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Tax Law Special Report: March 2020
Why Not Expand The Opportunities For Tax-Advantaged Savings?

March 31, 2020

by Nathan Hannah

I have asked before, and am motivated by recent reports to ask again: do you think the income earned on savings accounts should be exempt from income tax regardless of the purpose for which the savings are ultimately spent? I think so, and I’m not alone. I have been seeing reports that this idea has […]

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Tax Law Special Report: February 2020
What’s The Big Deal About The Secure Act?

February 27, 2020

by Nathan Hannah

I have been getting questions about the SECURE Act. That’s legislation recently adopted by Congress that changes certain rules governing the tax treatment of retirement accounts, including when you can put money into or take money out of such accounts. The change that has been talked about the most in estate planning circles is that […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: January 2020
Do I Have To Pay Tax On My Inheritance?

January 27, 2020

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: December 2019
Is Home Title Lock A Valuable Service Or Do You Already Have Insurance That Covers That Risk?

December 17, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

Home Title Lock is a service that I have heard advertised recently. The service purports to protect home owners against fraudulent title schemes. To oversimplify it, here’s an outline of the scheme that the purveyors of this service are talking about. First, suppose a thief records a forged deed, transferring title to your home to […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: November 2019
Electronic Wills Are Here, But Are Not Quite Ready For Prime Time

November 20, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

You may have heard about a new law that says electronic wills are now valid in Arizona.  I’m not against the concept, but I am reluctant to bring it up now because the new law contains specific rules about the steps that have to be taken to make an electronic will valid, and those steps are […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: October 2019
I Can Give You Lots Of Good Reasons To Get Your Estate Planned

October 27, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

A business looking to get referrals for estate-related services recently sent me a copy of its newsletter. It is one of those reverse “10 best reasons” lists. This one just happens to address a subject I know something about. Its title is: “The 10 Best Reasons NOT To Do Your Estate Plan.” Naturally, I agree […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: September 2019
How Will the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Act Apply to Your Estate?

October 5, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

All but a few states in the United States have now adopted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the RUFADAA). As adopted in Arizona, the RUFADAA defines a “digital asset” as “an electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest.” What does that mean, and how is it going […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: August 2019
As With Many Matters of Life and Death, If You Want Someone To Do Something, Give Them Written Instructions

August 27, 2019

by FWWAdmin

A loyal reader recently told me about a situation in which a deceased family member’s remains were relocated, without the consent of the deceased’s children, long after burial. I have heard of, and dealt with, more than a few disputes involving remains, but I had never heard of a situation quite like the one my […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: July 2019
What Do You Mean, I Can’t ____________(fill in the blank) On My Own Property?

July 29, 2019

by Veronica Reese

This might become a regular series. You may recall that in my May Update, I wrote about California property owners who got into trouble for moving dirt and trees on their property because doing so violated a conservation easement. I received many responses to that newsletter, most of them to the effect of, “how could […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: June 2019
One Newsworthy Item Out Of The Recent Legislative Session: A Change To The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act Concerning Partial Rent Payments

July 1, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

When the Arizona Legislature completes its session, there’s naturally a lot of interest in what new laws have been adopted. Sometimes there’s less to those changes than meets the eye. The news reports on the just-concluded legislative session gave considerable attention to a change in the laws governing residential landlords and tenants, but on closer […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: May 2019
What Do You Mean, I Can’t Move Dirt and Trees On My Own Property?

May 18, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

When I first saw the recent story headlined “An Uprooted Oak Tree Cost California Couple $600k” (that’s from the New York Post), I intended to ignore it. The stories with headlines like that never turn out to illustrate the point that the headline makes them appear to illustrate. Isn’t that just the way things are […]

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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?

May 2, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: March 2019
Paint It Black

April 1, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT: February 2019
What Is A Living Will, and How Does One Work?

March 1, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

What is a living will? It’s a question I get asked more often than you might think. First, a living will is not a will. It also is not a trust (as in a living trust). I think it is unfortunate that the name living will was chosen for this important document, because that name […]

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Tax Law Special Report: January 2019
Individual Income Tax Filing Season Brings Changes

January 26, 2019

by Nathan Hannah

The IRS has announced, in its first news release of the year (January 7, 2019, IR-2019-1), that it will begin accepting 2018 individual income tax returns on January 28, 2019. I had heard that the due date for individual returns would be delayed this year because April 15 is a legal holiday in some places, […]

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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

December 17, 2018

by Nathan Hannah

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 […]

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