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Assets Archives - Morris Hall, PLLC

Asset Protection – It Works

By | Asset Protection, Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, Estate taxes, Trust Administration | No Comments

If I told you an inheritance can be left to whomever you want, without the fear that it could be taken by a lawsuit, bankruptcy or even divorce, would you want that benefit included in your plan? In today’s litigious society, asset protection is a critical component in anyone’s estate plan.

Our clients make sure the inheritance they leave their loved ones is protected. With a properly drafted trust, you can rest in peace knowing that the money you left behind will be used by your loved one, and not unintended people who could possibly take it from them.

We recently won a case for the son of a client because our client had the right language in his trust. I first met our client several years ago to review and update his estate plan. He did not think, at that time, that any of his children were going to be in any financial trouble. After our conversation, he made clear that the assets (his home and some savings) were to go to his children, and not to any future creditor (either a plaintiff in a lawsuit or bankruptcy trustee) because we discussed that risk and the need for assets protection. These were not current issues, but proper planning is using foresight to plan for life’s uncertainty.

Unfortunately, we had to utilize his plan a little sooner than we had hoped. Our client passed last year. After we were hired to assist with the administration of the trust we learned that one of our deceased client's sons was going through a bankruptcy. The trust we drafted was going to be put to the test.

We were asked by the son's bankruptcy counsel in another state to appear in the bankruptcy proceeding and defend the language in the trust document we had drafted for the bankruptcy debtor's father. We prepared our oral arguments and drafted a brief explaining to the judge how the trust works, and that the bankruptcy trustee was not entitled to any of the inheritance. The judge ultimately agreed. Every single penny of the inheritance was protected from the bankruptcy because of language we included in our trust document. And once the bankruptcy is settled, our client’s son will be able to use the inheritance to rebuild his financial life; because it is available to him, just as his dad intended.

And asset protection is not only for the rich. We frequently hear clients refer to their estates as "modest," but as the case we just went through tells us, even a modest inheritance of $50,000 can be worth protecting. Especially when you consider your heirs potentially losing the inheritance you leave them to an unintended third-party, it might seems more valuable, and perhaps worth more effort to protect. But to have this kind of asset protection in place, you have to plan ahead of time.

Come and talk with one of our estate planning attorneys and see how we can make asset protection a cornerstone to your plan.

james-plitz

 

 

 

Contributed by Morris Hall 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 New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. 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.

road-trip-1044982_960_720

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.

Happy 100th Birthday to the Federal Estate Tax

By | Estate taxes | No Comments

Yes, the Federal Estate Tax has turned 100. In 1916, the members of congress voted in the Revenue Act of 1916.  This introduced the modern-day income tax and also included what is known today as the Federal Estate Tax.  For 2016, that tax carries an exemption of $5,450,000 per individual.  Over the years, there have been many changes to the U.S. estate tax and in fact, many candidates for Congress and the President of the United Sates have actually asked for a complete repeal of the estate tax.

Andrew Mellon, who was at one time Treasury Secretary, believed that the estate tax would hurt our economy and was a strong advocate for complete repeal of the estate tax. With the higher exemption, fewer Americans now find themselves subject to the estate tax upon their demise.  However those who are fortunate to have an estate in excess of the exemption are still asking that the tax be repealed or at least lowered as they feel it is not a justified revenue source.  Congress has not been keen on the complete repeal of the tax but it appears that this years presidential candidates favor lowering the exemption.  Decisions of this magnitude will mostly not be known until the elections are over and our new president is in office.

 

ron-wilsonContributed by Morris Hall PLLC Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Ronald G. Wilson.

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.

 

Could You Become Too Affluent for Social Security?

By | Financial Planning, Other, Retirement Planning | 6 Comments

Social Security has been in our country since 1935, and for some, a resource that has been counted upon at retirement.  Currently there is consideration being given to reducing the amount of Social Security that is paid out.  Congress is evaluating the use of a means test to do so.   No one knows if means testing will become a reality, but the discussions that are taking place warrant further exploration and understanding.

A means test is simply a process of looking at income, and based on certain criteria, determines if social security is needed.  For example, one plan being considered would reduce Social Security by $1,000 per month, for every $1,000 of income that is non-Social Security income received over $55,000.

The idea of the means test was originally based upon some language found in the 2015 US budget proposal. The proposal was aimed toward reducing the aggressive Social Security claims, occurring when some are claiming benefits.

A means test could have the greatest impact on those in the middle class.  Hardworking individuals, professionals, and small business owners could be hurt significantly by this proposed evaluation.

The facts are, we do not know if and when means testing will actually be enacted.  The best solution however, is to plan now.   Start saving and protecting your investments for the future.  Morris Hall can help with that process.  We're happy to discuss this with you and advise as to the best processes and procedures and a way to hold your investments, as well as how to invest them.
dan-morris Contributed by Morris Hall PLLC Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Senior Partner Dan R. Morris.

What Morris Hall, PLLC can do for you:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have hundreds 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.

Dentist tools

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.

 

Children over 18? Parents Can No Longer Make the Decisions

By | E-Alert, Estate Planning, Living Will, Other, Uncategorized | No Comments

Does a parent have the automatic right to make the decisions for their children over eighteen (18) years of age?

In the past two weeks, I met with two families to assist them in their estate planning options. There was a common theme – each family thought that their children (all over 18) didn’t need their own individual planning because the parents would be able to  be in charge should the need arise.

Let’s take an example to illustrate:  Betty’s eighteen year old son, Sam, was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him unconscious and in a coma.  Can Betty legally make Sam’s healthcare and financial decisions now that he is unable to? No, Betty would legally be unable to do so just because she is Sam’s mother. If Sam had created Healthcare or Financial Powers of Attorney nominating Betty as his primary agent, then Betty would have the appropriate authority. However, the fact that Betty is Sam’s mother doesn’t give her an automatic right to make Sam’s decisions when he is unable to do so.

In our example, if Sam had not created Powers of Attorney, Betty would have to initiate a Guardianship/Conservatorship at the courthouse. This type of proceeding is called a Living Probate, and is very expensive, time consuming and can be humiliating.

And yet another more common example:  Susan and Bill’s eighteen year old daughter, Jill, is about to graduate from high school, and heading off to college in a few months. Will Jill’s parents be able to get access to her medical records should Jill end up at the hospital while away at school? Will they be able to tell the doctor which procedures to do on behalf of Jill? The answers are “No.”

In this common example, Jill is considered an adult, and must designate in writing who can step in and receive her health information or make her health decisions. If she does not do so, and becomes incapacitated, her parents will have to go to court to initiate a Guardianship/Conservatorship.

We can avoid this unnecessary cost and humiliation during our life. How? If you are over eighteen years of age, you need a properly drafted Healthcare Power of Attorney, Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Authorization to Disclose Health Information (HIPAA) which nominates an individual(s) chosen by you, not the court, to get access to and handle your medical decisions should you become incapacitated.

 

Wendy-Harn-Photo  Contributed 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. 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.

 

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.

Make Things Easier for Those Left Behind: Leave a “Map”

By | Attorney Andrea Claus, Beneficiaries, Estate Planning | No Comments

The hardest part in creating your estate plan is seeing the attorney to make sure it is done right.  I want to give the proper kudos to all those I’ve met, those who’ve been diligent in creating a plan and memorializing their final wishes.  Yet many have not listened to my recommended “follow-up” step – communicate with your loved ones.  The most critical piece that needs to be shared is these documents might be found.  This little oversight can be especially worrisome because loved ones don’t often search for estate documents until after the funeral.    At the very least,  leave your loved ones a “map” to help guide them after you’re gone. Without the documents, conflicts can arise between family members as to what a parent or loved one would have wanted.  Further, problems, such as delay and missteps, can continue if you did not leave a current list of assets or the location of important documents.

A map is a tool used to get from one point to another – a tool used to prevent getting lost.  Your map leaves directions or guidelines as to your burial or funeral wishes for your loved ones to follow.  By providing directions to those left behind, you’ve reduced the burden on them to have to decide.  There is no wondering whether something is as you’d have wished, no second-guessing, and the chance for conflict amongst the family is most likely eliminated.

Your map should also provide a list of current assets.  The person whom you’ve charged with settling things after you’ve gone (your ‘executor’) will need to know what you have in order to account for and make your distributions.  By leaving a current list of assets, and clearing out all outdated statements, contracts and policies, you will make that task much easier.  Ensuring that the person you’ve named knows where to access your estate plan and your “map” is of utmost importance.

One of the greatest gifts you can give a loved one is the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re carrying out your true wishes.  Creating a complete estate plan ensures this, and to leave a “map” will relieve a great burden during a difficult time.  Call for an appointment with a Morris Hall attorney today; we are happy to review your plans and help you outline what all should be in your map.

andrea-claus Contributed by Morris Hall PLLC Phoenix 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.

Estate Planning is Easy; Right?

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

Have you filed your personal income tax return yet?  We know everyone, and every entity, that earns income in the U.S. is required to file a tax return.  The filing deadline for 2015 for individuals is fast approaching on April 15, 2016 (Note: The filing deadline is actually April 18th this year due to Emancipation Day in DC falling on April 15th, and if you live in Massachusetts or Maine the filing deadline is April 19th, in consideration of Patriots Day).  We all know it can be a time consuming and arduous process to organize your income and expenses from the past twelve months, especially if you own a business.  Yet most of us get it done, every single year, and manage to file on time!

Comparatively, have you ever considered how many times in your life you will need to prepare your estate plan?  Your original plan only has to be drafted just one time.  As long as it is properly drafted, it will only need to be updated when something in your life or the law changes.  Wait!  Before you stop reading: the law does not change all that often.  Your estate planning attorney (especially if you have a Morris Hall attorney) will let you know of any changes to law impacting your estate plan.  This means you won’t bear the responsibility of keeping up with the federal and state laws yourself. Whew!  I know, you were about to log off the internet and go see your dentist, because - for a brief moment- that sounded like more fun.  We know when changes to law occur and we notify our clients if and when an update to their estate plan might be necessary.

With regard to filing a tax return, some of us have actually read the Internal Revenue Code and have a working knowledge of various aspects of federal and state tax law, such as income tax (capital gains, withholding, self-employment, etc.).  Many of us even have a surface understanding of what we can and cannot do on our income tax returns, including which business expense deductions are generally allowed (versus advisable); or which transactions are deductible as business expenses (versus which should be amortized or depreciated).  Even if you think you understand the tax code, you are in the minority.  Very few individuals truly know how to apply tax law to employee income or business bookkeeping, let alone translate it into accurate reporting on a tax return.  There is a reason we hire tax professionals to prepare our income tax returns; the tax code (both federal and state) is complicated.

Estate planning is the same:  it is complicated.  You may have some basic understanding of some basic techniques to transition assets to others when you pass.  But, like with the income tax, there are nuances that require both a breadth and depth of knowledge of the laws and the applications of those laws.  Not every attorney can do that for you.

Most attorneys don’t devote their practice to understanding the intricate aspects of estate planning.  Further, most attorneys practice estate planning as part of a larger practice area.  How are those attorneys able to manage so much responsibility and understanding while still drafting accurate and up-to-date estate planning documents?  We focus our entire practice on estate planning, so we know how much effort it takes to practice estate planning exclusively.

Does your CPA specialize in tax?  If she is currently an internal audit specialist but still supplements her practice by preparing individual tax returns, she might not be spending much of her time or energy on current updates to the tax code and revenue reports.  Although you probably get a tax return filed on time, are you sure you didn’t miss out on a refund, or under-report your income or under-pay your tax liability?  These kinds of oversights could result in an audit, penalties and/or additional tax assessments.

Comparatively, we leverage our expertise to provide the best advice to you regarding the good and bad with your current estate plan and help devise the best plan for your individual circumstances.   You may have a surface understanding of a particular area of estate law, but the many nuances  can lead to a variety of outcomes; not all favorable.  But that’s normal, you, the client, would not study and stay abreast of all of the intricacies of the law that could impact your estate plan.  Why would you?  There’s life to live out there!  More importantly, you never want to wonder what might happen if your plan is not updated, or what might have been overlooked by your original attorney.

If I knew everything there was to know about income tax, I would likely be alone… on a deserted island... with an adding machine… You get the picture - the income code is too complicated to know it intimately; and you still want to have friends!  If you knew everything about estate tax, you would not likely be reading this article, and you would have no need for an estate planning attorney, but then again, you might also be alone… on your deserted island.

Make an appointment with a Morris Hall attorney today, so we can help you devise a plan or review your existing plan.  Because we actually do spend a lot of time reading the tax code and other such truly riveting reading material, we are constantly striving to be the best.  We figure we ought to make good use of what we’ve learned studying estate planning while you are out enjoying your life, just like you should be.

Incidentally, we are fine here at Morris Hall, islands can be lovely this time of year.

Leslie 2 x 3 copy  Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque Estate Planning Attorney, Leslie M. Thompson.

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.

 

 

Spring Cleaning: Shred or Keep?

By | Estate Planning, Other | One Comment

It’s my favorite time of year – spring! And that means it’s time to get busy and do some spring cleaning.

What does spring cleaning and estate planning have to do with each other?

Getting one’s affairs in order with planning, also means getting organized with “cleaning” out the filing cabinets, drawers, safe deposit boxes and any other areas where important papers are kept.

When I visit with families and discuss their estate planning options, I always ask this question during our discussion – “If something tragic were to happen to you tomorrow, would the family be able to step into your life and know how to locate your asset and income sources?”

Typically the answer across the table is “No, they would have no idea.” More interesting is that even with married couples, the answer is the same.

It’s crucial that we begin sharing the location of where important papers are kept. But even more critical is that our filing cabinets and other storage areas of important papers are continually kept with current documents.

Before tragedy hits, it’s a perfect time to organize those location spots and shred old life insurance policies or bank statements that were closed years ago. During an emotional time, those that you leave behind don’t need to spin their wheels tracking down assets that no longer exist.

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

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.