Comments

Are you a philanthropist at heart? If so, giving is likely part of every aspect of your life. You undoubtedly have several charities or causes that are dear to your heart and to which you devote both time and money on a regular basis. If so, you also probably wish to include those causes in your estate plan as well. Including outright gifts to your chosen charities is one simple way to accomplish that goal; however, it is neither the only way nor the best way for most people to incorporate charitable gifting in their estate plan.

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Giving Back

By | Charitable Giving, Estate Planning, Other | No Comments

My wife and I enjoy watching The Good Wife each Sunday night.  And this week’s episode was on point with what I was going to write about.  Alicia Florek (played by Julianna Margulies) is running for State’s Attorney.  And a focus group member commented on how “privileged” she viewed Alicia, so Alicia decided to volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Alicia wanted to give back.

I had the opportunity to give back, as well.  Over the weekend, the New Mexico Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division sponsored a Wills for Heroes event.  Wills for Heroes is a way for our first responders to get their basic estate plan in place, with the guidance of licensed attorneys.

It was a great event; talking with these real life heroes and their families was an awesome experience.  And knowing that if a tragedy befell them, their loved ones would have the basic tools to be able to deal with that circumstance makes it all the better.

There are many ways and opportunities to give back.  Look around and you will see that volunteers are always needed – you just have to take that first step and reach out to your favorite charity.

And all of these organizations could also use financial help, as well.  And an easy way to give back, without much effort, is to include your charity in your estate plan.  These planned gifts are a great way to give back and help your charity do what it does best – helping others!

Make an appointment today to see how you can give back through your estate plan.

Albuquerque, New Mexico Estate Planning Attorney James PlitzContributed by MH Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney, James P. Plitz.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
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, MH 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 two 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 MH.  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.

 

Ron Wilson; Locked Up to Help the AZ Humane Society

By | Charitable Giving, Other, Special Events | No Comments

AZ humane

You didn’t misread! This Saturday, July 19th, Ron Wilson will be locked in to a dog kennel at the Arizona Humane Society, in an effort to save the lives of thousands of homeless animals!

With a little help from his wife, Bonnie, and his two faithful dogs, Yankee and Sally they have put together some goodies to all the amazing folks who are helping Ron reach his goal for the Arizona Humane Society.

Bonnie has donated a delicious homemade, with love, Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake. Anyone who donates TODAY, Friday, July 18th between 10AM and 3PM will be placed in a drawing to win the cake! If you are unable to pick up your cake, have no fear! As long as you live in Maricopa County, Yankee and Sally (with a little help from Ron) will deliver the cake to you!!

There will also be a second cake, which will be given to the highest overall donor as a very special thank you!

Now, if you donated earlier this week or plan to donate on Saturday, don’t despair! Sally and, naturally, Yankee love baseball! So they have decided that each of you will be entered into a drawing for 2 tickets to an Arizona Diamondbacks game in September!

Of course, you can always give a second time to have the opportunity to win the cake!

To learn more and contribute to the cause please visit azhumane.org/lockin

DONATE

Charitable Remainder Trusts

By | Charitable Giving, Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Other | No Comments

The government encourages people to make gifts to recognized charitable groups or organizations. This is a win-win situation because the recipient benefits from the charitable donation and the donor benefits from the satisfaction of helping those in need. In addition to helping others, those who make a gift of appreciated property, real or personal, may also gain a financial advantage by benefitting a charity.  A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is provides a way to make a gift of appreciated property and avoid paying any capital gains taxes on the gift,  in addition to receiving  a tax write-off.

                A CRT allows you to take appreciated property and convert it into an income stream for the rest of your lifetime.  Converting property in this manner means that you avoid paying taxes on the appreciation.  Further, the property is removed from your estate, entitling you to an immediate tax write-off equal to the present value of the gift.

                A CRT is generally set up to provide an income stream that ends upon the trustor’s death.  There are two basic ways to structure the income stream: (1) as a percentage of the value of the asset in the trust, or (2) as a fixed cash amount.  Upon the trustor’s death, the remainder of the trust is distributed for the benefit of the charity.  There are, of course, different considerations to be made for each option, and it’s important to remember that a CRT is irrevocable once established and funded, meaning you cannot change your mind later.

                I’ve given a very brief overview of the function of this type of trust.  If you have an appreciated asset and a desire to benefit a charity, make an appointment to speak to one of the attorneys at Morris Hall to discuss the options.

Andrea-C-Web-2013Contributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney, Andrea Claus.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
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, MH 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 two 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 MH.  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.

You Don’t Have to be Rich to Leave a Bequest to a Charity

By | Charitable Giving, Estate Planning, Other | No Comments

As an estate planning attorney, one of the things that I find most gratifying about my job is seeing how gracious and giving people can be to their favorite charities.  Whether it is during their life or at death, it often amazes me and warms my heart to see these philanthropic endeavors being carried out.

What does surprise me is the drastic difference in the percentage of those that make gifts while they are alive versus those that leave bequests in their estate plans upon death. More than 85 percent of Americans donate to charities while they are alive, but less than 6 percent leave an estate plan that benefits these same charities, according to the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

I often wonder why there is such a disparity between giving to a charity while alive versus leaving something to them upon death .  Do they feel that they do not have enough to leave to a charity, or enough to make that big of a difference?  Fortunately, that is a mistaken belief. The private sector can make a huge impact on non-profits by leaving something to them in an estate plan, especially in an era of dwindling corporate support. Every dollar that is left, no matter how great or small, can help these mission driven non-profits accomplish their goals.

The following is an example of how easy it is to make a different.  The Make-a-Wish Foundation helps countless children each year by fulfilling wishes.  Many of these require travel.  Did you know that you can leave your frequent flyer miles to Make-A-Wish Foundation?  Those miles can be preserved by Make-A-Wish to help benefit many children’s lives for years to come.  This is something that most of us don’t even think about, but it is something that any one of us with frequent flyer miles can do.  It may not seem like something great, but I promise it will benefit a very worthwhile charity and change lives long after we are gone.

If you are philanthropically minded and give to charities now, make a choice to leave a lasting legacy by leaving something in your estate plan to those same charities upon your death.  Every dollar counts whether it is given to them while you are alive or bequeathed to them upon your death.

Charitable donations can be planned for and included in your trust to leave a lasting legacy.

Dave-Eastman-for-web-2013Contributed by MH Phoenix, Arrowhead and Scottsdale Estate Planning Attorney, David T. Eastman.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
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, MH 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 two 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 MH.  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.

 

Why We Serve

By | Charitable Giving, Estate Planning, Other | No Comments

I have the privilege of serving on the National Advisory Council of the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Make-A-Wish America).  I have the even greater privilege of helping young people realize an important wish in their most trying times.  The time and commitment to fulfill these responsibilities are far outweighed by the joy and thrill of seeing needed light and happiness in the lives of these special children and their families.

Most people serve.  Most people serve well.  And most people would like to leave a legacy of service and good long after they are gone.  I applaud all who do so.

We have a great opportunity to create and maintain a legacy if we properly plan.  For all the good we do today, the full effect of our desires and commitment will not be felt in the future if we don’t leave an organized structure.

That is the reason why I limit my legal practice to estate planning.  That is the reason that all 12 attorneys at MH limit their practice to estate planning.  We have seen first-hand the great good that is accomplished by thoughtful arrangements properly drafted in effective estate planning documents.  We have also felt the sorrow and anguish of families whose deceased loved ones have failed to take the steps to continue their legacy.

My wish?  That we can all be happy and productive.  That each child can feel loved and properly cared for.  That those who are so fortunate can have the transcending joy of helping those who are less fortunate.  That the less fortunate can also, on their scale, have the joy of helping others.

Attorney, Lawyer, Phoenix, Arrowhead, Estate PlanningContributed by MH Phoenix, Cave Creek and Flagstaff Estate Planning Attorney B. West Hunsaker.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall 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.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, 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.

MH Annual Golf Tournament a Success!

By | Charitable Giving, Other, Press Releases | No Comments

MH's annual Charity Golf Tournament was held on September 30th at the Falcon Dunes Golf Club in Wadell, Arizona.  Over 64 golfers participated and it was a beautiful sunny day for the event.  Over $3000 was raised for local charities.  Make-a-Wish Arizona chapter, The 100 Club and the Arizona Humane Society will all receive checks from MH Print.

MH GolfCongratulations to all of our Golf Tournament Players and to the Charities we support.

Giving Back - An Attorney's Involvement with the American Cancer Society

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I am fortunate.  I get to give back in some small way each and every day.  I work with some of the best people around, and the stories that my clients share with me enriches my daily experience.  In turn, I am able to create an estate plan that works for that individual’s needs; crafting a plan that provides for my client and enables an easier transition in the time of need.

By using the skills and expertise I have gained over the years, I am able to give back to all of my clients.  But lately, it just doesn’t seem enough.  I want to do more.

And fortunately, I received a phone call from the American Cancer Society.  And I have the opportunity to do more!

Cancer has affected me personally, so the calling was perfect!  I have lost dear friends and close family members to the dreaded disease.  And I have other people close to me who are going through the emotional and physical stresses of fighting the disease.  This is the perfect opportunity for me to give back even more!

American Cancer Society is embarking on a nationwide research study, Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).  The study will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that may cause or prevent cancer.  I have joined the study in two ways.  First, I volunteered to be a Community Champion.  And the second, I enrolled in the study (i.e. to be one of the test subjects).

As a Community Champion, I will be a voice in the community.  I will be one of the people who are able to spread the word on the benefits of the American Cancer Society in general, and to “recruit” people to join in the study.  To be an eligible candidate, the American Cancer Society are looking for men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 years who have never been diagnosed with cancer for the research study

As part of the study, I simply have to complete a survey, provide a blood sample (drawn at the appointment by a professional) and then, occasionally, answer follow-up questions throughout the life of the study (approximately 20 years).

If you, or a friend or family member, have experienced the horrors of dealing with Cancer, this is a way you can give back too.  For those in the Albuquerque area, click here: http://cps3albuquerque.org to sign up for an appointment and to learn more about CPS-3.  For those outside of Albuquerque, you can click here: www.cancer.org/cps3.

For those who decide to sign-up, Thank You!  The American Cancer Society and I truly appreciate this commitment.

For everyone else, find the passion in your heart.  Give to those organizations that fulfill those passions.  There are many ways to give back: Volunteer your time, join studies or groups or simply give dollars to the cause.  Also, remember when you are doing your estate planning to remember those organizations that you support.

I am fortunate to be able to give back!  I hope you will find your area to give back, too!

Jim Plitz, Attorney, Phoenix, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, LawyerContributed by MH New Mexico Estate Planning Attorney James P. Plitz

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 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, Cave Creek, Tucson, 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.

Charitable Giving – Does it End When You Die?

By | Charitable Giving | No Comments

My wife and I write several checks each year to our favorite charities.  These charities do so much good; we feel our support can make a difference, no matter how small.  But we do not want those good deeds to “lose out” if we happen to pass away.  So our estate plan includes gifts to these charities.

Think about your favorite charities:  Best Friends, American Heart Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation. . . .  How much do you support them now?  Have you made provisions to give some support after you die?

The simplest way to achieve your charitable wishes is to include specific bequests in your trust.  Simply name the charity or charities that mean the most to you, and name the dollar amount or percentage that you would like to donate to their cause.

There are many advanced techniques if income tax, capital gains tax or estate taxes are an issue or concern.  These techniques enable more of your estate to go to your charities and your loved ones, rather than to the government in the form of taxes.

So make an appointment to talk with one of our Estate Planning attorneys to see the best way for you to keep your charitable giving alive, even after you die.  To schedule your free consultation contact us today at 888.222.1328.

Jim Plitz, Attorney, Phoenix, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, LawyerContributed by MH Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe Estat Planning Attorney James P. Plitz

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall 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.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, 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.