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Sharon Ravenscroft Estate Planning Blog

Welcome to my blog covering all things estate planning, family estate planning. business planning, wills, trusts & probate.

Sharon is a Shareholder of The Cavanagh Law Firm, P.A. which has offices in Phoenix and Sun City, Arizona. Sharon was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sharon received her B.A., cum laude, in 1984 from Wellesley College and her J.D. in 1987 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was a staff writer on the...

Sharon is a Shareholder of The Cavanagh Law Firm, P.A. which has offices in Phoenix and Sun City, Arizona. Sharon was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sharon received her B.A., cum laude, in 1984 from Wellesley College and her J.D. in 1987 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was a staff writer on the international law journal.

Simplifying the challenges related to family asset and estate legal issues is her focus for her clients.

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Satisfying The Title Company With Your Deed

When refinancing, adding a joint tenant on the title or preparing a beneficiary deed, there are legal requirements and there are title company requirements. There will be problems with selling the property later unless the deed lists the marital status of the grantee, lists the grantors exactly as they were listed in the prior deed as grantees, and...

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Trusts Can Keep the Court out of Your Business

If you personally own interest in an LLC or corporation, and you become incapacitated or die, then the court will have to be involved to keep the business running or to distribute the business upon your death. When you as trustee of your revocable living trust is the member or the shareholder, the court does NOT have to become involved. Trust owner...

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On this Tax Day, Remember your 401K

Your estate plan needs to include a will, powers of attorney, maybe even a trust, and it also needs to be done in conjunction with making sure your 401Ks and IRAs have properly designated beneficiaries. If you die without listing a designated beneficiary, then the funds are paid out in a lump to your estate and can be taxed at 35%. So if you are go...

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Beneficiary Deeds v. Will

Beneficiary deeds apply only to the real estate and the buildings on it. The household effects and tangible personal property cannot be designated by a beneficiary deed but only through a Will (or a Will with a Trust). You can avoid probate with a Beneficiary Deed on the property and a Will for your tangible personal property if such property has a...

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What if You Don't Know a Superior Court Judge?

If you do not have powers of attorney for finances and health care, then you are relying on a Superior Court Judge to make decisions for you. Recently, the court process has been in the news about the abuses that occur by meddling family and professionals who do not know the person who needs help. Make sure the right people take care of you by havi...

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Get the Most from your Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney authorizes the person of your choice to help you with your medical care. You can also make sure that person can help you with your mental health care. If you are older, you might be concerned with temporary dementia or capacity issues. No matter your age, your health care power of attorney needs to cover having the r...

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Estate taxes for someone who lost a spouse in 2010?

For those whose spouse died in 2010, if the deceased's estate did not use all of the $5 million exemption, then the remainder can carry over to the surviving spouse. So if the deceased spouse's share of the estate was worth $2 million, then the unused estate tax exemption of $3 million can be used by the surviving spouse and added to the surviving ...

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New Estate Tax Law

There is estate tax is now unified with the gift tax-- $5 million per person. However, it applies only for 2011 and 2012. Couples need to keep their option to have an an irrevocable trust when the first spouse dies, just in case Congress does not extend the unified credit and the $1 million exclusion from 2002 comes back. For the estate of anyone w...

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Estate Tax Exclusion is $5 million per person

For 2011 and 2012, the estate tax exclusion will be $5 million per person and $10 million per couple. It appears that the new law also allows for the exemption to apply to anyone who died in 2010 if the estate wants to have the step up in basis. It appears also that one spouse can use another spouses exemption to some extent in a portability provis...

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New Tax Law Passed by the House and Senate

Well finally we have some new tax law -- if the President signs it. It appears that the estate tax exclusion will be $5 million for just two years -- but we need to wait to see what the law is when it is finally signed. The two year period may be good for income tax issues and the economy but for estate tax issues, the uncertainty continues.

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