Thank you for visiting our official BLOG for the Arizona Fiduciaries Association. We look forward to your participation and feedback.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

National Memory Screening Day Event on November 16 in Peoria, AZ

ResCare HomeCare & The Forum at Desert Harbor are co-hosting an Alzheimer's Foundation of America National Memory Screening event on Tuesday, November 16th from 8:00 a.m. to Noon. The event will be held at The Forum at Desert Harbor.

Dr. Nieri will speak at 11:00am and provide an overview of dementia & discuss prevention and early diagnosis, as well as review the latest in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.

The Forum at Desert Harbor
13840 N. Desert Harbor Dr.
Peoria AZ 85381

For more information, please contact:
Cathy Shiroda
Marketing Director
ResCare HomeCare

Arizona Vulnerable Adult Advocate and Attorney, Denice Shepherd, Receives National Award

The National Guardianship Association (NGA) awarded Arizona Attorney Denice R. Shepherd the Outstanding Affiliate Member Award for policy reform leadership, educational outreach and advocacy for Arizona’s vulnerable adults.
Shepherd serves on the Arizona Supreme Court Probate Oversight Committee, charged with reviewing and adopting court procedures to provide for the protection of vulnerable and incapacitated persons. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Fiduciaries Association, Shepherd travels throughout the state and country to educate professional guardians, social workers, attorneys and fiduciaries on the legal and ethical aspects of protecting vulnerable adults.
Shepherd is known in the legal community for championing both legal and ethical policies to serve the best interests of wards. “My staff and I are committed to protecting and supporting vulnerable adults in Arizona,” said Shepherd. “Our priority is to safeguard their health, welfare and resources, but we are also steadfast in our commitment to preserve their quality of life.”
In addition to her outreach endeavors to raise the standard of care and protection for vulnerable adults, Shepherd teaches future members of the legal profession at clinics for low income adults seeking to become guardians of minors.
In the same week she received the NGA Outstanding Affiliate Member Award, she was named recipient of the 2010 Attorney of the Year award, by Southern Arizona Legal Aid's Volunteer Lawyers Program for her pro bono working the area of wills, estates, probate. In June of this year, Shepherd was named one of the top 50 pro bono attorneys in Arizona by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hoarding: Informational Resources

A very thorough and sensitively written web site authored from the perspective of an individual diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Understanding Hoarding

Informational Articles on Hoard

Friday, October 15, 2010

Three Important Dates: Please RSVP

Dear AFA Members:

As the AFA works to support and plan for upcoming meetings, it is helpful to determine membership attendance for the dates below.
Please RSVP to charity@azfid.org and indicate which dates you plan to attend.

AJC Meeting
Thursday, October 21, 2010
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Room 101
Arizona State Courts Building
1501 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Probate Committee Meeting
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Hearing Room 109
Arizona State Courts Building
1501 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

AFA Membership Summit
Friday, November 12, 2010
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Forum at Desert Harbor
13840 N. Desert Harbor Dr.
Peoria AZ 85381

Job Opening: Social Services Supervisor, Fiduciary

The Arizona Department of Veterans' Services currently has the following job opportunity available:

Social Services Supervisor, Fiduciary

For more information or to apply, please click here. To search by agency, enter ADVS in the "keywords" field.

External applicants may go to www.azstatejobs.gov.

If you have questions or need assistance, please check with your Human Resources Department.

Yadira Rodriguez
HR Generalist
3839 North Third Street, Suite 209
Phoenix, AZ 85012
PH: 602- 234-8433

Arizona Judicial Council Meeting: October 21, 2010

The next Arizona Judicial Council meeting is scheduled for October 21, 2010. Here is a link to the website and agenda:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Protect Wards from Whooping Cough

New cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in Arizona. For more information  on how to protect yourself and your wards, please review the following links:

NPR Report on Whooping Cough

Arizona Department of Health Services

Membership Summit: Friday, November 12

AFA’s Membership Summit
Friday, November 12 2010
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Peoria, AZ
Thank you to our sponsors, ResCare HomeCare and The Forum at Desert Harbor, for generously sponsoring our meeting. ResCare HomeCare provides supportive in-home care for The Forum's Independent Living Resident's. The meeting will be hosted in the Forum's community meeting room. Both ResCare HomeCare and The Forum will provide breakfast and lunch.
The Forum at Desert Harbor
13840 N. Desert Harbor Dr.
Peoria AZ 85381

Monday, October 11, 2010

Community Partners Praise Fiduciary Work With Letters of Support

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a community of skilled professionals to protect Arizona's vulnerable citizens. Here are a few letters of support recognizing the important work fiduciaries perform in our Arizona communities.


Here are some of my experiences working with Fiduciaries:

Fiduciaries are involved with my residents because my residents have Alzheimer’s Dementia and are unable to manage their own financial affairs. Many of them have no family or absent family and fiduciaries are the ones who act as their advocate to see that their needs are met within their individual budget restraints.

The fiduciaries I have worked with have been wonderful. They have been involved, interested and treated their clients as family members taking a concerted interest in their wellbeing. The fiduciaries have been involved with communication between the family members and us, the care providers as sometimes, families don’t want anything to do with the resident for one reason or another. They are part of our team. We work together to meet the resident’s needs. In our situation, the fiduciary provides clothing, personal supplies, transport to medical appointments, and is involved in our care planning process. They keep records and are responsive to resident’s needs as well as the needs the facility has in caring for the resident.

I haven’t ever had to ask a fiduciary more than once for anything my resident needs. If the resident has the funds to do extra outings, they are included in outings such as lunch out, or movies, or concerts etc. The fiduciaries I have worked with are thrilled that their clients have the most wonderful quality of life that can be had. I have found that the fiduciaries care more about their clients than even some family members that are “involved” in their loved ones care.

Fiduciaries that care for clients with Alzheimer’s Dementia have to be totally dedicated and in the business for the right reasons, which is, they genuinely care about people! Caring for an Alzheimer’s Dementia patient, is difficult even on good days and if their hearts weren’t in the right place it would show.

As the Director of Nursing at an Alzheimer’s specific Assisted Living Facility, I am truly blessed to have wonderful Fiduciaries watching over my residents. They are always available if/when I need them and I am thankful for the great experiences I have had with the fiduciaries that oversee my residents.

Kathryn A. Olson LPN, DON
Encore Senior Village
Peoria, Arizona

To Whom It May Concern:

Having worked with Entrust providing non medical companionship care, homemaker services and personal care services for their clients (wards), I have always found that Entrust has always had the client's interest at the forefront of all of their decisions for care.

We too have observed the injustice the clients have received from opportunistic individuals as well as family members. Unfortunately this seems to be the common fate for clients that are under fiduciary guardianship.

Fiduciaries provide an invaluable and necessary role in the care of seniors. Keep up the good work.

Dave Kirchner
Franchise Owner
Home Instead Senior Care

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Health Reform Benefits for Older Americans

 The National Senior Citizens Law Center welcomes the Patients' Bill of Rights provisions of the Affordable Care Act, that take effect today, along with other provisions securing important benefits for older Americans.
Protections Against Chronic Insurance Abuses That Plague Older Adults
No demographic group has suffered more from insurance abuses than older adults who are not yet eligible for Medicare.   Those protections include:
  • Protections against common insurance industry practices that avoid covering treatment for the ill and injured
  • Barring insurers from arbitrarily canceling coverage after illness or injury strikes, or that requires expensive treatment
  • Barring lifetime caps on coverage amounts
  • Requiring insurers to cover preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and immunizations, with no out-of-pocket cost – no deductibles, co-payments, or co-insurance
  • Denying or cancelling coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition

Determining Fees for Dissolution Proceedings Upon Decedent's Death

If attorney's fees incurred in dissolution proceeding which was started, but not completed, prior to decedent's death constituted a "community debt" is governed whether the fees were generated to benefit the community.  The community may be benefitted by an orderly and lawful division of assets.  The community may benefit from the entry of temporary orders to support a spouse or children.  The community may benefit from court-ordered mediation and counseling.  Court orders related to custody of children could benefit the children therefore be a community debt.  All that is required is that there be some objective intent to benefit the community even if no pecuniary benefit actually occurs based on the surrounding circumstances at the time ofthe transaction.  It does not matter if the spouse incurring the fees will benefit more than the community.  Cardinel & Stachel, P.C. vs. Kieran Curtis, widower of Leela Curtis (deceased); Estate of Leela Curtis, 2 CA-CV 2009-0163 (Sept. 3, 2010).

Monday, June 14, 2010

The AFA Has A New Mailing Address

The Arizona Fiduciaries Association
P.O. Box 15572
Scottsdale, AZ 85267-5572

Need a Room for the AFA Summer Workshop?

Make Your Hotel Reservations:
The AFA's workshop will be held at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. The AFA has negotiated special room rates with the Prescott Resort and Conference Center at $95 for Single/Double Occupancy. There are a limited number of rooms available at this special rate, so please make your reservations early. Please call 1-800-967-4637 and ask for the Arizona Fiduciaries Association room block. Prescott Resort and Conference Center is located at 1500 State Route 69, Prescott, AZ 86301

Other Hotel Options:
*Please note that these rates are advertised rates based on availability

Spring Hill Suites
200 East Sheldon Street
Prescott, Arizona 86301 USA
Phone: 1-888-236-2427
$119. Plus taxSingle /Double Occupancy

Best Western Prescottonian
1317 E Gurley Street, Prescott, Arizona 86301-3313
Phone: 928/445-3096
Includes full breakfast
Thursday: $89 plus tax
Friday and Saturday:$129 plus tax

Early Bird Registration Ends Soon for AFA's Summer Workshop!

The AFA’s Annual Summer Workshop: Nothing is Certain But Death & Discharge
Friday, July 9, 2010
Prescott, AZ
1.5 Ethics CEUS & 5 CEUs
After June 18, 2010, registration will increase $25. Register now to take advantage of the early-bird special!
Registration Form
Workshop Agenda

The Memory Spectrum from Normal Aging to Alzheimer's Disease

On June 15th ResCare HomeCare is hosting a workshop for the Banner Alzheimer's Institute on "The Memory Spectrum from Normal Aging to Alzheimer's Disease". The guest speaker for the workshop is Jan Dougherty, RN, MS Family & Community Services Director for the Banner Alzheimer's Institute.

Workshop Location:
7090 E. Mescal Street Scottsdale, AZ 85254
  • Registration & Light Refreshment: 8:30am – 9:00am
  • Presentation: 9:00am – 10:30am
  • RSVP Required – Seating is Limited! Please RSVP to Elyse Lever – 602-955-7705
Alzheimer's disease (AD) now affects 5.3 million Americans with many more Americans complaining of "Senior Moments". This workshop covers typical changes in memory with age verses changes associated with AD. Also discussed during the workshop are prevention strategies and specific techniques designed to help Caregivers manage day to day care for a person with AD/dementia.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

A two-day suicide first aid interactive workshop for community caregivers through LivingWorks

Monday, July 12 and Tuesday, July 13, 2010    8:30 to 4:30 both days.

Pima Council on Aging
8467 E. Broadway
Tucson AZ 85710
To Register:
Call Sarah at PCOA at 790-0504

PBS Screensavers

As our profession continues the important work of protecting Arizona’s vulnerable citizens, here is a resource that adds a little "color" to our PCs or MACs. It is no secret that PBS is an excellent resource, but their site also offers up screensavers based on programming themes that match an array of interests. To peruse the possibilities, visit PBS Screensavers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

AFA Members Appointed to Committee on Improving Probate Court Matters

The AFA would like to extend special recognition & gratitude to those AFA members serving on the Committee on Improving Probate Court Matters.

-Pam Johnston, Certified Fiduciary Services, Inc.
-Jay M. Polk, Attorney & State Bar Representative
-Sherry Reed, Navajo County Public Fiduciary
-Catherine Robbins, Mohave County Public Fiduciary
-Denice R. Shepherd, Law Office of Denice R. Shepherd
-Sylvia Stevens, AARP Representative

The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 24, 2010 from 12:30pm – 4:00pm in Conference room 109, 1501 West Washington Street, Phoenix (Supreme Court Building).
For more information, you can visit the committee website.

Estate Operations Supervisor: Maricopa County Public Fiduciary's Office

The Maricopa County Public Fiduciary's Office is hiring for an Estate Operations Manager. For more information and the job description, please visit  AFA Job Postings.

Understanding Proposition 100

By Lisa M. Price, NCG, LF
There has been a great deal of discussion about Proposition 100 over the last few months but do you really know what Proposition 100 is all about? Proposition 100 would add a one-percent sales tax to the current sales tax rate. The increase would begin on June 1, 2010 and is subject to automatic repeal on May 31, 2013. This tax would add one penny to every dollar you spend in your community. The funds are to be deposited into the general fund with two-thirds allocated to K-12 primary and secondary education and the remaining one-third to be allocated to health and human services and public safety. Estimates indicate that the revenue gained from this sales tax increase would be approximately $918 million each year and would preserve $442 million in federal matching funds which would otherwise be lost.

Most of the discussion regarding Proposition 100 centers on the funds to be provided to education. We all know how horrendous the current budget cuts are on our individual school districts with teachers being laid off, classroom sizes increasing and sports and fine arts programs being cut all over the state. But did you know that one-third of the funds will directly affect our clientele? According to Jill Harrison, Director of the Western Area Council on Governments, Area Agency on Aging, Home Care Services are heavily dependent on state funding. While many home care services can be supported by the funding supplied by the state, other required core Older American Act services such as transportation, case management, caregiver programs, adult day care, respite and information and referral services must be provided by the local Area Agencies on Aging and are at risk for serious cuts.

What many do not understand is that the elimination or decrease in home and community based services will result in only one solution – those seniors who were able to reside in their homes with the comfort, care and dignity they so deserve will now be forced into assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. Such a move would result in the state spending thousands more in long term care costs as many of these seniors will need assistance from Arizona’s Long Term Care System in order to live in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. The irony with that solution is that Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System has indicated that they expect to have to cut reimbursement rates to providers by an additional ten-percent should Proposition 100 not pass resulting in a total of fifteen-percent in cuts to reimbursement rates to providers. These cuts will force providers to either cancel contracts with AHCCCS altogether, increase rates for private pay patients, or cause providers to completely close their doors.

The harsh reality of this situation is that no one wants to pay more in taxes and while the Arizona government has already made nearly $1 billion in cuts to the proposed budget there is still an enormous shortfall. This tax increase is not the end-all-be-all solution but it is a first step in ensuring that our children are educated in manageable class sizes, our communities are protected by the continued funding of our law enforcement services and our most vulnerable citizens will be provided the services necessary to live at home with the assistance of home and community based services.

For more information, see Proposition 100.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What You Should Know About Your Office Copier

Did you know that digital photo copiers contain hard drives designed to capture up to 20,000 documents which likely contains private information (medical records, financial accounts etc.) from your office. For more details, and how to protect your practice, view this story from CBS News

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In the News: Arizona Probate Task Force

Find The Arizona Republic's latest article on Probate Task Force Investigation 

AFA's 2010 Summer Workshop: July 9, 2010 in Prescott, AZ

Register Now! AFA's Summer Workshop: Friday, July 9 in Prescott, AZ

One thing we can count in our profession is that change is indeed our status quo! We are continually faced with transitioning care and service strategies based on the ever-changing needs of our wards. With that in mind, the AFA’s 2010 Summer Workshop, Nothing is Certain But Death and Discharge, will explore transition of life decisions and strategies including:
• What needs to be demonstrated before preparing a ward for greater independence and when should this be considered?
• What after death services are available and can be planned for ahead of time?

• How should can we incorporate shared decision making for medical decisions?
• What are some strategies to diffuse difficult situations that naturally arise out of transition?
• How can we prepare for seamless transition plans among private and public fiduciaries?
• How might we address self-care to ensure our own professional and personal stamina?

Workshop Registration:

Download Registration Form Here

Early-Bird Registration: AFA Members: $100.00  OR Non-Members: $125.00

After June 18, 2010, registration will increase $25. Register now to take advantage of the early-bird special!

* Please note: AFA's website registration is under construction; register by mail only, please.

Room Reservations:
The workshop will be held at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. The AFA has negotiated special room rates with the Prescott Resort and Conference Center at $95 for Single/Double Occupancy. There are a limited number of rooms available at this special rate, so please make your reservations early. Please call 1-800-967-4637 and ask for the Arizona Fiduciaries Association room block. Prescott Resort and Conference Center is located at 1500 State Route 69, Prescott, AZ 86301

**If you have any questions, please email me directly at: charity@azfid.org

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Private & Public Fiduciaries

By Sally Carlson and Roger Coventry

Editor's Note: This article written by AFA members Sally Carlson and Roger Coventry was originally published in the AFA's Fall 2008 newsletter. We have decided to run it again since one of the main themes of the AFA's upcoming summer workshop is the Public & Private Fiduciary partnership.

In a global economy characterized by downsizing, rightsizing, outsourcing, mergers, acquisitions, hostile takeovers, downturns, bubbles and irrational exuberance (to name but a few), the fiduciary industry in Arizona persists in anxious equilibrium based, in part, on the symbiotic relationship between private and public fiduciaries. The host for this dynamic existence is the voracious demand for increasingly complex services in an environment rich in enmity, regulation and litigation.

Okay . . . by now you get the biological metaphors that could be used to illustrate how we, the public and private fiduciaries of Arizona, are both “in it together.” Lest you forget the importance of our co-existence, let us review the positive relationships we have forged and how they help us provide valuable services in a challenging environment. Perhaps the most significant ways we help each other thrive are: 1) Cross-pollination, 2) Problem-Solving, 3) Advocacy and 4) Synergy.

Through the close contacts formed in our conferences and workshops, we mix the genetic (experiential and educational) makeup of fiduciaries of various stripes from around the state. With the baby boomers aging and technology advancing at incredible rates, the need for fiduciaries is high and will continue to grow. Together, public and private fiduciaries must actively recruit students and individuals with jobs or careers who might be looking for a more rewarding, albeit extremely challenging, profession. A few ways of accomplishing this are:

1. Communications by certified fiduciaries with local colleges and universities. By forming local groups, comprised of both public and private fiduciaries, recruitment becomes a less overwhelming state-wide project and can be handled through:
• Personal contact
• Mass mailings
• Preparation and distribution of a fiduciary pamphlet specifically geared to recruitment, including:
  • Fiduciary work as a rapidly growing profession
  • Engaging in a challenging and self-rewarding career by helping people
  • Opportunities in both public and private sectors
  • Working in a field that encompasses numerous areas—social, medical, financial, legal to name but a few
2. Training. As this profession continues to evolve, opportunities for training must exist at many levels. Some training ideas include:
• Private and public fiduciaries working together with local educational facilities to develop curricula for fiduciary course programs.
• Presentations by public and private fiduciaries in the form of classes or mini seminars to social service agencies, hospitals, mental health facilities, law offices, banks, family members of protected persons, and the general public.

Same problem different day . . . well, not quite. What we quickly realize is that although we find ourselves in the same (or at least similar) boat, there are numerous ways in which we manage to stay afloat. We have come a long way in the list-serve and telecommunications areas as can be seen by the questions and ideas presented on the AFA list serve, as well as our accomplishments in planning seminars through teleconference meetings. Working at the local level through regular meetings of public and private fiduciaries will assist us in providing insight into the specific demands, both similar and different, of our day-to-day jobs. While this might seem overwhelming in light of our hectic schedules, listed below are a few ideas to consider:
• Through teleconferencing, decide a topic to be discussed periodically.
• Select a different group member for each meeting to prepare an agenda, which might include discussions of current legislation, arranging for fiduciary recruitment and training, and topics chosen by group members.
• Through collaboration between public and private fiduciaries, prepare informative and educational documents to be disseminated to the agencies/businesses listed above under the “Training” section.

Here is where the instinct for survival is most evident. Our common and most persistent threat is over-regulation. Strong leadership forged in the fire of our daily strife ensures that members of our profession are not permanently disabled from any quarter.

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of Lisa Price, among others, we are making significant progress in the areas of regulation and investigation and follow-up of complaints. The matrix prepared by Lisa Price listing AOC complaints from initial violations through resolution is an invaluable tool for all of us and can be updated on a regular basis.

Audit Preparation will be a future seminar topic. Recently audited public and private fiduciaries will share their experiences at upcoming state and local seminars. During the presentation we will share policies and procedures that ensure best practices and aid in meeting audit requirements.

Our peers tend to have extensive and diverse backgrounds. We benefit from such diversity, just as a biological organisms become stronger the more diverse the DNA source. The value of this characteristic manifests in the ability of our profession to rapidly adapt to the ever-changing environment in which we co-exist. The development of value added services and methods of improving efficiencies are quickly adopted such that our relatively low total numbers (of certified fiduciaries in Arizona) are able to serve a growing and aging population effectively.

To ensure further progress in these areas, mutual benefits will be gained from:
• Collaboration between public and private fiduciaries during which we educate each other on statutory differences (i.e. bonds, initial probate proceedings, fiduciary of last resort), discuss and share policies and procedures and establish guidelines to enhance the process of case referrals between public and private fiduciary agencies.
• Most importantly, open lines of communication between public and private fiduciaries will promote a better understanding of the similar and different issues we all face. Through our cooperation, we gain strength to better serve our clients and we are more prepared to present a unified front when dealing with those who govern us.

Frank Ciotczyk, a fiduciary who has been employed as both a private and (now) public fiduciary points out how we operate together to help our community: “I don't believe the ‘system’ would function properly without both private and public fiduciaries taking care of those in need. While there are many differences between the two branches, each and every fiduciary, public or private, has one thing in common - the desire to serve and do the right thing for their client - and that's what being a professional fiduciary is all about.”

Our survival instincts have been honed through numerous encounters in hostile environments. It is clear that our mutual survival depends on the continuance of practices that have resulted in our success thus far and ensuring that we can nimbly react to our environment. In a world of chaos, we must rise above the fray long enough to perceive that what we see through a glass darkly is not a competitor, but a kindred spirit on a parallel path to excellence.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Probate Update

Division One of the Court of Appeals held death certificates are not subject to release under the Arizona Public Records Law, nor are autopsy reports. Court are required to make an en camera inspection of the death certificate or autopsy reports and attachments because, though these documents are public records, the records of the government matter are merely incidental to a purely private occurrence of the death, therefore the privacy interests will normally outweigh the interest in the public to scrutinize governmental operations. Schoeneweis v. Superior Court, 1CA-AS 09-0152 12/1/09

AFA List Serve How Tos and Reminders

Dear AFA Members:

Thank you for helping our organization “go green" through the use of AFA's professional list serve. This is a great way for us to promote events, trainings, professional opportunities and seek advice from our colleagues on cases, policies and procedures.

Please remember, if you respond to an official AFA message with a question or comment that is only pertinent to you, be sure to only address your question or comment to charity@azfid.org

To help you acquire the full benefits of the AFA's membership list serve. Here are a few refreshers:

1. To send a message to the entire list, address your e-mail to azfid@lists.elder-law.com

2. If you want to sign up for the list serve, send a message to Charity at charity@azfid.org

3. If you sign up but don't get any e-mails, it might be that your office spam blocker has snared the list server. Double-check with your systems administrator to see if messages are being summarily discarded, quarantined or rejected. If that is not the case, it is possible (not too common, though) that your Internet Service Provider has blocked the list server address. E-mail charity@azfid.org and we'll try to sort it out.

4. You can go online to review old messages, to change your e-mail address, to set your account to not receive mail while you're on vacation, and to perform other management tasks. Go to www.lists.elder-law.com/read/?forum=azfid

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, The Brain Injury Association of Arizona will be hosting :

Rays of Hope: A Conference for Survivors of Brain Injuries and Families
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Black Canyon Conference Center
9440 North 25th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021
8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
For More information, visit The Brain Injury Association of Arizona

AFA Conference Session: Fiduciary Professional Liability Claims Review

The AFA is pleased to announce that it has added the following session to our March 4 - 5, 2010 conference agenda:

Fiduciary Professional Liability Claims Review

This session will survey several real-life professional liability fiduciary claims in order to examine the circumstances that gave rise to those claims, to explore preventative measures for avoiding such circumstances, and ultimately such claims.

Andrew R. Jones, partner of Furman Kornfeld & Brennan, specializes in legal malpractice, professional liability, insurance coverage litigation and directors’ and officers’ liability. He has drafted various insurance policy forms for international insurers, and has advised on coverage matters both in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Jones is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and in the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Lawrence D. Hilton, founder of Dominion Insurance Services, serves professionals in a wide range of disciplines. His prior law practice focused on professional liability defense and insurance coverage. He belongs to the California and Utah Bar Associations, holds insurance licenses in all 50 states, and is a Lloyd’s of London coverholder.


Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals held in special action proceeding that when plaintiff’s decedent shared a hospital room with a fellow patient who witnessed events material to plaintiff’s claims against the hospital and other defendants, the trial court did not violate the witness’s physician-patient privilege by ordering the defendant hospital to disclose to plaintiff’s counsel, under seal, the name, address, and telephone number of the witness. Carondelet Health Network V. Atteberry; No; Travmed USA 2 CA-CV 2009 0019; Opinion Filed: 06/12/2009

Friday, February 5, 2010

Job Opening:Arizona Department of Veterans' Services

This is to advise you that the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services currently has the following job opportunity available:

Fiscal Services Specialist II, Fiduciary

For more information or to apply, please go to www.azstatejobs.gov/internal. To search by agency, enter ADVS in the "keywords" field.

External applicants may go to http://www.azstatejobs.gov/.

If you have questions or need assistance, please check with your Human Resources Department.

Carol Ann Menichelli
HR Generalist
3839 North Third Street, Suite 209
Phoenix, AZ 85012
PH: 602-234-8405
FX: 602-297-6676

Monday, February 1, 2010

AFA Member Robert Fleming Co-Authors Book on Law and Aging

"New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Seniors and Their Families," is the newest practice legal advice book for seniors, written by AFA’s Vice President Robert B. Fleming, an elder law attorney with Fleming & Curti, PLC. and University of Arizona law professor Kenney F. Hegland.

The book covers medical, financial and legal issues for seniors and families. The new book, which was published in December by Carolina Academic Press, and offers comprehensive advice on legal issues pertinent to seniors.

It is the second book co-authored by Hegland and Fleming. "Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers" was published in 2007.


AFA Urges Adoption of Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 31, 2010
AFA Urges Adoption of Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act

The Arizona Fiduciaries Association, Inc. (AFA) is urging Arizona lawmakers to adopt the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act.

In cases involving adult guardianship, state courts give one person or entity the duty and power to make personal and/or property decisions for another person who is determined to be incapacitated. But as American society becomes increasingly mobile, complex jurisdictional issues arise concerning which state should have jurisdiction, how to transfer a guardianship to another state and whether a guardianship in one state will be recognized by another.

Due to a myriad of care and economic conflicts arising from multi-state guardianship cases, the federal Uniform Law Commission approved the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act to provide a roadmap for addressing dilemmas in such cases in 2007. But the act cannot work until most states adopt it.

The AFA believes that this legislation will assist in allowing for a less costly and more standardized approach to the transfer of wards from one jurisdiction to another. It also provides the judiciary with clear guidelines to determine which court maintains jurisdiction of the case, the ward and any litigation.

“Imagine working your entire life, saving every penny you have to ensure that you have a comfortable retirement, only to have those funds withered away in administrative costs because your son decided to move you close to his family. Now there are attorneys, physicians, investigators and others involved in two states and no one knows who controls or decides the case,” said Lisa Price, AFA President.

Price goes on to point out that there are documented cases of entire estates being spent on attorneys’ fees and court litigation ultimately leaving the ward destitute, relying on taxpayers to cover the costs of their long term care needs. To date, nearly 20 states have adopted or are considering this important legislation. The AFA is urging Arizona lawmakers to join the ranks and take the next step in protecting Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens.

These issues and more will be discussed at the AFA’s upcoming annual conference, The Complexities of Quality Care in the 21st Century in Carefree, AZ, March 4 - 5, 2010.

The Arizona Fiduciaries Association is the only professional association in Arizona representing the interests of licensed fiduciaries throughout the state. The AFA currently serves over 200 members consisting of licensed fiduciaries (from both the public and private sectors), attorneys, financial planners, and geriatric care managers.
# # #
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Price - lisa.price@entrustfiduciary.com
Jay Polk - polk@azprobatelawyers.com

AFA's 2010 Conference Agenda

AFA’s 2010 Conference Agenda is now available. The Complexities of Quality Care in the 21st Century is scheduled for Thursday, March 4 - Friday, March 5, 2010 in Carefree Resort and Villas Carefree, Arizona.

Friday, January 29, 2010

13 Questions a Fiduciary Should Ask BEFORE Selecting an Investment Advisor - PART 2

By Anton L. (Tony) Janik, Sr.

Registered Investment Advisor
Certified Fiduciary License #20283

2. Is the Advisor’s Approach Objective?

Your advisor should avoid all conflicts of interest and work only in your best interest at all times. Does the advisor have referral fee arrangements with anyone?

The surest way to avoid a conflict of interest is to work only with an independent advisor who is compensated on the basis of a professional fee rather than a commission for the purchase or sale of stocks, bonds, insurance or annuity products that would be used to implement the investment strategy for your ward’s portfolio.

The advisor’s fees may be charged on an hourly basis or as an annual percentage of the assets he manages for you. It’s ok to ask about how the advisor is compensated!

3. Did the Advisor Ask About Your Ward’s Investment Needs, Objectives and Risk Tolerance?
A good advisor will ask you personal questions about the needs and circumstances of the ward. Your answers to these questions will enable the advisor to design an Investment Plan that will meet your ward’s needs for asset protection and income production. The advisor will also be able to design the Plan to meet your wards tolerance for investment risk and investment time horizon.

These are some of the Questions the Advisor Should Ask You on Behalf of the Ward
• Can you provide me with a statement showing the ward’s current investments?
• May I see a copy of the latest income tax return?
• Does the ward have any extraordinary medical expenses?
• Is there a capital loss carry forward?
• What is the ward’s current income and net worth?
• How much income will you need from these investments?
• What are the investment goals?
• How long do you plan to keep these funds invested for the ward?
• Do you have any unusual investment requirements?
• What is the annual rate of return that you expect from the ward’s portfolio?
• How much of a decline in the value of the ward’s portfolio can you tolerate during a 12-month period?
• Are the ward’s assets held as separate or community property?
• Does the ward have an up-to-date estate plan?
• Are the ward’s assets held in trust?
• Has the title been changed to the name of the ward’s trust for all assets that should be administered under the terms of the trust?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Congratulations to Heather Winters-Bull

The AFA wishes to congratulate board member Heather Winters-Bull. She has recently been appointed to the Estate Administrator position with the Sun Valley Group.

You may contact her at:

Heather Winters-Bull

Estate Administrator
The Sun Valley Group, Inc.
Arizona Care Management
2050 South Cottonwood Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282
Fax 480-726-9582

Friday, January 15, 2010

Former AFA President, Roger Coventry, Joins Childers & Berg LLC

Childers & Berg is excited to announce that Roger Coventry joined their management team as the Director of Estate Services on December 1, 2009. As past President of the AFA, Roger has many friends and acquaintances within the fiduciary industry and the AFA, please feel free to contact Roger at Childers & Berg.

Childers & Berg, LLC
11134 W. Wisconsin Ave
Youngtown, AZ 85363
(623) 972-3819
(623) 977-0352 Fax

Case Law Update: Conservatorship

Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals held surety bond could be held liable for illegal acts of conservator prior to issuance of bond holding that guardians and conservators are responsible for pursuing assets wrongfully taken from protected person even if it means suing themselves for misappropriated assets. The Court awarded prejudgment interest against the surety but declined to award attorney’s fees to estate of protected person stating the surety had not taken an unreasonable position, the surety made good legal arguments and the law was unsettled in Arizona. Pacheco vs Hartford, 2 CA-CV 2007-0135, issued September 22, 2008.

Find this case and others Here

Thursday, January 14, 2010

13 Questions a Fiduciary Should Ask BEFORE Selecting an Investment Advisor

By Anton L. (Tony) Janik, Sr.
Registered Investment Advisor
Certified Fiduciary License #20283

In addition to having a good attorney, accountant and insurance professional, one of the most important things you can do to protect and preserve the ward’s assets is to select an independent investment advisor. Much like a primary care physician manages one’s healthcare, an experienced independent investment advisor can help you make certain that the ward’s investments remain safe, productive and meet your current needs for income. Over the next few weeks, I will pose 13 questions designed to help you choose an advisor with the proper training, skills and experience to meet your ward’s investment needs.

1. What are the Advisor’s Professional Credentials?
Ask the advisor about his professional education, experience and the length of time he has worked in the financial services business.

There are significant differences between the training, experience and credentials of stockbrokers, financial planners and registered investment advisors. Investigate carefully – don’t be confused by the titles “advisors” call themselves these days. Many stockbrokers prefer to be called Financial Advisors or Financial Consultants and insurance salespeople often call themselves Financial Planners.

If you choose to go the planner route, make certain that the Financial Planner has earned the designation as a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®). Not only is a CFP® more likely to be very knowledgeable (they are required to pass a series of comprehensive exams on the subject) but they have also agreed in writing to subscribe to a certain ethical standard when dealing with clients. Also, be sure to ask how they are compensated and whether they are independent or work for a particular financial services company whose products they must sell.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Little Levity for Those of Us Glued to Our Desks...

We are at our computers for such extended periods that it is nice to add a little ambiance every now and then. I have found a website where one can customize the music according to personal tastes. Even better, there are no annoying commercials to contend with. The site is called Last FM. Just type in the music or artist you prefer into the music search bar and enjoy!

Nobel Prize for Research on Aging

Three American scientists win Nobel for their Research on Aging.

AFA 2010 Conference

The AFA is pleased to offer our two-day conference on the complexities of care in the 21st century. The state of Arizona is facing unprecedented budget shortfalls affecting the practices of both public and private fiduciaries. How can the profession sustain and expand quality care while mitigating the challenges of limited resources and record demand? Join the AFA as we explore theses topics and more!

The conference will be held at the Carefree Resort and Villas 37220 North Mule Train Road, Carefree, AZ. 85377

Hotel conference rates are $155.00 for single/double prior to February 17, 2010. There are a limited number of rooms available, so please make your reservations early. For room reservations, call 877-294-6370. The resort will accept extensions three days prior to and/or past the Event dates based on room type and rate availability. Make certain to identify your group as the Arizona Fiduciaries Association.

Register Here

AFA Annual Leadership Award

The AFA board is seeking your nominations for it's annual leadership award. The award will be announced at our next conference which is scheduled for March 4 -5, 2010 in Carefree, AZ. Please mail your Nomination Form to Arizona Fiduciaries Association Attn: Awards Committee PO Box 13314 Scottsdale, AZ 85267-3314