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VIDEO: Prenuptial Agreements

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | January 11, 2019

Platt & Westby Attorney, Peter Westby, discusses Prenuptial Agreements and how they can be most effective. Learn what’s most important when obtaining a prenuptial agreement.

What Is A Living Will?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | December 6, 2018

A Living Will is different from a normal Will.   A Will is a common estate planning document that controls the distribution of a person’s property after he or she dies. It is not effective until death. A living will, however, is effective during a person’s lifetime and serves a wholly different purpose.   Also known as an “advance directive” a living will allows a person, in advance, to give written instructions for medical treatment should he or she become terminally ill…

VIDEO: Pre-Litigation Due Diligence

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | December 4, 2018

Platt & Westby attorney, Andy Rahtz, discusses the things you should do before you file a lawsuit, or what we would call Pre-Litigation Due Dilligence.

Benefits of The Probate Process

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | November 6, 2018

Much has been written by estate planning attorneys as to how to avoid probate. It is true that drafting of estate planning documents with a goal of probate avoidance is of great value to families. But sometimes a probate is needed or can be useful. Here are a few of the benefits of the probate procedure: The most important benefit is that a probate provides a court supervised procedure. This encourages a timely and more formal administration of the estate.…

Divorce With Minor Children and Legal Decision-Making Authority

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | October 2, 2018

A divorce decree that involves minor children must address legal decision-making for those minor children.  Arizona defines legal decision-making as: “the legal right and responsibility to make all nonemergency legal decisions for a child including those regarding education, health care, religious training and personal care decisions.”  See A.R.S. § 25-401(3) Joint legal decision-making is a common parental authority agreement.  A.R.S. § 25-401(2) defines joint legal decision-making as: “both parents share decision-making and neither parent’s rights or responsibilities are superior except…

VIDEO: Hiring an Attorney

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 29, 2018

Patt & Westby attorney, Elizabeth Westby, speaks about hiring an attorney and what the process looks like.

What Is A "Life Estate"?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 21, 2018

A life estate is an interest in real property that terminates upon the death of a specified person, usually the owner of the life estate. There are some terms that are unique to life estates. The owner of a life estate is often called a “life tenant.” The life tenant has the right to reside in the home for life or for so long as he or she may choose. Upon the termination of the life estate the persons who…

Communicating Religious Values in Your Estate Plan

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 6, 2018

Estate planning documents are designed to help and provide for families at a critical time, usually upon the death or incapacity of a family member. The typical estate plan focuses on financial needs. But religious needs and the communication of religious values are also important to many of us. Your estate planning documents can be an effective means to communicate your religious and cultural values to those close to you. This can be done in any number of ways. A…

Effect Of Military Benefits When Calculating Arizona Child Support

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | August 28, 2018

Military members typically receive many benefits for their service to our country. These benefits may be counted as income when calculating child support in Arizona. For instance, a military member may receive money for a housing allowance or the military member may receive free housing rather than a housing allowance.

In the Arizona Court of Appeals case of Patterson v. Patterson, the Court ruled that the value of military-provided on-base housing might be included in a parent’s income for child support calculations, based on the court’s determination as to whether the value of that benefit is significant and reduces the parent’s living expenses.

The court’s opinion relied on the language in the Arizona Child Support Guidelines which states that “income from any source” is includable as gross income. These guidelines also require the cash value of “other non-cash benefits” be counted as gross income if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses.

VIDEO: Construction Defect Law

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | July 30, 2018

Cracks in your foundation, a leaking roof, water damaged walls, among other issues can all indicate the presence of serious defects in a home’s construction.  Fortunately, the law holds builders and contractors accountable to their customers, and in many cases, requires them to repair or pay for repairs to the home. Homeowners affected by construction defects have a number of options at their disposal.  First, they can seek help from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.  The Registrar may require the…

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