Legal News

The Biggest Source of Friction Between Spouses in Later Life

Couples who make it to retirement often find that spending so much time together can both be a blessing and a curse.  With this in mind, we posed the following question to The Experts: What's the biggest source of friction between spouses/partners later in life?The question relates to the latest Encore Report and formed the basis of a discussion on The Experts blog on Dec 11th.View Full Article «see more...»

Seniors, Trust and Scams....one explanation why seniors are more susceptible to financial scams.

Click here for New York Times article. «see more...»

Jan presents to the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southern Arizona

Jan Bernardini presents to the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southern Arizona, May 3, 2012: "Planned Gifts Happen: Careful Cultivation and Dumb Luck." Jan Bernardini and Jerry Robison from the Salvation Army present case studies on planned giving. Jerry details 3 complex gifts involving real estate. Jan outlines donors' intent, mistakes to avoid and how to include planned giving professionals in the planned giving process. «see more...»

Jan Bernardini presents The ABC's of Death and Dying at the Pima County Bar Association

Jan Bernardini and Margi Rhodes, Bring's Funeral Home, review current laws and practices for ensuring a decedent's last wishes are honored. Many lawyers place burial or cremation instructions in a last will and testament but a funeral home may not honor those instructions. Is it best to give the authority to cremate to your agent in your durable health care power of attorney? Or to execute a stand alone "Cremation Directive"? Family members may have a statutory right to trump your stated preference. How does the law treat the "family's wishes" for same-sex couples? Can you refuse (or request) an autopsy for your deceased loved one? This area of law often leads to confusion and family disagreements. The best approach may be determined by an individual's unique situation. Click here for presentation. «see more...»

Have you considered the law governing your endowed gifts to charitable institutions?

The January 2011 State Bar of Arizona Probate and Trust Law Newsletter includes an article that outlines why it is important to involve your Estate Planning Attorney when considering a testamentary gift to a charitable organization. From the article: Estate planning attorneys may play a critical role in facilitating a client-donor’s testamentary gift to a charitable organization. While a client-donor may have clear ideas and intentions when making an endowed gift or other donation, if those wishes are not expressed and documented appropriately, confusion may arise over the implementation of the charitable gift. When assisting a client-donor with an estate plan which includes a testamentary gift, an understanding of endowments and the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) is important.Read the full article, edited by Jan Bernardini, and available online here. «see more...»

Does your credit card have its own life after you die?

A recent article entitled "Credit-card privilege dies with user" raises some important points. What happens to your credit and your credit card accounts when you or a loved one dies? Does your credit card have its own life after you die? «see more...»

Tax Changes for 2011: A Checklist - WSJ.com

The end of 2010 brought some last-minute tax law changes of which you should be aware. You should also keep in mind that these same tax changes may change next year.  The January 8, 2011 Wall Street Journal article titled "Tax Changes for 2011: A Checklist" reminds us:  "The most important point to remember is that last year's 11th-hour tax changes, though favorable for most, are temporary. After 2012, many provisions are set to snap back to what they were before 2001, and a few even expire this year." Changes that may affect you include updates to income tax brackets, estate and gift taxes, Roth IRA conversions, and medical expenses, to name a few. For a summary of some of the important changes to this year's tax code, read the full article online.  «see more...»