A faithful reader, appraiser Steve Cole, suggested that in my next Update on the subject of homeowners’ associations, I should discuss the ins and outs of architectural review, also known as design review. If you have ever lived in a neighborhood governed by, or otherwise had to deal with, a homeowners’ association, you have probably […]
ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: January, 2018 How Do You Make An Organ Donation As Part Of Your Estate Plan?
I have written in the past about Donate Life Arizona, also known as the Donor Network of Arizona. It’s part of a larger organization called Donate Life that calls itself an organ procurement organization. It facilitates organ and tissue donation in Arizona and other states. Arizona law contains specific directions for how to make an […]
A recent item in the Arizona Daily Star told about plans to install (“build” isn’t really the right term, for reasons that will be clear in a minute) tiny houses in the Vail school district for teachers to live in. I’m staying completely away from the debate about whether or not this is the right […]
Tax Law Special Report: November 2017 All The Hullaballoo Over The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction Comes Down To Changing One Amount
I usually don’t bother writing about, or even spend too much time thinking about, proposed tax legislation. I figure I can’t do anything about it except to try to understand it after it is enacted. I’m going to make an exception for the proposed change to the dollar limit on the home mortgage interest deduction because […]
Tax Law Special Report If Someone Calls You And Says They Are From The IRS, Then Says Any Of These Things, They Are Trying To Rob You
The IRS will not do any of the following: (1) ask you to pay a tax debt with a prepaid debit card or a gift card. (2) demand payment of a tax debt without having told you first, in writing, how much they think you owe them. (3) threaten to have the local police arrest […]
REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: September 2017 It Is Possible For Your Homeowners’ Association To Take Your House, But Only If You Don’t Follow The Rules And They Do
The Arizona Republic recently published an investigative series about homeowners who have lost their houses as the result of foreclosures by their homeowners’ associations. As happens periodically, some people have pointed to these events as demonstrating the need for closer government regulation of homeowners’ associations. My own view is that the process by which homeowners’ […]
REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: August 2017 In Brand Dispute, Court Tells State That Law Means What It Says- No Identical Brands
In a case decision that will no doubt be of interest to my friends and clients in the cattle industry, the Arizona Supreme Court has just ruled that the Department of Agriculture can’t record a livestock brand that is identical to a previously recorded brand, even if the new brand is to be placed in […]
I have addressed in previous reports the tax consequences of gifts and inheritances, but the subject is worth revisiting because I get asked about it frequently. There is a common misconception that inheritances are automatically taxable. Although the reasoning behind that misconception is usually not clearly articulated or is unexpressed, I think it originates with […]
ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: June 2017
New Legislation Concerning End of Life Care Focuses On Health Care Providers, But the Likely Practical Effect Is Unclear
There has been some publicity recently about a piece of Arizona legislation concerning end of life care. The legislation says that a health care provider can’t be discriminated against (fired, demoted, have their wages cut, etc.) because the provider “does not provide [services] for the purpose of causing or assisting in causing the death of […]
REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: May 2017 When Must a Seller of Land Provide an Affidavit of Disclosure (Or, When Is Property “Unsubdivided”)?
On at least a couple of occasions in the past I have written about the Arizona statute that requires sellers of unsubdivided land in unincorporated areas to provide an affidavit of disclosure. A commenter recently pointed out an area of uncertainty that I believe I identified in some of my earlier writings on this subject. […]
When I wrote a newsletter with that headline nearly ten years ago, foreclosures were probably not yet part of the general public consciousness. Things have sure changed since then. Even though many more people are at least aware of the subject now than was the case ten years ago, however, I’ll bet that most don’t […]
ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: March 2017
Funding A Trust and Other Ways To Leave Things To People Without Using A Will
I know I have written at various times in the past about re-titling your assets after you have established a trust, but I still get more questions about it than just about any other topic. So, it’s time for quick review. When you establish a trust, the purpose is usually to facilitate the management, and […]
Sometimes I’m asked this question by someone I’m helping with estate planning: What is my legal name? The question is usually asked by someone who has, for generally non-legal reasons, used different names at different times in his or her life. Sometimes the question is asked because discrepancies have, perhaps accidentally, occurred in the way […]
Tax Law Special Report Federal Individual Income Tax Filing Season Runs From January 23 Through April 18, 2017
The IRS announced in its first news release of the year that it will begin accepting 2016 individual income tax returns via electronic filing, and will start processing paper returns, on January 23, 2017. The same announcement says that the deadline for filing 2016 returns is April 18, 2017. Yes, the filing deadline is April […]
ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: December 2016
Should I Include My Life Insurance In My Living Trust, and If So How Do I Do It?
I am frequently asked about including life insurance in a revocable living trust. Usually the question is something like this: should my revocable living trust own my life insurance? The answer to that one is generally, no, there’s no need for your revocable living trust to “own” your life insurance. There are other types of […]
ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: November 2016 How Should I Handle the Sensitive Subject Of Funeral and Burial Instructions?
I have written about funeral and burial instructions on a few occasions in the past, but rarely have I discussed the subject in much detail. Maybe I have been reluctant to get into it in detail because of the sensitivity of subject. It is important, however, so here goes. There isn’t as much law about […]