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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.

Pay on Death Designation for Vehicles

The Arizona Revised Statutes now allow for a Beneficiary Designation for Vehicle Transfer upon Death. The designation can be signed and kept with the title of the car, mobile home or other applicable vehicles. Since the law is new, it is not clear how effective it will be if the the vehicle is being financed.

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Obama proposes $3.5 estate tax exclusion

President Obama's current proposal in his budget is a permanent the estate, and gift tax parameters as they applied during 2009. The top tax rate would be 45 percent and the exclusion amount would be $3.5 million for estate and $1 million for gift taxes. As reflected in the Administration’s adjusted baseline projection, the portability of unused es...

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Premarital is needed to make earnings sole and separate

If you need to protect your fiancee or spouse from your creditors, then simply titling assets as separate property is not enough. A pre-marital agreement or post-marriage agreement is the only way your earnings can be considered separate property under Arizona law. Otherwise, if you use earnings to pay the mortgage or add to an investment in your s...

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Common error: We will die at the same time

One of the most common error in the trusts is that couples assume they will die at about the same time. When one of the couple survives by years and the survivor needs to have access to the assets without family interference. It is amazing how many times an adult child will say she wants her deceased's parent's half of the funds and wants to keep m...

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New Year Time for Resolutions to Have Powers of Attorney

The courts have made guardianships and conservatorships more complicated and expensive with new rules which were intended to limit court costs and attorneys fees. Avoid having the court in your business or health care, by having your own health care powers of attorney and financial durable powers of attorney. When I prepare powers of attorney, I co...

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Protect Your Special Needs Adult Child

In order to protect the government benefits for your disabled adult child, be sure to have a special needs trust for any funds you leave at your deaths.

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Electronic Passwords and Estate Planning

If you are ill, incapacitated or die, you will want your financial agent or Personal Representative to have use of your passwords and account information. Be sure to keep them in a safe place that can be found by the ones you trust. Placing a list with your notebook of estate planning documents is just one good idea.

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Electronic Passwords and Estate Planning

If you are ill or incapacitated or die, you will want your financial agent or

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Your Powers of Attorney Need to be Effective Immediately

Powers of attorney for finances or health need to be effective immediately, and not just effective once you have been declared incapacitated. If you are ill in the hospital or laid up at home, you really likely will need assistance right then, to deal with billing departments, banking and health care providers. There is no need to wait until a doct...

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What's in a Name?

Making sure your name is correct on your powers of attorney is very important. If you have used different names over the years, maybe because of marriage or nicknames, then your financial records and health care records might have different names. In order for the person named as your agent to help you, your name on your powers of attorney have to ...

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