Phoenix office: 1850 N. Central Ave., Suite 2400, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 | Sun City office: 13250 N. Del Webb Blvd. Suite B Sun City, AZ 85351

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 international law journal.


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

“State of celebration” for same sex couples.

The IRS has ruled that same-sex couples legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies even if a same-sex couple moves to a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriages. Therefore, the IRS in a revenue ruling, 2013-17, have adopted a “state of
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If you have an LLC you need a trust.

If you are a Member in an LLC, or own stock in a corporation, you need to be sure your ownership interest is titled in the name of your trust. There is no "pay on death" designation effective for Member's interest or ownership in your business so, even if the owner is your spouse, you will still need to have a probate on your death, unless
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Cavanagh Email is down for a bit

I am sorry for any inconvenience but Cavanagh Law Firm is switching servers and it is taking longer than we thought. So we are hoping to be back up some time this after noon June 17, 2013. Please call at 623-815-7451, or contact me through facebook.
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How much trouble can probate really be?

Your accounts, whether in a bank or investment institution, and your real property all have legal title requirements. Financial institutions and title companies will not release assets unless the legal requirements are satisfied. If you die with assets in your name, and if those assets total more than $50,000, then a probate court filing will be
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Ever been ill? ...

Ever been ill? Who has legal rights to mske sure your doctors or health care providers take good care of you? Hsve a healthcare power of attorney and thete will be certainty that the right person has the tights to help you.
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Who should be y...

Who should be you Personal Representstive? I suggest the question be changed to: who do you trust to handle your finances if you sick? That person is the same person you can trus
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Just a Simple Will?

I can appreciate the desire to have simple documents and a "simple will." Yet, we live in a complicated world, where we have bank accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, doctors, hospitals and then-- if we do not have the right estate planning documentation, we have courts. Therefore, a simple Will does not always meet our objectives. We still need
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Who should be the beneficiary of an IRA

Normally, when a client has a trust, I like to have the first beneficiary be the trust and the contingent beneficiaries be the humans. Then, if one of the humans beneficiaries predecease the participant, then the trust will distribute that deceased child’s share per terms of trust and if that includes a minor beneficiary, we can avoid court
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American Taxpayer Relief Act- Where Things Stand

Whether living in the metro Phoenix area or the Sun City Peoria area, most of my clients are interested in the following highlights: All the individual "Bush era" tax rates are retained with the addition of a new top rate of 39.6% imposed on income over $450,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly or $400,000 for single taxpayers. The capital
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Estate Tax Exclusion Extended

It appears that the fiscal cliff has been avoided and that has included the Estate Tax Exclusion to be left at the $5 Million, indexed at inflation, so it should be something more than the the $5.12 Million set in 2012. The top estate and gift tax rate was increased to 40% though. Information about the new law is coming in as it is being
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