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More On Value, Limitations Of Durable Powers of Attorney

FEBRUARY 16, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 33 Three decades ago, all powers of attorney automatically expired when the principal became incompetent. Since the creation of “durable” powers of attorney, they have become ubiquitous. Before the advent of durable powers of attorney, the only way to gain control of the affairs of an incompetent person was …

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Powers of Attorney Are Both Powerful And Dangerous Tools

FEBRARY 9, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 32 Durable powers of attorney are a relatively new idea in the law. Until 1974 (in Arizona), all powers of attorney automatically terminated when the person signing the power of attorney became incompetent. Two decades later, every U.S. state and territory has authorized powers of attorney which survive incompetence, …

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Surviving Spouse Revokes Trust–Children Disinherited

FEBRUARY 2, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 31 Herschel West and his wife Hazel lived in Provo, Utah. Their estate plan was straightforward–they established a living trust and transferred their home into the trust’s name. The trust provided that Mr. and Mrs. West could live in and use the home as long as either of them …

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Arizona Legislature Considers Measures Affecting Seniors

JANUARY 26, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 30 The Arizona legislature has just begun its 1998 session, and will be considering a number of measures of interest to seniors and their advisors and advocates. Not all the bills will be adopted, and some may be changed beyond recognition. The proposals still reflect the thinking and direction …

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Power of Attorney Includes Gifting Authority As “Transfer”

JANUARY 19, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 29 George Pittman was a North Carolina resident. He and his wife, Rose Lupton Pittman, lived together on property he had inherited from his family. Mr. and Mrs. Pittman each had a daughter from prior marriages. In 1988, Mr. Pittman consulted his attorney about what might happen to his …

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What To Do When Emergency Resuscitation Is Unwanted

JANUARY 12, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 28 In the past decade advance directives have become widespread and, at the same time, widely accepted. In fact, almost every state has adopted legislation specifically recognizing both medical powers of attorney and “living wills.” In 1992, the Arizona legislature adopted a progressive, far-reaching law on the subject. As …

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“Undue Influence” In Arizona: Examples From Court

JANUARY 5, 1998 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 27 What constitutes “undue influence” such that a will is invalid? While disinherited family members may feel that their deceased relative was subjected to undue influence, the level of influence required is very high, as a review of the leading Arizona cases will show. Gus Fotopulos was a “rollicking, …

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Will Contests Not Frequent, Cheap or (Often) Successful

DECEMBER 29, 1997 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 26 Misconceptions about wills are very common among the general population, and particularly among seniors. There is a widespread notion that one must be very careful about what is included in a will, since it is likely to be contested and the rules are very difficult to follow. The …

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Nomination of Guardian By Ward Overrides Wife, Friend

DECEMBER 22, 1997 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 25 Massachusetts resident James A. Smith completed his estate plan in 1989. Among the documents he signed was a durable power of attorney naming two business associates, David J. Adams and Alfred H. Carl, as his agents. The power of attorney also included a provision that, in the event …

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