About David J. Harowitz
Arizona Estate Planning Attorney
David J. Harowitz
Principal, Senior Attorney
Building a legacy takes a lifetime of true diligence and commitment. What if all of it was wiped away in a single moment?
As a teenager, David saw the devastation wrought on his family by his father having a stroke and then subsequently dying a couple of years later. He had no incapacity or death planning in place. The family lost not only a husband and father, but the legacy he had built over his lifetime. David’s mother, who was a stay at home mom, had to enter the work force in her middle age with only a high school education. She struggled to make ends meet while raising three children. This all occurred due to a lack of planning. David’s father’s legacy was not protected at all. In fact, it was destroyed.
As an estate planning attorney, David is determined to not let his clients and their families suffer through the same negative consequences he and his family experienced because of a failure to plan. Using the most modern and up to date techniques, he prevents the potential disasters which occur from no planning, do it yourself planning, planning with form documents from untrained attorneys or document preparers, and having the state legislature and the courts determine and govern what happens upon disability and death.
David has seen the lawful and unlawful roadblocks Veterans Affairs puts up to stop veterans from affording in-home care they need or being able to afford care in an appropriate facility. He became interested in helping veterans after witnessing the appalling mistreatment of those who had honorably served our country. Veterans are not receiving the pension benefits that they have rightfully earned and this made David determined to educate himself and become VA accredited.
With proper planning from a well-trained attorney prior to an application being submitted, veterans may receive acceptance rather than denial of their pension claims. Although VA continues to make it harder and harder for veterans to obtain their pension, by staying on the cutting edge of the law it is David’s goal to see as many veterans as possible qualify.
Loss or Incapacity of a Love One
In situations of losing a loved one or a loved one’s incapacity, David derives tremendous satisfaction in being able to comfort the family, devise the best solutions, and handle the complexities of these painful situations while giving the families the ability to concentrate on the personal issues involved. Whether it is administering a trust or going through probate, proper guidance will avoid costly mistakes and injury to family relationships.
A related circumstance involves a client who lost her husband unexpectedly. She was unable to cope with anything at the time. David was able to compassionately walk her though the funeral and burial decisions, deal with some difficult family dynamics, introduce her to a caring and patient financial planner, arrange for grief counseling, and take care of the legal, tax, and asset transfer issues. Ten years later, the family is intact and the client is enjoying life. She remains not only a client, but a friend. She has said that David was her knight in shining armor at the most difficult time of her life.
David began encountering clients whose lives were being devastated by the costs of long term nursing home care. Medicaid is a complex area of law that David practices to help clients deal with coordinating financial services products, veteran benefits (when available), and qualifying for Medicaid without leaving the client in poverty and the spouse without enough resources to survive. As our clients are aging, this is becoming a more and more important area of our practice.
David has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, in all courts of the State of Arizona, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, and is a Department of Veterans Affairs accredited attorney.
David graduated cum laude from the Arizona State University College of Law in 1976 and has been practicing law in Arizona for over four decades. His boutique law firm emphasizes the areas of estate planning, Veterans Affairs pension planning, Medicaid planning, probate, trust settlement, and charitable giving. His practice serves clients at all economic levels from those with modest means to clients with estates in excess of $50,000,000.
He is a founding member of Wealth Counsel, a member of Elder Counsel, a past member of the Arizona Board of Directors of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and a member of the Christian Legal Society. He is highly rated by both his clients as well as his fellow attorneys.
David is a much sought after teacher and has taught legal continuing education in the fields of estate planning, estate tax, probate practice, Veterans benefits and legal ethics at local, state, and national levels. Additionally, he teaches continuing education for CPAs, financial planners, insurance and other professionals.