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23 Mile Buckskin Gulch Hike

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Lest any of our friends or clients think that all we do is go to court, take depositions and sit in the office talking on the phone or doing research and writing, we decided to share the video of our epic hike of Wire Pass, Buckskin Gulch and Paria River.  Our attorneys Kent Berk, George Smith and Justin McKay completed the 23+ miles in about 10 hours on June 12, 2016.  It was awesome!  Around every corner was another unique and beautiful scene, each created by nature.

Buckskin Gulch is apparently the longest slot canyon in the world.  The canyon is unique because of the length and depth of its ever changing narrows. The narrows extend uninterrupted for nearly 15 miles.  Some of the canyon walls extend up to 500 feet.  A trip through the dark, narrow canyon is an unforgettable experience. Watch our video to get a sense of the magnitude and awe inspiring natural beauty of this amazing (and very long) hike.

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Attorney Kent Berk Featured on Money Radio 1510

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Scottsdale Money Radio | Kent BerkLast week one of our very own was featured on Money Radio 1510AM – Phoenix to discuss several topics, including elder abuse and financial exploitation.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

[Read more…]

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Scottsdale, AZ Elder Law Litigation and the Greatest Generation

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Greatest Generation elder lawThe survivors and veterans of World War II have been called the Greatest Generation for several decades now, a title earned by their enormous contributions during a period of global and cultural strife. The nation’s prosperity depends upon the sacrifices of the men and women in the U.S. military, but perhaps this generation’s hallmark has been the enthusiasm with which the group made sacrifices needed to win the war abroad.

How disheartening then to learn of situations where veterans of WWII have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals, like this story out of Tucson involving fraud and deceit of a once-trusted friend. The story is not uncommon. An elderly man is approached with a sad story of hardship that just so happens to be fixable with the savings of the old man. He gives his money to her willingly, but she has made the whole story up. She uses the money to buy herself and her family vehicles, plastic surgery, and other non-essentials that the elderly man did not agree to buy. [Read more…]

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Learn about the First North American Urban Civilization at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center

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TeotihuacanFor a fascinating exhibit about the city of Teotihuacán, North America’s first urban civilization, visit Phoenix’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center. Predating the Aztecs, Teotihuacán was a city in central Mexico that featured apartment buildings, pyramids, beautiful murals. The city was constructed between 100 B.C. and 240 A.D.

The exhibit, titled  “Teotihuacán & ASU: Archaeology in Action,” features authentic artifacts and replicas of implements used by the city’s inhabitants over 1900 years ago. It runs through January 31, 2015.

The Deer Valley Rock Art Center is run by the Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social change. It features the largest collection of “Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix Valley, so there’s a lot of history to take in. In addition to the archaeology museum, the center also features a 47-acre Sonoran Desert preserve. [Read more…]

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Labor Day in Phoenix, AZ

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Berk Law Group, P.C. Announcement

Artlink First Fridays PhoenixLabor Day isn’t just a three-day cookout and party weekend in the Phoenix region this year. Check out Artlink First Fridays in downtown Phoenix, where over 70 galleries will display art for your enjoyment.

According to organizers, “Artlink, Inc. is one of the oldest, all-volunteer run, 501-C-3 arts organizations in Downtown Phoenix. Its mission is to maintain and enhance current regular events, including the monthly First Fridays art walk, the annual Art Detourself-guided tour, a Juried Exhibition and an art-related fundraiser.” Celebrating artistic expression sounds like a delightful way to spend a day commemorating workers!

Labor Day, which falls on September 1, 2014, has been an official federal holiday in the United States for 120 years. The holiday is “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” As a federal holiday, non-essential government offices are closed to celebrate Labor Day. [Read more…]

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Lou Reed Leaves $30 million—and Only a Will

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Berk Law Group, P.C. Announcement

Lou ReedLou Reed, famous for 70’s hits like “Walk on the Wild Side,” died on October 27, 2013, leaving behind an estate worth at least $30 million that generated around $20 million in income since he died. Wealth like that is often secured by a complex estate plan, designed to reduce the possibility of disputes and avoid probate and litigation.

Many celebrities spark massive probate litigation after they pass away by either planning too little for someone of their wealth or cutting someone out of the plan who thought they should be included. These cases often end up in trust litigation, since the wealthy often use revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts as their preferred planning devices.

The strange thing about Lou Reed’s estate plan is that it was solely comprised of a will. According to news reports, Mr. Reed didn’t have even a revocable living trust.

So what’s the result for Mr. Reed’s surviving family members and loved ones? First, the process in probate court (called Surrogacy Court in New York, where Mr. Reed’s estate is being administered) is entirely public. Reporters, jealous members of his extended family, and unscrupulous people all have access to the particulars of Mr. Reed’s estate. [Read more…]

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Granting Relief to Caregivers: Hospice of the Valley wins Grant Money

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AZ Dementia caregiversAs elder law practitioners, the staff and attorneys of Berk Law Group, P.C. understand the toll that caregivers may experience taking care of patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many caregivers are willing family members with no formal training or medical backgrounds. Often, when a family member does have medical experience they are expected to drop paying work in order to remain actively participating in the care of an elderly, chronically ill, or otherwise vulnerable adult.

Caregivers who are able to stay at home with the patient provide a special kind of care, especially when the patient suffers from dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the impact that caring for someone with dementia has on caregivers heavily affects the caregiver in many areas, including finances, emotional resiliency, and overall well-being. “Due to the physical and emotional burden of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2013. Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and more than one-third report symptoms of depression.” [Read more…]

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Scottsdale, AZ Fourth of July 2014 at WestWorld

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We4th of July  - American flagstWorld in Scottsdale will host a Fourth of July 2014 extravaganza, on Friday, July 4, 2014. Take a break from the Arizona sun and step into the air-conditioned hall, which will be full of indoor theme park games, entertainment zones, live music, and food for the entire family to enjoy.

Family and friends can either start celebrating Independence Day in the afternoon or come in the evening, just in time for Scottsdale’s firework show.

Starting at 2 p.m., the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center’s North Hall will be full of patriotic fun. The 30,000 sq. feet indoor “Theme Park” will be full of Disney activities, inflatables, archery, football, basketball games, and more. Be sure to check out some former X-Games athletes showing off their moves on a half-pipe and quarter-pipe.

The Mega Play Zone will help bring out your inner-child by having a 35-foot slide, laser tag, obstacle courses, and video games. Compete against friends and family, or have your family be the “Dream Team” that nobody can beat! [Read more…]

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Arizona Court of Appeals Finds Appraisers Not Liable in Real Estate Disputes

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Real Estate Dispute Lawyer | Berk & Moskowitz, PCIn Arizona and throughout the country, the recent Great Recession, which “began with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble,” created a significant dip in the once-booming Scottsdale real estate market.

It also created a steady stream of real estate disputes.

Some homeowners found themselves with overvalued properties and few buyers were willing to pay the asking price. Others found themselves stuck with “underwater mortgages”—where the “balance of the mortgage loan is higher than the fair market value of the property.”

Both kinds of potential sellers found that the real estate market had become a distinctly buyer’s market.

Sellers who recall negotiating real estate during the 2007-2009 period may relate to the consolidated case decided recently by the Arizona Court of Appeals.  The case, which can be found in full here, Southwest Non-Profit Housing Corp. v. Nowak, Et. Al., involves three appraisers who, at different times and with different buyers, appraised residential properties at least $10,000 below the contract price.

In each instance, the sale of the residential property was contingent on the buyer’s ability to secure loans. With each of the three appraisals, the sale predictably failed to materialize due to the lender rejecting loans to the buyers. [Read more…]

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Father’s Day in Scottsdale

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Father's Day 2014 | Scottsdale, ArizonaFrom changing diapers, to teaching their kids how to ride a bike, to watching them graduate from school, fathers do so much.

That’s why, every year in June, we celebrate dads. This year, Father’s Day lands on Sunday, June 15.

You might have already planned the perfect Father’s Day for your dad. But if you haven’t, Scottsdale has a number of exciting activities that you can share with your dad. (No tie needed!)

If your dad is a foodie, consider taking him to one Scottsdale’s great restaurants.

Open Table has compiled a list of area restaurants offering special Father’s Day meals and deals. One particular gem is Fleming’s Steak House in Scottsdale, which invites you to “Give your Dad our best. Join us for our $39.95 Father’s Day Brunch June 15, from 10:00am to 3pm or enjoy our three-course Prime Rib Dinner for the special price of $39.95.” [Read more…]

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