McDonald Warner - Probate, Elder Law, & Special Needs

estate planning Archives

Including charitable gifts in an estate plan

Some Arizona residents thinking about the future may want to make charitable giving part of their plans. Many people include donations to charity as part of their annual routines, donating around the holidays or another significant event or volunteering to help a cause they support. One of the most common types of charitable contribution is often made on death as part of a will or other bequest, but some people may be unsure about how they can best make their plans a reality.

Estate planning resolutions to consider during the new year

Some people in Arizona are fairly non-nonchalant about their resolutions for a new year. After all, it's often easy for individuals with good intentions to justify not being able to commit to daily gym visits beyond the first month of the year or not sticking to a diet that ends up being too restrictive. But a resolution that could have a long-term impact for anyone wishing to pass along certain assets to heirs or make important decisions in advance is a commitment to make estate planning a priority during the new year.

Using more than one trust in estate planning

When people in Arizona think about how to care for their loved ones after they are gone, they may be drawn by the flexibility and higher level of control provided by trusts. In addition, using trusts allows people to inherit outside the probate process. While they are less necessary for tax purposes than in the past given the large increases in exemptions from federal estate taxes, there are a number of reasons why people may opt for trusts to pass on their property.

How to revoke a power of attorney in Arizona

In Arizona, some estate owners grant powers of attorney to designated people to help them to manage their finances. A power of attorney could be immediately effective, or it may only come into effect if the grantor is found to be mentally incapacitated.

Avoiding celebrities' estate planning errors

Many people in Arizona admire the artistry and creativity of former Marvel chairman Stan Lee, the co-creator of Captain America and Spider-Man. However, after the 95-year-old Lee passed away, experts are urging people not to follow in his footsteps when it comes to estate planning. It is not clear whether Lee left behind any estate documents, although he is survived by his 68-year-old daughter. He is not alone; a number of celebrities with substantial estates, like Prince and Aretha Franklin, have also died without specifying how their assets should be distributed.

Handling hard assets in an estate plan

Over the years, many Arizonans acquire property for their own personal enjoyment. Items such as jewelry, artwork or other sorts of collectibles are some examples. In some cases, these hard assets may have substantial economic value. However, their monetary worth may be unknown. During the estate planning process, these items should be treated and assessed differently than liquid assets such as cash in a bank account.

Differences between charitable and other trusts

Charitable trusts can be useful tools for estate planning in Arizona. They often convey tax incentives and other benefits to the person planning the estate. There are a few things that distinguish charitable trusts from other trusts. First, they have a charitable purpose. Charitable purposes might include advancing religion or education, combating poverty, promoting health initiatives or otherwise benefiting the public.

Kids don't need to accept a timeshare from their parents

Arizona residents who inherit assets from their parents may find that they have inherited a timeshare. However, a child may not want to be responsible for an asset that may cost up to $3,000 a month in dues and other fees. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to ensure that a child is not responsible for these payments. First, the beneficiary may submit a written document saying that he or she has no interest in the property.

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