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Selection Of Proper Trustee Is Key To Administration Of Trust

FEBRUARY 2, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 31 Although it is important to plan your estate, it is sometimes not enough just to prepare important documents and make reasonable decisions. It is also critical to select a reliable person to administer that estate. While family members may be the best choice, things may not always work …

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Fiduciary Duty Not Breached In Limited Conservatorship Case

JANUARY 26, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 30 When the courts appoint a guardian or conservator to handle an individual’s personal and/or financial affairs, the subject of those proceedings loses virtually all of his or her autonomy and independence. At least that’s the way things have worked for centuries. In recent years, however, the guardianship system …

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Proponent of Invalid Will Must Pay Attorney’s Fees to Family

JANUARY 19, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 29 Edmond and Elma Crittell befriended Violet Houssien and, according to Ms. Houssien’s family, set about getting the older woman to write a new will. Some of the evidence in the later will contest proceeding indicated that they may have even forged her signature on the will and, in …

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Arizona Restricts Use of “Self-Settled” Special Needs Trusts

JANUARY 12, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 28 Last week Elder Law Issues described how a “Special Needs” trust can be used to protect the beneficiary’s access to public benefits programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid (in Arizona, AHCCCS or ALTCS). There is one glaring problem with Special Needs trusts just now in Arizona, …

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Special Needs Trust Can Protect Benefits After Personal Injury

JANUARY 5, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 27 Joseph is eighteen years old and requires total care. He has been in his current condition, unable to speak or move and unresponsive to most stimuli, for five years. His family believes his condition is a result of improper treatment he received during a hospital stay, and lawyers …

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Divorce Court Orders Support For Adult Child With Disability

DECEMBER 29, 2003 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 26 Laura F. is a 28-year-old autistic woman. She has always lived with her parents, and they have provided for her care. In the past decade she has worked several part-time jobs at sheltered workshops, but she has never held a full-time job, never even earned minimum wage, and …

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CPR Efforts May Have Violated Nursing Home Rights Law

DECEMBER 22, 2003 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 25 Many of our clients have a visceral reaction to the idea that they might be “kept alive by machines” after they are no longer able to make health care decisions for themselves. That is why they sign “advance directives” like health care powers of attorney and living wills. …

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Lawyer Loses Her Own Case, Faces Bar Disciplinary Action

DECEMBER 15, 2003 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 24 Sherri K. apparently thought her stepfather Clifford H. (the court opinion does not disclose family names) needed protection. She asked the California courts to appoint her as conservator, and she alleged that there was an emergency requiring immediate action. Without giving notice to her stepfather or other family …

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Appointment of “Next Friend” In Divorce Reversed on Appeal

DECEMBER 8, 2003 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 23 It is a common problem facing lawyers and litigants. What can be done if one of the parties to a lawsuit is a minor, or an incapacitated adult? Who makes decisions about the litigation if one party lacks legal capacity to handle their own financial and personal decisions? …

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