Publications

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: May 2017
When Must a Seller of Land Provide an Affidavit of Disclosure
(Or, When Is Property “Unsubdivided”)?

May 18, 2017

by Nathan Hannah

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. […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: April 2017
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Foreclosures

April 27, 2017

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: March 2017
Funding A Trust and Other Ways To Leave Things To People Without Using A Will

March 27, 2017

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: February 2017
How to Legally Change Your Name (In Arizona)

February 27, 2017

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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Tax Law Special Report
Federal Individual Income Tax Filing Season Runs From January 23 Through April 18, 2017

January 28, 2017

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: December 2016
Should I Include My Life Insurance In My Living Trust, and If So How Do I Do It?

December 21, 2016

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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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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