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R Steven Chambers Blog

Keep Your Complaints Private, Not on Facebook

We as a people like to complain. It’s the stuff of gossip, of text messages, of coffee breaks and dinner table conversations. And in the age of social media, it’s often the stuff of tweets or Facebook posts or other attempts to reach one’s “followers.” The stories of employees and job applicants who have dashed […]

Formal or Informal Probate? Which is Better?

In Utah, as in many other states, there are two ways to administer the estate of a decedent in probate. In Utah these are called formal and informal probate. Other states may have different names. Georgia, for example, calls its two methods of probate solemn and common. What’s the difference and why choose one or the other? In Utah, informal probate […]

It’s December

That means everyone is wondering what Congress will do with taxes. In the past we’ve wondered whether the estate and gift tax credits will increase or decrease, whether the estate and gift tax will stay or go, and what to do. This year has even more uncertainty because the House and Senate has both passed […]

What’s a Nondischargeability Action?

A nondischargeability action is the last thing you want to get in a bankruptcy. It means a party, either a creditor or the trustee, wants the court to deny you a discharge, either as to some debts (usually filed by a creditor) or all debts (usually filed by the trustee). Only certain debts are discharged […]

I Have a Simple Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy’s cost is based on the anticipated time to be spent on the case. Furthermore, the bankruptcy courts in Utah do not allow hourly fee arrangements, so all bankruptcies are on a flat fee basis, which means that attorneys have to estimate how much time a case will take so as not to either […]

New Retirement Plan: Work Until You Die?

“Work until you die.” Is that a new retirement strategy? Probably not but the fact is that more and more people are working past age 65. There’s good reason for this. One is longer life spans. Thirty years of solid retirement (i.e., no work) is a long time to be idle. Along with that is […]

Alzheimer’s and Advance Medical Directives

The American Bar Association Journal has an interesting snippet from a new book on Alzheimer’s and the law. It notes that 85% of Americans don’t have a simple will, advance medical directive or durable power of attorney. Most people just don’t plan for their deaths. Many apparently take the position that “I plan to live […]

When is the Best Time to File Bankruptcy?

I hear this question a lot. Is it best to file now or should I wait? Only you can answer that question, but in terms of what the trustee might take, when it comes to tax refunds timing is everything. A tax refund is subject to being seized by the trustee because it is property […]

Direct Contribution from IRA to Charity Expires December 31

A provision in the Internal Revenue Code that allows owners of IRAs who are over 70 1/2 to make a direct contribution of up to $100,000 from the IRA to a charity will expire on December 31. The provision is found in section 408(d)(8) of the IRC. Last year Congress retroactively extended this provision to […]

Falling Bikini Top May Constitute “Emergency”

A New York appeals court has ruled that a trial judge was correct when he instructed a jury in a wrongful death action that the fact that the deceased pulled the string on the driver’s bikini top and caused it to fall, which in turn distracted her and resulted in a crash that killed the […]


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