Morris Hall PLLC provides exclusive estate planning for clients
October 16, 2017
By Marilyn Hawkes
Theron M. Hall Jr. (Tim), senior partner of Morris Hall PLLC in Mesa, has practiced many different types of law. “I’ve done divorce work, criminal work, defended people and sued people,” he says. He gravitated to estate law because he feels it’s the best way he can help people. “Everybody’s happy when you’re finished.”
Estate planning is important because if you don’t have a plan in place, other people will make decisions for you if you become incapacitated, Hall says. “But if you have your estate set up properly and your affairs in order and you become incapacitated, you have the people you chose to make the decisions, not only for your health care, but also your financial decisions.”
In many cases, people don’t think they need an estate plan, but Hall advises that if a person or couple has any type of retirement assets, such as an IRA, 401(k) or a 403(b), that amounts to more than $30,000 to $40,000; has minor children or potential minor beneficiaries; children from another marriage; or beneficiaries with some type of special needs, then he or she should consider an estate plan.
Some people also choose to set up a pet trust or make provisions in their trusts to ensure their pets are taken care of. “We have a lot of clients who do that,” Hall says. “They have a strong attachment to their current pets and pets they will have in the future.”
When setting up a pet trust, clients must name a caretaker who will provide a loving home for the animal(s) and a trustee to distribute the money that’s been set aside. Often they are the same person.
For those who already have a trust or estate plan in place, it’s a good idea to review the documents every three years to make sure there haven’t been any changes, Hall says. “In the last few years, there have been some very significant changes – some good, some bad, so we keep our clients in the loop.”
The attorneys at Morris Hall also review already established estate plans for new clients because often the documents are not properly drafted, which can result in beneficiaries not being protected against creditors, lawsuits, ex-spouses, taxes and other issues, Hall says.
As a service to its clients, Morris Hall offers free estate planning seminars as well as question and answer sessions at its offices throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Non-clients are also welcome to attend. Information is available at morristrust.com.
Morris Hall sets itself apart from other firms by concentrating solely on estate planning. “It’s all we do,” Hall says. The firm is one of two in Arizona that belongs to the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, a group of 150 estate-planning firms throughout the United States.
“We’ve written and reviewed about 75,000 trusts. We’ve been doing this for a long time and seen literally everything,” Hall says. “We’ve often said estate planning is not just our practice; it’s our privilege and our passion, and we love doing it.”