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Déjà Vu: Another AZ Public Fiduciary Charged In Thefts

MAY 14, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 46 In 1997 a rural Arizona county Public Fiduciary stunned the state’s advocacy community when he acknowledged taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from his ward’s estates (“Mohave Public Fiduciary Pleads Guilty, Faces Certain Jail Time“). Thefts by private fiduciaries (and lawyers representing fiduciaries) are all too common, but …

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Questions and Answers About Arizona’s “Beneficiary Deed”

MAY 7, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 45 Last week Elder Law Issues reported on Arizona’s new “Beneficiary Deed” statute. A law passed by the Arizona legislature this year creates a new, simpler way to pass title to real property, without any requirement of probate and avoiding the cost of establishing a living trust. A number …

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Arizona Legislature Adopts Real Estate “Beneficiary Deed”

APRIL 30, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 44 Most lawyers agree that the probate process is neither as expensive nor as burdensome as most non-lawyers believe. Still, avoidance of probate is an important and legitimate goal in estate planning for most clients. The Arizona Legislature just made it easier to avoid probate for most Arizonans—or at …

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Court Approves Withdrawal Of Life Support In Florida Case

APRIL 23, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER43 Theresa Marie Schiavo was only 27 in 1990 when a potassium imbalance led to her cardiac arrest. Although her husband, Michael Schiavo, called 911 and Ms. Schiavo was rushed to the hospital, she has never regained consciousness. Ms. Schiavo remains in a persistent vegetative state. Although she goes through …

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Two Taxpayers Learn “Sham” Trusts Will Not Shelter Income

APRIL 16, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 42 Most professional observers agree that income tax avoidance schemes are on the rise. This may be because of a reduction in Internal Revenue Service personnel, or increasing public familiarity with trusts and other entities, or a fundamental shift in the levels of greed and gullibility on the part …

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Facility May Be Liable In Sexual Assault By Unsupervised Aide

APRIL 9, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 41 Victoria Ann Elder’s last years were tragic. The victim of an automobile accident, Ms. Elder was a quadriplegic and confined to her bed at the Stone County Skilled Nursing Facility in Mountain View, Arkansas. One Saturday evening the helpless woman was sexually assaulted by an aide at the …

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Adoption Cuts Off Automatic Inheritance From Grandmother

APRIL 2, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 40 Aleen Russell died in Kentucky in 1996. She never got around to writing a will, but Kentucky’s law of “intestate succession” provided a simple plan for distribution of her estate. The $160,000 she left would be divided equally among her surviving children. If any child of hers had …

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Federal Law on Beneficiaries Overrides State Divorce Rules

MARCH 26, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 39 Assume that Mr. and Mrs. Smith, happily married, sign wills leaving all their assets to one another. Some years later their marriage fails, and the Smiths divorce. Will their old wills still be valid? Arizona, like many other states, has a provision that effectively revokes Mr. and Mrs. …

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Family Feud Consumes Millions And Leads To Court Sanctions

MARCH 19, 2001 VOLUME 8, NUMBER 38 Discussions about repeal of the federal estate tax often focus on the notion that farms and businesses are threatened by taxing assets at the death of the family patriarch or matriarch. Opponents of repeal, on the other hand, argue that it is family and business dynamics that usually …

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