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Estate Planning Must-Haves With COVID-19

By | Estate Planning, Healthcare documents | No Comments

COVID-19, social distancing, and sheltering-in-place brought new changes to our perspectives and the need to re-evaluate current estate planning documents (or lack thereof).  What many people don’t realize is that there are a couple of must haves for everyone, not just clients, with COVID-19 that everyone should know about and consider implementing now.  With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at these must haves.

  • Immediately review healthcare documents.

Everyone, particularly those age 60 and over or with a chronic underlying condition should immediately review their healthcare-related documents including: living will, DNR, healthcare proxy (a.k.a. healthcare power of attorney), and HIPAA release.  Additionally, everyone should immediately consider these documents for themselves if they do not have them.

Attorneys and advisors understand the need to have current documents reflecting the client’s current wishes, and an agent capable of and willing to act in addition to successors.  Apart from the obvious concerns, there are several critical issues with respect to these documents that may warrant immediate revision of these documents for many clients. These issues are specific to the current circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • Consider changes to your document if the agent cannot be present.

Prior to COVID-19, very often an agent would physically be in the hospital or medical provider with the healthcare proxy in hand with the individual appointing them going into the hospital. Now, with social isolation and quarantines, physical presence might be impossible.

Consider adding language to all healthcare related documents where the client executing the healthcare power of attorney or proxy expressly authorizes the agent to direct medical providers by telephone, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, email and other manner of communication.  COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation that is not contemplated in many of the forms and documents currently in use.  Adding this language should help the agent more effectively act and interact with the medical providers.

  • Review intubation prohibitions in health care documents.

Often, standard documents and forms include an absolute prohibition of intubation.  This can prove fatal if that person contracts COVID-19.  In most cases, clients’ intentions when signing these documents was that if they are in a terminal condition and there is really no hope of survival they do not want to be “hooked up to a bunch of tubes” while being kept artificially alive.  People over age 60 or with an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or COPD who contract the virus it would almost assuredly want to be intubated if it meant they would survive COVID-19.

Consequently, many people age 60 with COPD or diabetes might be very likely to survive COVID-19 if they are intubated. This situation differs from those contemplated in many living wills and other healthcare documents.  People with documents barring intubation in all circumstances should immediately revisit those documents and execute new documents that (1) expressly superseding the old documents, and (2) contain more reasonable intubation language are based upon the current circumstances.

As you can see, these must haves apply to everyone, and can help families and those affected with COVID-19 more effectively make health care decisions and obtain care.   As we’ve mentioned previously, hopefully, this “Brave New World’ is temporary, and we can all get back to our regular lives.  These must haves will allow more effective health care decision making in any event going forward.

 

The Danger of DIY documents

The Dangers of "DIY" Estate Planning

By | COVID-19, Estate Planning, Healthcare documents, Preparedness | No Comments

In response to fear, anxiety, and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are scrambling to create hasty estate plans, including end-of-life directives.  According to a recent online article, several companies have seen a spike in creation of online, Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) wills, powers of attorney and health care documents.

When bad things happen, fear can motivate us to take action. Although fear is a great motivator,  rushing to put together a hasty DIY plan could result in unexpected consequences.

In 2016, my grandfather was scheduled for surgery and was told by his doctor that his healthcare documents were outdated, and that he would need to execute new documents. Fear and urgency made him rush to put together new estate planning documents and healthcare directives.

Instead of seeking the advice of a qualified estate planning attorney, my grandfather completed fill-in-the-blank forms online. The online “package” consisted of a statutory healthcare directive, a statutory Living Will, Medical Treatment Plan, Special Power of Attorney, and a Last Will and Testament.

To most people this would seem like a pretty straight forward and comprehensive plan. However, by filling out this DIY package, my grandfather completely unraveled his intended estate plan, which caused additional delay and resulted in expensive litigation.

Through the DIY package, my grandfather unintentionally gave the entire estate to his then current wife, which contradicted his previously established trust, letters, notes, and other documents evidencing his intent to distribute 50% of the estate to his wife and 50% equally to his children.

At Morris Hall, PLLC we have been helping families plan for life’s uncertainties for 50 years. During this novel time, our entire Morris Hall team remains ready to serve you. We encourage you to take action and create an estate plan that brings peace to yourself and your family. Don’t let fear paralyze you or cause you to make hasty decisions. We want you and your family to avoid the unnecessary costs, delay, and uncertainty that result from DIY estate plans.

Call to schedule a phone or video consultation with one of our qualified and caring attorneys to have your current estate plan reviewed or to establish a new estate plan that accomplishes your goals.

 

Call 888-222-1328 or email us at info@morristrust.com

 

Estate Planning and COVID-19

By | Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Healthcare documents, Life Care Planning, Uncategorized | No Comments

Estate Planning and COVID-19  -  Preparing for the Coronavirus

By now, many people throughout the world are aware of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019. Since that time, it has made its way into the United States, and is the cause of much disruption to the everyday living we’re accustomed to.

COVID-19 is serving as a wake-up call to many people to get their estate plans in order. No matter who you are, it is crucial to know the answer to the following question: who will handle my bills, taxes, and other financial obligations if I become ill or temporarily incapacitated?

Regardless of health or wealth, everyone should have these three basic estate planning documents:

  • Property Power of Attorney. This document allows your agent to pay your bills and make other time-sensitive financial decisions during your incapacity.
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney. This document allows your agent to work with medical professionals to make health-related decisions on your behalf if you were unable to do so.
  • HIPAA Form. This form authorizes those you designate to access your protected health information.

Taking simple precautions will allow you to sleep easier and help you weather this and future storms of uncertainty.  If you would like to discuss these, or other estate planning documents that are right of you, please contact our offices for a complimentary consultation.  Our office is currently not accepting in-person consultations as an abundance of caution.  We are happy to consult with you via telephone or video-conference to help ensure your health and safety. Please call our offices at 888-222-1328 or schedule a meeting online by clicking here

While there is presently no vaccine for COVID-19, the CDC has provided the following recommendations regarding prevention:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Estate Planning Attorney, William Morgan.

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
Morris Hall, PLLC has focused its legal practice on estate planning for 50 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 estate planning matters. 

 

Morris Hall, PLLC

Offices in AZ and NM  888.222.1328 

5 Most Common Estate Planning Errors

By | Asset Protection, E-Alert, Estate Planning, Healthcare documents, Living Will, Pour Over Will, Will | No Comments

Most families don’t receive their wealth through inheritance or winning the lottery, but rather through years of hard work and sacrifice. However, it always amazes me that although everyone understands that we are all going to die, a vast majority disregard estate planning completely.

Here are five common estate planning mistakes that can ruin the legacy that you have worked so hard to build.

1.  No Will.  Approximately 70% of Americans do not plan at all, and therefore die ‘intestate’. Depending on which state you live in, dying without a Will could unfortunately cause your estate to pass to people that you wouldn’t have chosen.

2.  Failing to update your estate plan.  Too often, people that have an estate plan allow their plan to collect dust on a shelf. The plan is forgotten. Life changes such as divorce, deaths and births can have a significant impact on one’s original choices. For example, when you create a Will and leave everything to your spouse, you don’t anticipate a future divorce where your hard earned funds could go to the ex-spouse’s new family. Depending on the state, this could happen. An estate plan should be reviewed every 2 years to ensure that your choices are up to date with life’s changes.

3.  Unrealistic view regarding beneficiaries.  Every person should ask themselves if their chosen beneficiaries will be mature enough emotionally and financially to handle a pot of cash. Are they a spendthrift? Do they have a drug problem or gambling issues? If there is any doubt now, your estate plan can take these issues into account and protect your beneficiaries from themselves.

4.  Inadequate estate plan.  Some families begin estate planning with a simple Will; however, as years go on and assets are accumulated, the Will may not be the strongest tool. A properly drafted Revocable Living Trust will allow for the avoidance of a living and death probate, restrictions on spendthrift beneficiaries, and asset protection and a minimization of tax issues.

5.  Failure to change Personal Representative and/or Trustee.  Sometimes those we name in fiduciary roles may no longer be the best choice. Our relationships with these folks may change over time, or they may move out of state. Reviewing your plan every 2 years is essential to ensure that your choices are the best they can be.

Wendy-Harn-PhotoContributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Tucson, Oro Valley and Green 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. We have offices throughout Arizona and New Mexico.  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.

Traveling – Plan for Your Destination!

By | Healthcare documents | No Comments

Summer time is synonymous with bark yard BBQ’s, pool time, ice cream, fireworks and vacations.  Every couple of years our family takes a road trip.  We plan in advance of where we want to go, the routes we will take and the activities along the way.  Although we are adventuresome, it would be unusual for us to steer off of our pre-planned path.

But many people do and prefer to take a different road that leads them to their destination.  Perhaps this will take them to a new town, favorite restaurant or meet new people. While this off the beaten path attitude is great for a road trip, it is not the best advice when preparing for your Health Care documents.

It is not a matter of if, but when.  Unfortunately I don’t have a calendar that will tell me when something might occur where I could not speak for myself or make any decisions.  At this time, pre-planning is imperative.   Having things in place before I get to that point allows me to make the choices that best suit the road that I want to take.

I have met a number of individuals who think that such documents do not apply to them – they are too young, their family knows what they want or that it is just too hard to think about.  Life can include hard choices and unpleasant decisions, but pre-planning those allows my family to not bear that burden or feel uncertain of what my wishes truly are.

Leave a road map for your loved ones, pre-plan the route for them and have the documents created.  Call Morris Hall before you take to the road.  This small task gives everyone a clear picture of what your destination includes.

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, 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.

A Trip to the Dentist and My Estate Plan

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

Every 6 months, it is recommend that you visit your dentist. I have done this for as long as I can remember, and have taught my kids to do the same. I have never enjoyed going, but understand the importance of it and going regularly. Having them cleaned, checked out, and x-rayed from time to time, helps to catch any issues that might be cropping up. It is always a good day to walk out of the office with a high five from my dentist and no cavities.
So, why would I think about my estate plan while at the dentist? How could they possibly be related?
There are more similarities than the average person may think. I realized a few years ago that an estate plan was not about how much money you might have, or your age in life. But more so about planning and taking care of the important things in my life. Just like I take care of my teeth, I want to take care of my family in the event that I am unable to.
So, I set up a plan. It details out all of the things that I want to have happen in the event I am unable to make decisions or I am no longer around. Whew. Got that off of my plate. But the second miss-conception is that once I have a plan done, there is no other work needed. I found out quickly that this is not the case.
Just like the visit to the dentist every 6 months, my estate plan also needs to be reviewed. While it is not always fun to talk about my own death or what might happen, being in control of the decisions that need to be made in that event, gives me the peace of mind I need. Who knows better than myself? Also, things change. Since plan was first created, my children have grown, I might have moved, or have accumulated a new retirement plan – my wishes might change. So, every couple of years, I visit with my estate planning attorney and my plan gets a “checkup”.
Getting a regular review follows the same path as taking care of my teeth, but less painful than having a having a new filling because I didn’t brush properly.

 

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.

 

Why You Need a Living Trust

By | Beneficiaries, Death Probate, Estate Planning, Healthcare documents, Living Will | No Comments

This is the second piece of a four-part series on why you need a living trust.  As mentioned in my previous blog, I recently read an article from a well-known business publication that provided four reasons why you don’t need a living trust.  The second reason provided by the publication is:

~ Probate doesn’t have to be a nightmare ~

The article points out that many states have streamlined processes for small estates.  In addition, the article states that probate can be beneficial because the process is monitored by the court, which helps ensure that the executor is following the provisions of the will.

Although probate can be streamlined, that is only true for a minority of cases. Many states don’t offer a streamlined process, and others consider a “small estate” to be a total estate value of $5,000 to $10,000.  The truth is - probate is most often a nightmare.

Here are a few disadvantages to probate that the article fails to mention:

  • Probate is expensive. Probate can cost up to 4% to 5% of the gross estate. For example, if you have a house worth $400,000, with $200,000 left on the mortgage, the attorney will base the fee on the $400,000, and not consider there is only $200,000 worth of equity in the home.
  • Probate is public record. This means anyone can view your probate file and have access to your personal information.
  • If you live in a state that has a streamlined process (say with a $100,000 probate threshold), but you own a $75,000 asset in a non-streamlined state that has a $50,000 probate threshold, you will be required to open a probate in the non-streamlined state.
  • If your designated beneficiary is a minor, or is declared mentally incapacitated at the time of distribution, a conservatorship will be required to determine who will manage the beneficiary’s inheritance until the beneficiary is no longer a minor or regains capacity. Upon the minor turning an adult, which in many states is 18 years old, the conservator will have to release the money to the child. Having an 18 year old manage even a small amount of wealth could be problematic.
  • The probate process is monitored by the probate court, but it is also influenced by the court’s schedule; meaning, if the court’s calendar is heavily booked, then you may be waiting a long time for the probate to close. Many probates can take up to 18 to 24 months to complete.
  • More often than not, in a probate proceeding, it means that your loved ones will receive their inheritance as an outright distribution. This means their inheritance will not have any protection from future divorces, creditors, bankruptcies, or taxes. Most of us have worked too hard, sacrificed too much, worked endless hours to see our legacy destroyed or wiped out by leaving everything we have to those we love without any protections. With a living trust, not only can you avoid probate, but you can also ensure that your loved one’s inheritance will be protected after you are gone.

The above examples are just a few of the disadvantages of a probate.  A properly drafted revocable living trust can prevent all of the above-listed disadvantages. Before deciding on whether to create a will or a living trust, contact a qualified estate planning attorney who can help assess what estate planning method is right for you.

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

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

The King’s Estate – B.B. King, That Is

By | Estate Planning, Estate taxes, Guardianship, Healthcare documents, Living Will | No Comments
SAN RAFAEL, CA - FEBRUARY 26: B.B. King performs at Marin Center on February 26, 2014 in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

SAN RAFAEL, CA - FEBRUARY 26: B.B. King performs at Marin Center on February 26, 2014 in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

Even before blues legend B. B. King passed on May 15, 2015 at the age of 89, dark clouds hung over his estimated $10 million estate.

King is survived by eleven of his children, though King granted Power of Attorney to his longtime business manager, Laverne Toney.  About a month ago, one of King’s daughters, Patty King, filed elder abuse charges against Toney.   Ms. King alleged her father needed medical attention and pleaded with Toney to have her father taken to a hospital.  When Toney allegedly refused, police and paramedics were called to the scene..

Three of King’s children, Patty King, Karen Williams, and Rita Washington, had previously filed elder abuse and robbery charges against Toney back in November, claiming Toney had appropriated $20-30 million from their father, had been withholding his medication while on tour, and stolen several Rolex watches and other jewelry valued at $250,000; those charges were ultimately dismissed by the court.

Shirley King, another of King’s daughters, has taken to Facebook throughout this ordeal to publicly voice her outrage at Toney for his poor treatment of her father and allegedly keeping friends and family from seeing King in his final days.

Toney maintains that all of these claims against him are false, the desperate attempts of King’s children to dog-ear as much of their father’s money and future music royalties for themselves.

This is not the legacy that most of us hope to leave behind, and Mr. King’s Estate has not even been opened yet.

There is no amount of fame or money that can protect us from the issues that can arise around the settling an estate. Millions of dollars and good intentions cannot take the place of good, thorough estate planning.  Creating an estate plan can be an uncomfortable thought experiment that many avoid until it is too late.  Plus, once we begin creating an estate plan, many select their agents for Powers of Attorney or Executors based on our current predicaments – when we are able-bodied, in control of many of our affairs, and perhaps have not fully considered whether those we have selected will continue to honor our wishes and best interests when we are no longer there to watch over them.  The simple truth is that it can be hard for all of us to imagine the world without us in it.  Proper consideration and a thorough estate plan can help to minimize these sorts of ugly exchanges among your loved and trusted ones, if not prevent them altogether.

For once we pass, our plans are set in stone, and at that point, as the song goes, the thrill is gone.

 

Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC, Heidi Harris.

 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.