Publications

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: November 2016
How Should I Handle the Sensitive Subject Of Funeral and Burial Instructions?

Hannah

December 8, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: October 2016
What Not To Do, And What To Do, When Deciding How To Handle The Contents Of The Family Homestead

November 1, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

I have heard lots of stories over the years about how families have handled removing the contents of the family homestead when the time came to sell it, after the family members who lived there passed away. A blogger whose posts I read occasionally, who uses the screen name Coyote, recently put up a short […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: September 2016
Frequently Asked Questions About Wills

Hannah

September 20, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

Why is it so important to preserve an original will? The answer to that question is right in the Arizona probate code: If an original will that was last seen in the possession of the testator cannot be found after the testator’s death, the testator is presumed to have destroyed the will with the intention […]

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TAX LAW SPECIAL REPORT: August, 2016
A Limited Proposal For Savings Accounts That Would Grow Tax-Free Regardless Of The Purpose

Hannah

August 22, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

Last year in this space I asked the question: should the income earned on savings be exempt from income tax regardless of the purpose of the savings? Under the federal tax code, there are three common types of savings accounts in which the earnings are given at least some exemption from income tax: retirement accounts […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT:
Beware of Telephone Callers Asking For Valuable Information

Hannah

July 20, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

A story that appeared in The Arizona Republic on June 30 caught my eye. The story is about an all-too-prevalent scam: elderly people receive a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild, or claiming to be calling about their grandchild. The caller says that the grandchild is in trouble in some faraway place […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT:
A Trust For Your Pets? Yes, It is Possible Now In All 50 States and DC

Hannah

June 29, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

With Minnesota’s recent enactment of legislation permitting pet trusts, pet trusts are now recognized by law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The idea isn’t new in Arizona, however. In Arizona we have two separate statutes that deal with pet trusts, one of which is part of the probate code and has […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT:
Don’t Make a Holographic Will Unless You Have No Alternative

Hannah

May 23, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

Arizona law requires that a will be in writing, signed by the testator and by two witnesses. A will that does not comply with those requirements can nevertheless be valid, however, if the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the person making the will (that’s the “testator”). Such a will is […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT:
Adding Your Child To Your House, Car or Bank Account As Joint Owner Is Both Unnecesary And Dangerous

Hannah

April 28, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

For as long as I have been advising clients on estate planning and estate administration, I have seen elderly people who have made one or more of their children a joint owner on their house, their car, their bank account, or all three.  The reason for doing it is almost always that the parent wants […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: March 2016
A Large Portion Of Tucson Is Officially Designated “Territory In The Vicinity Of A Military Airport”

Hannah

March 29, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

I admit up front that I know almost nothing about the substantive law behind a lawsuit filed recently against the Air Force in federal court in Tucson. The lawsuit is founded on the claim that airport noise can detract from children’s mental development and education, and therefore the environmental review that was done in conjunction with a plan for more “visiting” aircraft […]

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TAX LAW SPECIAL REPORT
What Is That Notice I Receive From The County Assessor Every February, and What Am I Supposed To Do About It?

Hannah

February 16, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

Sometime soon, meaning before March 1, the County Assessor of each county in Arizona will be mailing to all property owners the annual notice of the valuation of property for purposes of property tax assessment. It’s that letter you get every year that says “NOTICE OF VALUATION” at the top.  It used to be a […]

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TAX LAW SPECIAL REPORT
File Your 2015 Individual Federal Income Tax Return Between January 19 & April 18, 2016

NB Hannah

January 14, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

The IRS announced last month that it will begin accepting 2015 individual income tax returns via electronic filing, and will start processing paper returns, on January 19, 2016.  The same announcement says that the deadline for filing 2015 returns is April 18, 2016. Yes, the filing deadline this year is April 18, not April 15. Why? […]

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Estate Planning Law Report: December 2015
Lawmakers Propose To Pay Medicare Beneficiaries $75 For Creating Electronic Advance Directives

NB Hannah

December 18, 2015

by Nathan Hannah

An advance directive is a document that deals with a person’s future health care decisions.  The term used in Arizona law is health care directive.  The health care directives provided for under Arizona law include health care power of attorney, mental health power of attorney, living will, and prehospital medical care directive. I have written […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: November 2015
If You Are In The Market For Real Estate, The Arizona Buyer Advisory Is A Good Source Of Information

NB Hannah

November 25, 2015

by Nathan Hannah

The Buyer Advisory provided by the Arizona Department of Real Estate and the Arizona Association of Realtors® has been updated as of September, 2015.  It can be viewed and printed from the Association’s web site. The Buyer Advisory is a thirteen-page document full of information for a prospective buyer of any type of real estate, […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE/TAX LAW SPECIAL REPORT: October 2015
A Story That Combines Tax and Land Use Law- The “Cash For Grass Rebate Program”

NB Hannah

October 27, 2015

by Nathan Hannah

A story combining two of my favorite subjects, tax and land use law, doesn’t come up very often, so I’m not going to pass it up when one comes along.  In Los Angeles County, local water districts were offering “rebates” to homeowners who replace turf with low-water-use landscaping. I say “were” because apparently the funding […]

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Estate Planning Law Report: September 2015
If You Want To Make Sure That Your Tangible Personal Property Goes Where You Want It To Go, Make A List

NB Hannah

September 29, 2015

by Nathan Hannah

In last month’s Report I said I would go into more detail on the subject of making a tangible personal property list. It’s a list you can make to go with your will. Arizona law says that a will may refer to a written statement to dispose of tangible personal property other than money. That’s the tangible […]

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Estate Planning Law Report: August 2015
Designating A Beneficiary On the Title and Other Ways to Plan for Gifts of Your Vehicle and Other Things

NB Hannah

September 2, 2015

by Nathan Hannah

Several years ago, legislation was adopted in Arizona to create the Beneficiary Designation For Vehicle Title Transfer Upon Death. It’s Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division Form 96-0561, and is available on the Motor Vehicle Division’s web site (www.azdot.gov/mvd). As its name implies, the form allows you to designate one or more individuals to receive […]

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