Monday, January 30, 2012

Colorado Advocates Push For Mandatory Reporting Law for Elder Abuse

American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging reports that Colorado is currently one of only four states without a mandatory reporting law for elder abuse for social workers, physicians and other care occupations. Advocates for the elderly have been working to pass a law that would require social workers, physicians and others to report suspected abuse of at-risk adults. Over the last thirteen years, multiple mandatory-reporting bills have been sent to legislative committees, where the bills languish. One bill made it to the Governor’s desk in 2005, but then Governor Bill Owens vetoed the bill. Advocates of mandatory reporting plan to introduce another bill on this issue in the 2012 legislative season. Many in the elder care community are in favor of such a law, but are cautious when it comes to the consequences. Dora-Lee Larson, executive director of the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, said she supports the law, as long as it is accompanied by funding so caseworkers have the resources to meet expanded need.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

International Network of Boutique Law Firms

Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C. is a member of The International Network of Boutique Law Firms ("INBLF"). INBLF is an organization of highly credentialed single-discipline (boutique) law firms, each of which, after a great deal of research, has been identified and hand-selected as prominent in each firm's respective field of practice.

Each member firm practices, and has achieved preeminence, in only one or two specific substantive areas of practice, none of which overlaps with any other member firm's area of expertise in that specific geographic market. The INBLF is organized such that individual chapters have been established in every significant city and geographic market throughout the United States and Canada, thereby ensuring that all major practice areas in every major market are covered by a highly credentialed INBLF member.

The purpose of the INBLF, among other things, is to ensure that each firm's clients will receive only the very highest quality legal representation -- irrespective of the nature of the legal issue or the jurisdiction in which it arises -- should that client elect to retain an INBLF member for legal counsel or assistance.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yes, There is an App for That

Facebook now has an application (commonly referred to as an "app") called "If I Die" that allows a user to post a final message on his or her Facebook wall when the user dies. A user selects three "trustees" who are Facebook friends that will verify the death of the user. After the trustees confirm the user’s death, Facebook posts the user’s "If I Die" message. Eran Alfonta, the app’s co-founder, said the app was created because "[w]e all have things to say and don’t necessarily have the audience with the patience to hear us. Actually we all want to leave something behind, we all want to leave a stamp behind us." For now, the app posts the "If I Die" message on the user’s public profile page, but the creators are working on changes to the app which will give users the ability to send non-public messages, even to non-Facebook users. The number of app users is expected to hit 100,000 within a couple of months.
See If I Die: Facebook App Lets You Leave Sweet Last Words, Mashable Social Media, Jan. 6, 2012.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Colorado Lawyer of the Year

Marc Darling was recently named the 2012 Colorado Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Trusts & Estates Law by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C. Named Best Law Firm in Colorado

Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C. was recently named Best Law Firm in Colorado by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® for the following practice areas:

Trusts & Estates Law
Litigation-Trusts & Estates Law

Advanced Estate Administration

Laurie Hunter will be presenting at the Colorado Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled "Advanced Estate Administration" on February 1, 2012. Laurie's presentation will focus on Settling Probate Matters with Minors: Alternatives for Distributions if a Trust is Not Created, When a Conservatorship Might be Required, Who Represents the Minor in a Settlement of a Controversy, Cordinating a Guardianship with the Probate Proceeding, Effect of Divorce, Claims for Child Support, Changes in Gifts or Fiduciaries, Allowances, Pretermitted Children.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Avoiding Battles Over Personal Property

The distribution of tangible personal property is the leading cause of family disputes in probate administration. More family disputes are caused by division of jewelry and family heirlooms than money. Frequently, these fights occur in blended families where the parents may have heirlooms earmarked for children from a prior marriage, rather than a second spouse and /or his or her children. Estate planning lawyers have developed many techniques to help reduce these problems and to avoid having off-duty police officers attend meetings among family members to select personal property.  For more information, go to our December 2011 newsletter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Changes in Non-Appearance Hearing Time Periods

Effective January 1, 2012, and as part of the changes to the state court procedural rules to adopt the "Rule of Seven," the deadlines in Probate Rule 8.8 were revised from 10 days’ notice of a non-appearance hearing to 14 days. That also means 14 days (two weeks) and no additional days for mailing, weekends, etc. The Rule of Seven is designed to simplify determination of time deadlines, and is discussed in more detail in The Colorado Lawyer article by Richard P. Holme, January 2012 issue at pages 33 - 40. JDF Forms 712, 722 and 963 have been revised to note the new 14-day deadlines.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Changes Effective January 1, 2012

The Exempt Property and Family Allowances increase on January 1 to $30,000 each for a total of $60,000 that a surviving spouse or dependent children may request from an estate under the Colorado Probate Code. The federal estate, gift and generation-skipping exemptions increase from $5 million to $5,120,000 as a result of inflation in 2012, but keep in mind that they may go down to $1 million in 2013 if Congress fails to take action. Happy New Year!