Blog Archives

A Widow’s Tale of Woe — A Missing Beneficiary Designation

This edited article from USA Today illustrates the importance of beneficiary designation forms: A Widow’s Tale of Woe.  Every person with an IRA, a 401k, or a corporate retirement plan needs to take the following steps to ensure their plan benefits will

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Arizona’s Updated Certification of Trust Law

Arizona recently updated its Certification of Trust law in two important areas. This updated law prohibits third parties from requiring trustees to disclose the names of successor trustees, unless the third party provides a verified statement justifying the request. The

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Overlooked Consequences of New Estate Tax Law

A dramatic change to our nation’s estate and gift tax laws occurred in 2018. This change increased estate and gift tax exemptions to such an extent that most decedents’ estates may never incur estate taxes. However, these increased exemptions also harbor

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Revoking “Irrevocable”​ Trusts — Decanting

It is commonly assumed that an “irrevocable trust” is one whose terms can never be changed. However, that assumption is not always true. There are many ways an “irrevocable” trust can be modified or even terminated. Some of those ways

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What is a Trust Protector

A Trust Protector is an individual or legal entity that can be given a broad range of authority to make changes in a trust document when those changes cannot be made because of the trust maker’s incapacity or death. Individuals

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2018 Changes to Estate and Gift Tax Laws

Important Tax Provisions in The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017: Estate planning. Most taxpayers will never pay a federal estate tax. However, there remain many reasons to engage in estate planning. Trusts can avoid probate, provide protection from

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2017 Changes to Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Laws

As of January 1, 2017, the exemptions for federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer taxes have been increased to $5,490,000. The annual exclusion from gift taxes remains at $14,000.

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Arizona Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

Effective August 8, 2016, Arizona law allows an agent under a power of attorney, a trustee of a trust, or the personal representative of an estate to access, manage, and distribute the “digital assets” of an incapacitated or deceased individual.  To take advantage of this new law, individuals

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2016 Changes to Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Laws

As of January 1, 2016, the exemptions for federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer taxes have been increased to $5,450,000. The annual exclusion from gift taxes remains at $14,000.

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2015 Changes to Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Laws

As of January 1, 2015, the exemptions for federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer taxes have been increased to $5,430,000. The annual exclusion from gift taxes remains at $14,000.

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