Leonard & Felker, P.L.C. is a trusted and respected law firm founded in 1977 by David J. Leonard and Sidney Lex Felker. We endeavor to provide quality legal services to our clients in an efficient, ethical, and effective manner. Our ongoing client relationships, some dating back to the beginning of the firm and spanning three generations, attest to our dedication, integrity, and high standards of service. We consider it a privilege to help families, business owners, and employers (including government employers) plan for the future and address their legal needs. We do so by offering services which include the following practice areas:

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    Estate Planning (Trusts, Wills & Powers of Attorney)

We advise our clients on the preservation and transfer of assets to their beneficiaries, achievement of lifetime and testamentary goals and business succession. Many people equate estate planning with wealth, but the majority of the time, estate planning is not about how much you have, but about getting whatever you do have to your family in an easy and hassle-free manner. If there is significant wealth involved, the goal is still the same, but doing so in a manner that reduces or avoids any applicable estate tax. We work with our clients to determine what the best planning is for their family and individual situation. We frequently advise and assist with the following:

  • Preparation of last wills and testaments
  • Preparation of durable financial power of attorneys
  • Preparation of durable health care power of attorneys
  • Preparation of living wills
  • Preparation of trusts, including but not limited to revocable living trusts, disclaimer trusts, irrevocable trusts, life insurance trusts, personal residence trusts, charitable trusts, generation-skipping trusts and grantor retained interest trusts
  • Designation of estate and trust beneficiaries
  • Selection of fiduciaries and personal representative(s)
  • Retirement benefits planning, including IRA's, stock options and employment-sponsored benefits
  • Charitable planning
  • Business succession
  • Establishment of family-limited partnerships, family foundations and limited liability companies
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We guide our clients through the process of administering a trust, including, but not limited to, the administration of a trust on behalf of an incapacitated person or a minor child upon the death of the creator of a trust. We assist clients with all aspects of trust administration, such as the duty to inform and report, collect and potentially liquidate the decedent's assets, notice to creditors, discharging liabilities, arranging for the filing of taxes, coordinating any necessary professionals such as accountants and financial advisors, preparing an inventory, distribution of assets to the proper beneficiaries, preparing an accounting, receipts of distribution, release of trustee liability, and ultimate termination and completion of a trust.

On the death of a loved one, a probate is not always necessary and we advise our clients on how they can take advantage of small estate procedures, including the transfer of assets via beneficiary designation or affidavit procedures. It may be possible with both personal property and real property to use Small Estate Affidavits if the statutory limits are not exceeded.

We guide our clients through the process of administering the estate of a loved one, which may require probate proceedings to transfer the assets to the proper beneficiaries of the estate. We assist clients with all aspects of probate, including appointment as personal representative, opening probate, collecting and potentially liquidating the decedent's assets, notice to creditors, discharging liabilities, arranging for the filing of taxes, preparing an inventory, distribution of assets to the proper beneficiaries, preparing accounting and closing the probate estate. We handle many different court probate filings, including:

  • Intestate Probate (without a Will)
  • Testate Probate (with a Will)
  • Informal Probate
  • Formal Probate (typically, these involve disputes or conflicts)
  • Affidavit of Succession to Real Property
  • Affidavit of Succession to Personal Property
  • Affidavit Procedure (for a Personal Representative or Executor appointed in another state)
  • Proof of Authority (for a Personal Representative or Executor appointed in another state)
  • Ancillary Probates (for a Personal Representative or Executor appointed in another state)
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We advise businesses and individuals on various aspects of federal, state and local taxation. We have extensive experience in resolving complex taxation matters that arise in estate and gift planning, business formation and structuring, as well as in commercial and real estate transactions. We frequently advise our clients on personal, partnership and corporate income taxes, capital gains taxes, sales taxes and use taxes. We assist clients in the following matters:

  • Tax planning
  • Tax litigation
  • Representation in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities
  • Tax considerations in structuring corporate mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, limited liability companies, joint ventures, acquisition and disposition of business assets, business reorganization, commercial transactions and business operations, real estate ventures and equipment leasing
  • Tax aspects involving the planning of estates, trusts and the preservation of family wealth
  • Asset protection planning
  • Advice regarding compliance with tax regulations and treaties
  • Establishment of tax-exempt organizations
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Real estate has been at the core of our practice since Leonard & Felker, P.L.C. was founded in 1977. We represent owners, developers, investors, landlords, tenants and lenders in business transactions, litigation and governmental matters. We deal with every type of real estate asset, from single-family homes and subdivisions to multifamily, hotel, office, retail and industrial projects. We represent clients in the following areas:

  • Purchase and sale of residential and commercial real property
  • Drafting, negotiating, structuring and closing purchase and sale agreements
  • Due diligence issues, including title review, document analysis and coordinating professionals
  • Leasing
  • Negotiating, structuring and drafting residential, commercial and retail leases
  • Financing
  • Purchase money, construction and permanent real estate loans
  • Industrial development bonds and community facilities districts
  • Business entity formation
  • Development
  • Governmental approvals and entitlements, including land use plans, zoning, plat approval, variances and special use permits
  • Annexation and development agreements
  • Condominium, planned unit development and homeowner association law
  • Construction contracts, construction disputes and mechanics' liens
  • Adverse possession and boundary disputes
  • Condemnation
  • Foreclosures
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • Partition proceedings
  • Premises liability
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We have extensive experience in advising individuals and businesses of all sizes in various matters related to business, some of which involve other areas of expertise, such as estate planning and employment law. We help with the formation of a business, re-organization, and dissolving. We advise on the structuring, documentation and implementation of commercial transactions. Here are just some of the areas that we assist clients regarding their business needs:

  • Business formation and structuring
  • Selecting entities and forming corporations, limited liability companies and general and limited partnerships
  • Negotiating and establishing joint ventures and other strategic alliances
  • Negotiating and structuring mergers, acquisitions and buy-outs
  • Drafting shareholders' and buy-sell agreements
  • Entity control and governance
  • Capital formation
  • Establishing subsidiaries and local branch offices
  • Negotiating and structuring franchise agreements
  • Business reorganizations
  • Business transactions
  • Negotiating, structuring and implementing commercial contracts and agreements, including purchases and sales of assets, secured and unsecured financing, distributorship agreements, agency agreements and supply contracts
  • Negotiating, drafting and implementing employment contracts, non-competition agreements, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, research and development contracts and consulting agreements
  • Breach of contract
  • Corporate, partnership, and entity disputes
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We enjoy helping employers navigate the challenges of employment law that they are required to deal with on a daily basis. Labor and employment issues affect the livelihood and well-being of employers and employees, their families, and the success of the entities for which they work, so our goal is to provide experienced and effective representation to ensure compliance with employment laws. Here are just some of the ways that we can assist regarding employment matters:

  • Advising clients on matters from hiring to firing
  • Advising clients on discipline issues
  • Advising clients on the use of Garrity Warnings
  • Handling employee investigations and investigative reports
  • Preparing and revising personnel policies
  • Providing training on personnel policies
  • Working with elected officials on succession planning
  • Working with elected officials to establish hiring criteria for various positions
  • Representing clients in administrative hearings
  • Representing clients in appeals of administrative hearings to the Superior Court
  • Representing clients in mediation
  • Preparing EEOC position statements
  • Negotiating and preparing employment agreements
  • Negotiating and preparing agreements for employee settlements
  • Litigating employment matters
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We help our clients successfully maneuver the legal complexities involved with the specific laws of particular cities, counties, towns, etc. and the governmental bodies involved. In working through municipal law matters, our attorneys are mindful of providing comprehensive yet cost-effective counsel that enables our clients to feel confident about their legal matters so that they can focus on providing superior service to the communities that they serve. Here are just some of the many ways we help our clients:

  • Advising clients on the best practices for compliance with the open meeting laws
  • Advising clients on the best practices for compliance with public records laws
  • Training sessions on open meeting laws and public record laws
  • Litigation regarding open meeting laws and public records laws
  • Training elected officials and employees regarding the roles and responsibilities of elected officials and management
  • Working with the Arizona Ombudsman's Office
  • Working with the Arizona Attorney General's Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team
  • Representing Merit Commissions in various matters, including appeals of a Commission decision to the Superior Court
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The Firm provides a wide range of comprehensive legal services, so in addition to the main practice areas listed, we also assist with the matters below. We welcome you to contact Leonard & Felker, P.L.C. with your legal needs, and if it is an area that we do not practice, we are happy to refer you to our broad range of legal contacts.