Tag Archives: estate planning

Quarles & Brady Managing Partner Nicole Standton, far left, firm Managing Partner Fred Lautz, Matt Dana and firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson attend a signing ceremony welcoming Dana to the team, effectively launching Quarles’ Scottsdale office.

Quarles & Brady Adds Dana Law Firm to Practice

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that Matt Dana, a premier estate planning attorney in Scottsdale, will be joining the firm on November 1, along with two associates and two paralegals on his team. Their affiliation with Quarles & Brady will build on the work of Quarles & Brady attorney Trisha Baggs, a highly regarded estate planning attorney in the firm’s Phoenix office. With the addition of Dana and his team, Quarles & Brady will establish a presence in Scottsdale, its 10th location nationwide and third in Arizona. The new office will be located at 8817 E. Bell Road, Suite 201, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.

Dana Law Firm founder Matthew S. Dana will be joining Quarles & Brady as a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office. He will combine his highly developed Arizona trusts & estates practice with Quarles & Brady’s national practice, allowing the two firms to support and augment one another on a single platform, enhancing the new union’s ability to serve clients across Arizona and the country in general.

The new Scottsdale office will continue to serve local trusts & estates clients, but the service offerings at that location will multiply, as it delivers Quarles & Brady’s full range of business legal representations as a full member of the national network.

Also joining Quarles are associates Trevor Whiting and Todd Smith, and paralegals Jennifer Skubic and Kate Sieger. Whiting and Sieger will join Dana in the firm’s Phoenix office, while Smith and Skubic will work in the Scottsdale office.

“We’re gratified that our firm continues to grow at such a robust pace, especially because that growth is driven by solid opportunities,” said Firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “We look forward to increasing our trusts & estates portfolio through the special strengths that Matt Dana and his team bring to the firm, and we’re also delighted to add Scottsdale to our national service network. It’s a win-win development.”

“My team and I have been providing our clients with premium trusts & estates services for many years, and now we have an opportunity, together with Trisha Baggs and the entire Quarles & Brady team, to offer them even more assistance, in many areas of law, with the power and reach of a national firm,” said Dana. “My team will continue to offer the same excellent estate planning services to our many former Dana Law Firm clients, but the chance to take it up another notch by joining Quarles & Brady is too good to pass on.”

“We are very pleased to have Matt Dana and members of his team join our Phoenix office and to be opening the firm’s third Arizona office,” said Phoenix Managing Partner, Nicole Stanton. “Partnering Matt with our own Trisha Baggs creates a powerhouse trusts & estates ensemble right here in Arizona, enhancing our on-the-ground presence and the width and breadth of our nationwide practice, allowing us to better serve our clients here and on a national scale.”

Quarles & Brady intends to be an active member of the Scottsdale community, as it has been in Phoenix, Tucson and its seven other locations across the country. The firm has a long history of enthusiastic social responsibility, embraced by civic-minded lawyers and staff members alike. The firm is committed to supporting and sustaining its local communities through its Quarles Cares program and pro bono services, reflecting an ongoing devotion to making communities the firm calls “home” better places to live. Matt Dana is himself a long-time, ardent supporter of Arizona State University and has been active in several of its programs and initiatives through the years.

About the Attorneys:

Matthew S. Dana, founding attorney of the Dana Law Firm, has spent last 25 years building one of the top estate planning practices in the state of Arizona. Dana practices exclusively in the areas of estate and asset protection planning. His clients range from modest estates to the extremely wealthy, including multimillionaires and other similarly situated clients, some of which have a net worth in excess of $50 million.

Trevor Whiting concentrates his practice on estate/gift tax planning and estate/trust income tax planning. Whiting’s strong background in tax law is beneficial to addressing the tax issues that arise while planning or administering an estate. He handles the estate and income tax issues related to dealing with out-of-state fiduciaries or trusts and estates owning property in multiple jurisdictions.

Todd Smith focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, and business organizations. Smith has extensive experience with business organizations, including advising business owners and preparing buy-sell agreements for business succession planning as well as advising clients with substantial wealth in forming business entities like limited liability companies (LLC’s) and family limited partnerships (FLP’s) for asset protection and estate planning purposes.

Jennifer Skubic assists clients in estate planning, probate and trust administration. She has firsthand knowledge of how to execute trust documents and how to fund a living trust and works very closely with the attorneys to administer trusts and estates once someone has passed away.

Kate Sieger has extensive experience with helping clients attain their estate planning goals and enjoys working with a diverse group of clients. She works closely with attorneys, helping clients administer an estate after the death of a loved one.

Sherman & Howard's Hope Leibsohn was selected to Southwest Super Lawyers.

Expert offers advice on estate planning

Hope Leibsohn is an estate and tax planning attorney with Sherman & Howard. She has more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of estate planning involving wills, trusts, charitable techniques, estate freezes, and other sophisticated wealth transfer strategies. Az Business got Leibsohn’s views on estate planning.

Az Business: Who should have an estate plan?
Hope Leibsohn: Establishing an estate plan can be strategic for everyone who has attained the age of majority. Be it tax planning or inspirational legacy planning, your documents can explicitly set forth your unique goals. Also, estate planning documents can be helpful to all in providing guidance in the event you become incapacitated during your lifetime. Although the provisions of all estate planning documents are not identical, creating a well thought out plan can be a gift to all.

Az Business: What should be the goal of the estate plan?
Hope Leibsohn: Identifying to whom you wish to provide a benefit, determining who will be in charge as the fiduciary, and establishing clear guidelines regarding the timing and tax efficiencies of the distributions are core aspects of the overall estate plan. In essence, you are leaving a life enhancing possibility to people and/or organizations as your final message in this world.

Az Business: What elements should be included in the estate plan?
Hope Leibsohn: Planning for death as well as incapacity is critical. However, the appropriate documents are not one size fits all. One person’s goals may best be carried out through a multi-generational lifetime trust continuing for up to 500 years for current and future descendants. Another person’s plan may best be effectuated through simple transfer on death designations for financial accounts and retirement plan interests. A third person’s goal may best be implemented through a philanthropic plan. One element is clear and that is to focus on the individual’s distinct objectives and then craft the estate plan accordingly.

Az Business: What factors should be considered when establishing estate planning goals?
Hope Leibsohn: Minimizing gift and estate taxes, providing creditor protection to beneficiaries, preserving assets as separate property in the event of a divorce, maintaining privacy where desired, as well as clearly setting forth the governance rules are core factors in establishing estate planning objectives. An ideal estate plan is founded on a clear vision and well worded documents to solidify the plan. Discouraging costly and long-lasting disputes among beneficiaries with competing interests may be pivotal. Otherwise, the litigation efforts may result in the lawyers representing the beneficiaries in effect inheriting the estate.

Az Business: How often should a person revise or revisit her/his estate plan?
Hope Leibsohn: It is strategic to review the estate plan upon the occurrence of the following lifestyle changes: modifications in the applicable tax laws; revisions in the state laws for trust, wills, and powers of attorney; births, deaths, incapacities, and marriages within the family or beneficiary group; significant increase or decline in net worth; as well as relocation to a new state of residence. A scheduled periodic review of estate planning decisions (such as every two, three or five years) can also be beneficial in refreshing your recollection as to choices you made and whether they remain strategic in light of your current circumstances. Change is certain. Correspondingly, your documents can be designed to flexibly respond to the ebbs and flows of life.

Az Business: What advice would you give to someone who wants to establish her/his estate plan?
Hope Leibsohn: Start now, as you never know when your time will come. Be sure to also leave an intangible legacy. Who are you, what life lessons did you learn, and what made your life most meaningful can passionately be described in an ethical will. Also, a priceless gift can be set forth in final wishes letters to loved ones who have truly enhanced your life.

Szkatulski Joins Sherman & Howard’s Scottsdale Office

Sherman & Howard L.L.C. announced the addition of Jennifer Szkatulski to its Scottsdale office.  Jennifer, who has practiced at the firm as a consultant since 2012, will join the firm’s estate planning group as an associate.

Sherman & Howard’s estate and tax planning attorneys work with high net worth individuals, families, business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals on all aspects of estate gift and multi-generational tax planning including wills, trusts, power of attorney, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning, lifetime wealth transfer through qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, family limited partnerships, planned giving, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, private foundations, and spousal trusts.

Szkatulski earned her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 2010.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Accounting with a minor in Political Science and a certificate in International Studies from Arizona State University where she graduated with honors.  She has practiced law in the Valley since 2011.  She is an active member of the Junior League of Phoenix.


Louis Silverman, Kristel Patton Merge Practices

Valley attorneys Louis Silverman and Kristel Patton, both members of Wealth Counsel, who have co-presented many financial workshops on estate planning during the past several years, have formed a business partnership that merges their practices.

Silverman Patton, PLLC is operating out of offices at 3231 S. Country Club Way, Suite 101 in Tempe, which originally served as offices for Silverman’s firm.

“Kristel and I share a vision of building a firm which provides state-of-the-art estate-planning tools, personalized one-on-one client counseling, ongoing client maintenance and hopefully a law firm that is both comfortable and comforting to our clients,” Silverman said.

Silverman and Patton previously were members in the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, an association of lawyers across the country whose practices are exclusively dedicated to or include estate-planning law.   They credit a great deal of their training to the National Network.

Silverman Patton offers legal expertise and counsel for estate and wealth planning, trust maintenance, probate services, business succession planning, corporations, partnerships and limited liability entities. Services include creating trusts, wills, living wills and powers of attorney.

For more information, visit SilvermanPatton.com or call (480) 491-3216.

Employee Theft

Identity Thieves Targeting the Deceased: Plan Now

Identity theft is always a difficult and frustrating situation and could take many years to repair the damage done to one’s credit. However, today millions of Americans are being haunted with an even more disturbing situation: learning that a criminal is using the identity of a deceased loved one to apply for credit.

An ID Analytics study determined 2.5 million deceased Americans identities are stolen each year. Targeting the deceased is appealing to identity thieves because it can take up to six months for death records to be registered, giving thieves ample time to rack up charges. Thieves scour through obituaries to obtain the victim’s name, age and birthdate. They are then able to locate the Social Security Number through the Social Security Administration’s list of deceased Americans known as the “Death Master File.”

This could turn out to be quite a headache for surviving family members as they are left to manage the estates of their deceased loved ones. Luckily, a simple yet effective estate plan can safeguard you or your family members if identity theft after death does indeed occur.

For example, storing all important account information within your estate plan and designating a financial power of attorney to monitor your information after death will help reduce the risk of identity theft. It is also crucial to notify the proper Government agencies of one’s death right away which helps limit opportunities for identity theft occurring.

“Be proactive- plan your estate and have everything organized for your family before death so that your loved ones know exactly what needs to happen when you are gone”, said Jaburg Wilk Estate Planning attorney Michelle Lauer.” “An estate planning attorney can assist you in creating a highly effective estate plan which can reduce not only the risk of identity theft but also the hardships for your family”.


Ryley Carlock Expands Corporate Practice in Phoenix

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite has added Amber D. Curto as an associate in the firm’s Estate Planning and Corporate Practice Groups.

“Ryley Carlock is committed to the recruitment of young talented attorneys like Amber, who can assist our shareholders in finding the best possible solutions for our clients,” stated Managing Shareholder Rodolfo Parga. “Amber brings together the legal capabilities and a strong commitment to our community that our firm values.”

Curto joins an established Corporate Law and Estate Planning Practice Groups, who represent hundreds of clients throughout the United States and internationally, offering legal counsel from start-up companies to mature businesses.

“I enjoy taking a client centered approach to estate planning to make sure that all details, whether it be in a simple estate or a complex trust administration, are taken care of,” stated Curto, “and having the ability to learn from and work with John Lischer and the other experienced and knowledgeable attorneys within this practice group will give me the ability to assist my clients in new and innovative ways.”

Prior to joining the firm, Curto clerked for the Honorable Judge Glenn Davis of the Arizona Superior Court and was an Associate for an Arizona estate planning firm.  She earned her law degree from California Western School of Law, San Diego, California, in 2011 and earned her Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude 2008, from Arizona State University.  While in law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Honors Board as well as President of the Business Law Society. Her community service endeavors have included Girl Scouts of America, Project C.U.R.E. and Crisis Nursery. As a part of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Curto looks forward to continuing her community involvement by volunteering her time for local boards and organizations.


JacksonWhite Names First Female Shareholder

JacksonWhite P.C. announced that attorney Susan Court was made a shareholder of the firm.  Court joins 12 other attorneys at JacksonWhite who share the distinction of shareholder.

Court joined JacksonWhite in 2005 and focuses her practice on elder law, probate, guardianships, conservatorships, and estate planning. Court assists clients with end-of-life issues including incapacity, mental illness and the transfer of assets before or after death. She is a member of the Arizona Fiduciaries Association as well as the State Bar of Arizona. Court is a former Maricopa County prosecutor and taught Business Law at Mesa Community College and Chandler Gilbert Community College. She is also active on the MCC Development Board, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and the Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

Founded in 1983, JacksonWhite P.C. offers a full-range of services to assist individuals, families and businesses with their legal needs. Since its inception, the Mesa firm has grown steadily to include 22 highly experienced attorneys and over 40 paralegals, legal assistants and staff. At this size, the firm is large enough to offer the efficiency and technical expertise of larger firms, yet small enough to provide clients with individualized, personalized attention. JacksonWhite has three offices around the state of Arizona including a Mesa, Casa Grande and Peoria location. For more information on a specific attorney or area of practice, visit www.jacksonwhitelaw.com or www.arizonaseniorlaw.com.

Estate Planning: Planning Your Future

Morris, Hall and Kinghorn marks milestone

Morris, Hall and Kinghorn PLLC was honored at the annual Spring Summit hosted by the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. This April’s conference in Philadelphia, PA was especially meaningful, both for the Academy and for MHK.  The conference marked both the 20th Anniversary of the Academy, and MHK’s proud affiliation as members of the organization. As part of the celebration, Academy founders Robert Armstrong and Sanford M. Fisch took time to thank  MHK for their participation, contributions, and friendship over the last 20 years.

Over the past two decades, the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys has become the premier national educational organization promoting excellence in estate planning by providing member attorneys with research and updates in estate, business planning, and tax laws.

According to co-founder Sanford M. Fisch, “When Robert Armstrong and I started the Academy in 1993, we had a vision and a passion for helping other attorneys transform their law firms into thriving enterprises with deep meaning, not just for the attorneys, but for their clients and their communities. It’s nice to take some time to pause and reflect on the past twenty years, but we’re also excited as we look toward what the future holds for the Academy and its members.”

For MHK, joining the Academy 20 years ago fast-tracked the firm’s evolution into the estate planning practice it is today; one that stays on the cutting edge of legal matters while keeping the firm focused on continually enhancing each client’s experience.

“Academy membership has given us the education, training, coaching, and resources to expand our practice while ensuring our clients and their experience stay at the center of the firm’s focus,” says Katherine O’Connell, the firms managing partner “The Summit was a nice opportunity to pause and reflect on the past twenty years, but it was also an exciting glimpse at what’s next in terms of the technological advances and the new legal strategies I’ll be able to use to help my clients”, stated Dan Morris.

MHK has devoted its practice to estate planning and elder law matters for more than 40 years and has been a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys since 1993. MHK is the only firm in Phoenix to be admitted to Academy membership. The firm has helped thousands of clients meet their estate planning goals and pass on meaningful legacies to their loved ones. To learn more, call 602-249-1328 or visit www.morristrust.com.


Wanslee Elected to Gust Rosenfeld Executive Committee

Gust Rosenfeld announced that Madeleine C. Wanslee has been elected to its Executive Committee, the governing body of the firm.

Wanslee is Co-Chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group.  Her practice focuses on creditors’ rights and related state and federal court litigation, including commercial and consumer bankruptcy, loan workouts, foreclosure, deficiency and guarantor actions.  She has handled numerous appeals and has argued a case before the United States Supreme Court.  Wanslee is recognized in the Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law category of The Best Lawyers in Americaâ and in the Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights category of Southwest Super Lawyersâ.  She earned her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law.

Founded in 1921, Gust Rosenfeld provides legal counsel to individuals, businesses, and governments. Our firm’s attorneys enjoy thriving practices in public law, litigation, finance, real estate, corporate, environmental, employment, creditors’ rights, franchise law, estate planning, and tax. Gust Rosenfeld maintains offices in Phoenix and Tucson.


Enterprise Bank Offers Free Business Course

Enterprise University, an educational program offered by Enterprise Bank & Trust, will continue its Spring 2013 courses with an April 2 class on “Personal Fiscal Fitness: The Critical Components of a Financial Plan.” The morning workshop includes a continental breakfast and will focus on wealth accumulation, retirement funding, estate planning and ensuring financial goals are met. The instructor is Susie Brousseau, Enterprise Bank & Trust’s senior vice president and director of wealth management for Arizona.

Enterprise University provides free educational seminars on a variety of relevant topics for business owners and their leadership taught by experts in a variety of fields including advertising, marketing, business continuity, financial planning and more.

WHAT: Course for business leaders on “Personal Fiscal Fitness”

WHERE: Phoenix Country Club, 2901 N. 7th St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85014

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

COST:    Free to business owners and leaders. Registration is required.

RSVP: Visit www.enterprisebank.com/eu to register

Susie Brousseau began her education at the College of Charleston in Medical Technology. Shifting her focus to financial services, she achieved her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 1984, her Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation in 1985 and her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1990.

Brousseau’s areas of expertise include estate planning, retirement planning, charitable giving, business planning, life insurance, investment management and asset protection strategies. She has received numerous awards, spoken regionally and nationally on wealth planning topics and has conducted numerous client seminars.

Enterprise University will continue through May, with courses during the month of April focusing on marketing strategy and sales management.

The following courses will be offered in April:
• April 24: Creating a Marketing Strategy to Build Brands and Drive Results
• April 30: Creating a Digital Strategy to Drive Business

For questions on Enterprise University call Kay Erb, Director of Enterprise University, at 800-396-8141, ext. 13203.

'Strategic Defaults in the Recovering Real Estate Market

Estate planning firm names managing partner

The law firm of Morris, Hall & Kinghorn, P.L.L.C (MHK), the largest estate planning law firm in Arizona, has named Katherine A. O’Connell as the new managing partner.

O’Connell’s new role will require her to balance the heavy demands of her professional life with the needs of her growing family. She is the mother of a toddler, is expecting her second child in August, and her husband is also a practicing attorney in the Phoenix area. According to O’Connell, “I’m living the challenges of a working mother, and I hope to bring my experience to help make MHK as family friendly as possible.” O’Connell is eager to add her unique perspective to a profession that has traditionally been dominated by males.

O’Connell is succeeding Dan Morris who has been the firm’s managing partner for over 20  years. Morris has been instrumental in leading and growing the firm, which currently has 10 offices across Arizona and New Mexico. “It has been my honor to establish and work in such a wonderful law firm as this, helping people daily and looking out for their and their family’s best interests now and in the future” states Morris.

O’Connell, who has been an attorney since 2006, was named managing partner in January of 2013.  She has attorney accreditation through the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which enables her to help clients to qualify, apply and receive benefits for their service in our country’s armed forces. She is also a proud member of the Central Arizona Estate Planning Council.  She enjoys helping individuals plan for their own future, as well as the futures of their loved ones. O’Connell states, “It is my honor and privilege to serve this prestigious firm as managing partner.”  As a partner at MHK, O’Connell focuses on estate planning, life care planning and veteran’s benefits, and now also oversees the daily operations and actively engages in efforts to continually improve the firm.

MHK devotes its practice to estate planning matters and has helped thousands of families meet their long-term estate and financial goals. The firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA).  AAEPA is an organization serving the needs of legal professionals concentrating on estate planning. Through the AAEPA’s comprehensive training, educational programs, and state-of-the-art estate planning techniques, the academy fosters excellence among its members and helps them deliver the highest possible estate planning services to their clients.

Michelle M

Elder Law Attorney Joins Jaburg & Wilk

The law firm of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. announced that Michelle M. Lauer joined the firm as an Associate to assist with Special Needs Trust Matters, Elder Law and Insurance Defense.

Lauer has accumulated over fourteen years in the legal industry gaining experience in Commercial Litigation, Probate, Adult Guardianships, Estate Planning, Utilities, and Appellate.

“We are pleased to expand our Special Needs and Estate Planning practice areas by adding Michelle,” said Gary Jaburg, Managing Partner of Jaburg & Wilk P.C. “She will be a valuable asset to the team.”

Jaburg Wilk is an AV rated Phoenix law firm, the highest level of professionalism according to the Martindale-Hubbell.

Michelle M

Elder Law Attorney Joins Jaburg & Wilk

The law firm of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. announced that Michelle M. Lauer joined the firm as an Associate to assist with Special Needs Trust Matters, Elder Law and Insurance Defense.

Lauer has accumulated over fourteen years in the legal industry gaining experience in Commercial Litigation, Probate, Adult Guardianships, Estate Planning, Utilities, and Appellate.

“We are pleased to expand our Special Needs and Estate Planning practice areas by adding Michelle,” said Gary Jaburg, Managing Partner of Jaburg & Wilk P.C. “She will be a valuable asset to the team.”

Jaburg Wilk is an AV rated Phoenix law firm, the highest level of professionalism according to the Martindale-Hubbell.

Reviewing Investments Annually

Reviewing Investments Annually: Review The Past, Prepare For the Future

It’s that time of year again when the holidays are right around the corner, and everyone is looking forward to family time, bright lights and festive attitudes. However, it is also a time for investors to begin preparing for 2013, finalizing plans for 2012, and acting on any last minute tasks such as IRA contributions, Roth contributions, Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), 401(k) contributions and estate planning updates.

These are only some of the options investors can review each year. Reviewing investments is something I practice and highly encourage with my clients. It helps to keep them on track with planning, updating and making changes. In fact, it keeps investors in check much like having an annual medical check-up.

Throughout our lives, we are constantly preparing for the future. Having evolved into a planning society, we plan marriages, having children, our careers and family vacations. We have learned that having plans in place is important. It is also important to have a process in place to monitor and evaluate a plan’s progress. A plan is only as good as the actions taken to reach its goal; this is why annual “check-ups” are needed.

Having a process in place helps organize planning and assists in adjusting or implementing new strategies. Taking the time to prepare for the future, plan and take action are key ingredients for individuals when investing. I would also recommend working with a financial professional or someone you trust who can review past, existing and future strategies. This can help investors to be objective about their decision making and keep them on track to meet their goals.

After setting some goals and implementing a plan, we then must keep an eye on our constantly changing economic environment. Some examples of changes happening in our economic environment:

  • 2013 corporate sponsored plans are scheduled to allow a new max contribution of $17,500 (an increase of $500.00)
  • traditional IRA contributions are scheduled to allow a $5,500 contribution (an increase of $500.00)

These are huge changes that can have a serious impact on current plans. Hence, having an annual review of personal and financial plans can help investors remain informed about new regulations and opportunities.

This year is a very important year because of the presidential elections, possible tax changes and retirement contribution changes. Although we can plan, there are still a lot of unknowns. In my experience, there are many factors that are out of our control. With that in mind, as investors, it is important to be mindful of our objectives and goals, and review them on a consistent basis.

For more information about reviewing investments, visit jacobgold.com.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through ING Financial Partners, Inc. Member SIPC. Jacob Gold & Associates, Inc. is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by ING Financial Partners, Inc. This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates, Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.


Arizona’s Top Lawyers – 2012 Environmental – Estate & Trust Lit

Arizona Business Magazine used its own research, solicited input from legal experts, and referenced professional ratings and rankings to determine the legal professionals who made the 2012 Top Lawyers list.

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Business/Corporate LawIntellectual Property
Construction LitigationMergers and Acquisitions
Real Estate
Environmental LawSecurities and Corporate Finance
Estate and Trust LitigationTax



Charles A. Bischoff ◆ Jorden Bischoff & Hiser PLC
480-505-3900 ◆ jordenbischoff.com
Bischoff practices in the areas of environmental and natural resources law.

Peter Culp ◆ Squire Sanders
602-528-4063 ◆ squiresanders.com
Culp’s practices includes representing various industrial and municipal clients with regard to facility siting, permitting, regulatory compliance and environmental cleanup matters arising under the major federal and state environmental laws.

Barton D. Day ◆ Polsinelli Shughart PC
602-650-2330 ◆ polsinelli.com
Day has been assisting clients with environmental and other regulatory matters for more than 25 years.

David P. Kimball, III ◆ Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.
602-530-8130 ◆ gknet.com
Kimball is head of the firm’s environmental and natural resources department and is recognized nationally as an expert in all areas of federal, state and local environmental and natural resources law.

Michelle A. De Blasi ◆ Quarles & Brady LLP
602-229-5448 ◆ quarles.com
De Blasi is chair of the Solar Energy Law Team and focuses her practice on guiding renewable energy projects from concept to completion.

Michael C. Ford ◆ Polsinelli Shughart
602-650-2321 ◆ polsinelli.com
Ford has worked with clients ranging from religious orders to global corporations in navigating the complex web of environmental issues impacting real estate deals and industrial operations.

Ryan Hurley ◆ Rose Law Group
480-240-5585 ◆ roselawgroup.com
Hurley assists renewable energy clients with a variety of issues from entity planning, power purchase negotiations, and various regulatory and compliance issues.

Patrick J. Paul ◆ Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6359 ◆ swlaw.com
Paul’s practice is concentrated in environmental and toxic tort litigation, including mold, asbestos and pollution claims.

Michael J. Pearce ◆ Maguire & Pearce Attorneys at Law
602-277-2195 ◆ mpwaterlaw.com
From 1995 through 2002, Pearce was chief counsel of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and now focuses on his practice on energy and natural resources.

Lee A. Storey ◆ Ballard Spahr LLP
602-798-5443 ◆ ballardspahr.com
Storey has been named to Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, for environmental and water rights law, from 2008-2011.


Rex H. Decker ◆ Decker & Woods PC
480-821-1012 ◆ deckerandwoods.com
Practice area include estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship and conservatorship, and estate and trust litigation.

Roger T. Hargrove ◆ Fennemore Craig PC
602-916-5459 ◆ fclaw.com
Hargrove practices in the areas of general civil commercial litigation and appeals, with emphasis on probate and trust litigation.

K. Alexander Hobson ◆ Duffield Adamson & Helenbolt, PC
520-792-1181 ◆ duffieldlaw.com
Hobson’s practice areas include estate planning, probate and trust law, elder law, and probate litigation.

Gregory M. Kruzel ◆ Braun Siler Kruzel PC
480-951-8044 ◆ bskarizonalaw.com
Braun Siler Kruzel focuses exclusively on estate planning, trust administration, and settlement of both contested and non-contested estates.

Phoebe Moffatt ◆ Sacks Tierney P.A.
602-268-4700 ◆ sackstierney.com
Moffatt is a certified specialist in estate and trust law, as certified by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and the State Bar of Arizona.

Stephen C. Newmark ◆ The Newmark Law Firm, PLLC
602-274-7552 ◆ newmarklawfirm.com
Newmark enjoys helping estate planning clients small and large put their lives and finances in order.

George L. Paul ◆ Lewis and Roca LLP
602-262-5326 ◆ lrlaw.com
Paul handles cases on a wide variety of issues, including probate, estate and trust litigation.

Michelle J. Perkins ◆ Owens & Perkins, P.C.
480-994-8824 ◆ oplaw.com
Perkins practices in the areas of estate planning for individuals and families, trust litigation, and contested and uncontested probate matters.

Jay M. Polk ◆ Barron & Polk PLLC
602-252-8100 ◆ azprobatelawyers.com
Polk’s primary areas of practice are probate, trust, estate, elder and mental health law.

John C. Vryhof ◆ Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
602-382-6333 ◆ swlaw.com
Vryhof’s practice is concentrated in estate planning, charitable planning, foundation and non-profit organizations, business succession planning, and international estate planning.

Arizona Business Magazine has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list, but does not warrant that the information contained herein is a complete or exhaustive list of the top lawyers in Arizona, and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein.

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

Estate Planning: Planning Your Future

Estate Planning: Planning For The Future

Estate Planning: Planning for the Future

When planning your financial future, it is important to consider an investment strategy, risk tolerance and time horizon. These are critical aspects of building wealth.

Although many of us focus on the now, we forget about organizing our finances and personal interests upon our passing. This aspect of planning is neglected many times and can put everything at risk. As investors, we will spend many years saving and planning; we should take the steps to protect all that we have built. This can be done by arranging an estate plan that will allow you to pass on your assets to who you want, how you want, and when you want.

This type of planning may seem overwhelming, but an effective estate plan doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be broken down in two key elements. The first is having a durable power of attorney and the second is a will.

Having a durable power of attorney will allow you to manage your assets while you are still living by appointing someone to act in the event you are unable to do so. A will focuses on managing and distributing your assets after death.

In addition to these key elements, an estate plan can help avoid the problems and expenses of probate, avoid family conflicts, provide flexibility in estate management, and minimize taxes at the time of death. These are some of the benefits and why estate planning is so important. However, how does one get started on setting up an estate plan?

Most estate planning objectives can be accomplished by hiring an attorney or by using an online “do-it-yourself” approach. The cost of hiring an estate planning attorney to assist with the development and implementation of an estate plan is typically far outweighed by the benefits of recruiting experienced council. The person who decides to save money by using an online service is likely to make costly mistakes, says estate attorney Kari Meyrose of Gorman and Jones Law Firm.

“Estate planning attorneys spend many years learning the contours of estate planning rules and methodologies, and they have the ability to forecast the potential outcomes that may result from an individual estate plan,” Meyrose says.

Estate plans range from simple to very complicated, and in some cases the cost of not using an attorney may actually end up being a very costly lesson for loved ones. Either way you decide— do it yourself or use an attorney — don’t procrastinate in making a choice and take action in planning your future.

For more information about estate planning or Jacob Gold & Associates Inc., visit www.jacobgold.com.

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This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.[/stextbox]

Key Elements to Retirement Planning

Key Elements To Retirement Planning

There are countless books, articles, and videos that discuss how to plan for your retirement — many of which can be found at universities, books written by financial gurus, business owners, institutions and professionals in the industry. If one were to Google retirement planning, there would be tons of information, multiple websites, retirement calculators and sources to learn about what to do and how to do it.

There is no one right way to plan or a single investment strategy that works for everyone. But there are some important elements to follow that can help improve the odds of retiring successfully. Some of them include investment strategies, retirement timeline, risk management and asset protection, and estate planning.

Investing has many levels that range from very risky to very conservative. An investor can choose to invest in stocks, bonds, annuities, insurance and real estate. All of these can be valuable if used the proper way and for the right purpose.

But before choosing an investment, I would recommend to complete a series of questionnaires to learn more about what may be suited for that investor. Also, having a good mix of different risk levels and different products can help provide opportunity and protection.

Another important element that should be at the top of the retirement planning list is the value of time. The earlier we start the better the odds to navigate through difficult markets and the better we can plan for life changing events. Navigating through difficult markets is very challenging and staying the course usually works to the investors favor. Having the courage to stay invested and setting aside emotional decisions is critical. Also, by starting sooner it will allow investors to take advantage of compound interest.

Risk management and asset protection can be looked at in many different ways. The most common, is protecting our loved ones by insuring them and the assets we have accumulated. Unknown events will occur from time to time and preparing for these events before they happen can make or break our retirement success. Balancing for the now as well as the future is essential.

Once we have reached our goals, investors should plan to protect their estate with the hope to pass it to their heirs. This task first begins by organizing financials and personal interest to meet one’s wishes upon their passing. The best and most appropriate way to accomplish this is to seek the services of an attorney. It is important to provide the attorney all of the necessary information and have thorough discussions of your wishes so they can be carried out accordingly.

These are important elements of retirement planning and vary per person or household. It is important to take the time to research and learn about what steps to take in starting your plan, managing your plan, and having a resolution to your estate. I recommend working with a financial professional and reviewing your plan annually.

For more information about retirement planning and investing, visit Jacob Gold & Associates’ website.

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This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions.