Arizona law gives you the opportunity to use a document called a prehospital medical care directive, also known as a “do-not-resuscitate” instruction or “DNR.” I have been asked about it a number of times recently, perhaps indicating greater awareness of, and interest in, this particular creature of Arizona law. The law on it is actually quite clear, although it has in the past seemed that relatively few people are aware of it. As I said, perhaps that is changing.
The term “prehospital medical care directive” is actually not very accurate, since the directive deals only with cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. The term “do not resuscitate” is actually a much more accurate description of what it’s about.
To learn more about this powerful method of specifying what life-saving medical treatment you do or don’t want, read my Estate Planning Law Report on the subject. If you would like help with putting together a plan for your health care decisions, call me for a consultation.
Consider this sequence of events over the last two years:
1) IRS Hits Estate of Former Detroit Pistons Owner With $2 Billion Tax Bill (Aug. 15, 2013);
2) Estate of Former Detroit Pistons Owner Settles $2.8 Billion Gift, Estate & GST Deficiency Claim For 11 Cents On The Dollar (July 8, 2015);
3) Estate of Former Detroit Pistons Owner Sues Deloitte For $500 Million For Botching Tax Plan (Sept. 25, 2015).
Each of those headlines is frightening to me in its own way, and should get the attention of any tax professional.
#2 doesn’t sound that frightening to you, you say? Well, look at it this way: a settlement for eleven cents on the dollar meant that the amount actually paid to the IRS was $320 million.
The headlines are taken from posts on the TaxProf Blog, which in turn link to news accounts on the events.
MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT A TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY LIST IS FOR, HOW TO MAKE ONE, AND WHY IT’S A GOOD IDEA
Some time back I posted information about making a tangible personal property list to go with your will. It’s an efficient way to make gifts of personal items such as collectibles, family heirlooms, jewelry, even a grand piano or a car.
Since I wrote that post, I have had a number of clients ask me about how to handle their personal items in their estate plans. I even had a couple who wanted to change their wills, and were relieved to learn that they didn’t have to, to make provisions for tangible personal property.
Whether or not you will need to change your estate plan documents to make provisions for your personal items depends on how your estate plan is set up. Don’t assume that you don’t need to make any changes. If you have tangible items that you want to leave to particular individuals, consult your estate planning attorney.
Since it seemed timely, I decided to devote my newsletter this month to a fuller explanation of the tangible personal property list. My new Estate Planning Law Report is posted, as it is every month, in the publications section of deconcinimcdonald.com.
Your comments are always welcome.
I’m not saying I started a trend, but soon after I posted about so-called “702 plans” being nothing more than life insurance, an article appeared at CSmonitor.com, the online version of the Christian Science Monitor, that came to the same conclusion.
The article actually comes from a site I have never heard of called Nerd Wallet, which apparently is a financial advice site. Anyway, the Monitor is definitely a reputable publication, so I feel vindicated.
THE FALLOUT FROM THE MASSIVE BREACH OF THE GOVERNMENT’S PERSONNEL RECORDS CONTINUES
As the details of the huge invasion of the government’s computer records continue to unfold, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has disclosed that fingerprint records for 5.6 million people (I presume current and/or former government employees, although they apparently didn’t say) were stolen.
But don’t worry, says OPM, "federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited." That’s comforting.
Although he made it in reference to the current political scene, the Instapundit made this astute observation about homeowners’ associations:
Populism… is a symptom. Most people prefer not to think about politics, and to let things be run by reasonably competent people who are reasonably motivated by the public good. Populism arises when that’s not the case. Like heavy turnout at a condo association meeting, it’s a sign of trouble at the top.
I took out his reference to the current political figure who was his subject. You can see who it is at the link.
Well, Lowering the Bar found a court who said it did. Who am I to argue? Lowering quotes from a court opinion that cited a “Seinfeld” episode as illustrating the contract law principle of good faith.
First, researchers at MIT have come up with a method for using artificial intelligence to predict tax evasion.
Second, a study by the Heritage Foundation compares the government benefits and services received by each quintile of households to the taxes and revenues paid by each quintile.
IT'S CONSTITUTION DAY
What better place to start to learn about Constitution Day than constitutionday.com?
THE CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS APPARENTLY SO HARD TO GRASP THAT EVEN THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DON’T UNDERSTAND IT
Proof here (coincidentally, from a professor at UCLA).
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.