Newsletters Archive

Tax Law Special Report: April 2019
If I Didn’t File My Tax Return On Time, What Excuses Will Be Good Enough To Get Me Out of Paying A Penalty?

A tax newsletter that I read reported on a court decision that I think is worth passing along to you, my loyal readers. It’s a decision from the United States Court of Federal Claims that addresses this timely question: if I file a tax return late (without requesting an extension), what excuses might be good […]

REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: March 2019
Paint It Black

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I suspect that in my grandparents’ day, no homeowner would have thought that he or she could control what color the neighbors could or couldn’t paint their houses. Boy, have things changed. Now, it’s news when someone paints their house an obnoxious color and dares the neighbors to do something about it. Three news items […]

ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: December 2018
If You Want To Make Sure That Your Tangible Items Go Where You Want Them To Go, Make A Will, Then Make A List

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Here’s a question I am frequently asked: how do I take care of distributing my ____________ (fill in the blank: jewelry, or Hummel collection, or gun collection, or other collection of tangible items) among my relatives? The answer I give is this: make a tangible personal property list. A tangible personal property list is a […]

ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: August 2018
What Is “Funding” A Trust and What Are Other Ways To Leave Things To People Without Using A Will?

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I have written at various times in the past about re-titling your assets after you have established a trust, and emphasized the importance of this process. Nevertheless, I still get more questions about it than just about any other topic. So, at the risk of redundancy, I decided that it’s time for a quick review. […]

ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: April, 2018
If A Rescue Organization Presents You With An Adoption Contract For A Pet, I Suggest You Read It Carefully

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Reading a blog post about pet rescuers, I came across a link to an adoption contract. It’s a contract that is intended for use between a pet rescue organization and individuals adopting pets from the organization. The contract includes this provision (the typos are in the original as I found it): It is agreed that […]

ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: March, 2018
Should You Have A DNR ?

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I have written in the past about the prehospital medical care directive, also known as a “do-not-resuscitate” instruction or “DNR.” I am asked about it frequently, but not many people actually sign one after I explain it to them. The law on the DNR is actually relatively straightforward, although it seems that few people have […]

REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: February, 2018
Rules of the Road For Your HOA’s Design Review Committee

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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?

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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 […]