Choosing your fiduciary

Choosing Your Fiduciary

One of the most difficult tasks connected with your estate plan is too easily overlooked. Choosing your fiduciary should be more than just naming your oldest child, or all of your children. Being a fiduciary is actually hard work. You should pay attention to which potential fiduciary is actually up to the task. In last…

Joint tenancy bank account

Joint Tenancy Bank Accounts

Do you have a bank account with another person listed as a joint owner? You probably have a joint tenancy bank account. Does that mean that the other owner could empty the account? For that matter, could you? What is a joint tenancy bank account? How do you know if you hold your bank account…

What is a Fiduciary?

What is a Fiduciary?

You may have heard or read the term: fiduciary. But what is a fiduciary? In this podcast episode, we go through some of the kinds of relationships that are included. The term covers at least these: A conservator of a living person’s estate (which can sometimes include someone acting as if they were the conservator,…

Gifts and gift tax

We Explain Gifts and Gift Tax Rules

Everyone seems to know about gifts and gift tax rules. The thing is, “everyone” tends to be wrong. In this podcast episode, we explain the basics of gifts and gift tax liability. Do you think that there is a rule limiting how much money or property you can give away? There isn’t. Do you think…

Taxation of trusts

Supreme Court Overrules Taxation of Trust

Last month the United States Supreme Court ruled (unanimously) that North Carolina’s approach to taxation of trusts was impermissible. If it was a 9-0 decision, though, the obvious questions are: Whoever thought North Carolina’s approach to taxation of trusts would be acceptable in the first place? and What difference will this decision actually make for…

Include co-trustees

Should Your Living Trust Include Co-Trustees?

Perhaps you have created a revocable living trust. Likely, you have named yourself as trustee, with a carefully-selected successor trustee. But should you consider having your living trust include co-trustees? Maybe you already have co-trustees — you and your spouse, perhaps. Then the question is slightly different: should you “promote” your successor trustee to serve…

Pets in your estate planning

Include Pets in Your Estate Planning

You’re already thinking about your estate planning. Perhaps it’s time to update your five-year-old will and/or trust. Maybe you’ve never gotten around to taking care of this grown-up task. But in any case: have you dealt with your pets in your estate planning? Many of our clients have strong attachments to their pets. Many assume…

Tom Curti retires

Partner Tom Curti Retires

We’ve hinted about it and announced it. We’ve celebrated his career and accomplishments. This week, though, it became final: Tom Curti retires. Tom Curti, Wisconsin transplant In 1973, Tom moved from his native Wisconsin to Tucson in order to attend the University of Arizona College of Law. He had grown up in a small town…

Explaining third-party SNTs

Explaining Third Party SNTs

Third-party SNTs (special needs trusts) are complicated to understand. Part of the confusion arises from the similarity of names. Self-settled (or first-party) special needs trusts are very different animals, but the similarity of names adds to the problem. In this podcast episode, we try to demystify some of the issues around third-party SNTs. Join us…