SAEPC Summer Session I: Mine? Yours? Ours? Understanding Community Property in Arizona

Date: Friday, June 14, 2024
Time: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Community Foundation Campus, 5049 E Broadway Blvd #201, Tucson, AZ 85711
Speaker: Prof. Jamie Ratner, Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Arizona College of Law

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About the program

Whether you are a financial advisor, CPA, insurance broker, attorney, trust officer, or a planned giving professional, odds are you’ve had a community property issue cross your desk. This program, featuring Professor Jamie Ratner, who will offer community property law substance, and a multidisciplinary panel of professionals, who will apply real-life scenarios to the session’s content, aims to inform and engage all levels of professionals who serve married/soon-to-be-divorced/divorced/widowed clients and their property.

Education will include:

  • A primer on community property law that all professionals can understand.

  • Instruction on characterizing community and separate property and liabilities.

  • Explanation of legal presumptions concerning community and separate property, the various scenarios that trigger the presumptions, and how these presumptions can be overcome.

  • Discussion concerning agreements that change the character of community and separate property.

  • Emphasis on the importance (or not) of asset titles and deeds.

We are soliciting questions from attendees through May 31, which may be incorporated into the content and or panel discussions. Please be specific and remember not to share client information. E-mail questions to

This program is free to current SAEPC members and new members who join the Council for the 2024-2025 season. Non-members are welcome to attend for a $75 registration fee.


About the Speaker

Prof. Jamie Ratner, Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Arizona College of Law, has taught marital property courses (as well as antitrust, contracts, administrative law and law and economics courses) for "too many years." In 1980 he received his JD from University of California Berkeley Law School and an MA in economics from, Berkeley the University of California, Berkeley Economics Department as part of Berkeley's then nascent law and economics concurrent degree program. Prior to teaching at Arizona, Prof. Ratner was for 5 years a prosecutor at the Antitrust Division of the United States Dept. of Justice in Washington D.C. His research is typically interdisciplinary, encompassing several different areas of law as well as disciplines such as economics and psychology. His marital property publications include analysis of joint tenancy with right of survivorship property held by married couples in community property jurisdictions, analysis of child support and other premarital debts in community property jurisdictions, analysis of the nature of creditor and debtor windfalls resulting from divorce in community property jurisdictions, and analysis of "equitable" vs. "equal" distributions of community property at divorce and death. Prof. Ratner has also authored a case book for his Arizona-based community property course which, consistent with his antitrust background and his loathing of the uncompetitive overpricing of law school course casebooks, he provides without charge to his students in hard copy as well as by posting it in digital form on his course web site.

About the Panelists

Ann C. Lyons practices in the areas of Personal Injury, Family law and Guardianship/Conservatorship. Ann takes great pride in providing excellent legal services to clients navigating difficult circumstances in their lives.

Ann helps clients in all aspects of their claim both prelitigation and during litigation. Ann believes that the attorney and the client should work together as a team. Ann works closely with each client, to ensure that the best possible legal outcome is achieved. Although many cases will be resolved without the necessity of litigation, sometimes litigation is unavoidable. Ann is comfortable with all areas of litigation, including witness interviews, depositions, motion practice, hearings, settlement negotiations and conferences, and trials.

When not practicing law, Ann takes improv classes and performs with a local improv group. The Yes And philosophy is helpful in the practice of law and life in general. Ann also enjoys spending time with her daughters and friends.

Scott Styrmoe, MBA , CPA, CFP®, is an Advisor and Shareholder at TCI Wealth Advisors. Scott believes that optimism is a rational and healthy response to uncertainty. He became a financial advisor to help people find some measure of lasting financial peace and is committed to helping his clients make good decisions regarding their financial affairs. Scott believes we have less control over our lives than we would like most of the time and we have limited resources. Happiness isn’t an end point, it’s embedded in the journey. He encourages his clients to craft a good financial plan, broadly diversify their investments, and keep a calm disciplined perspective. Scott received his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration degree and his MBA in Finance and Marketing at the University of Arizona. Scott has been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1985 and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) since 2009. He served as a Board Member for the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council. Scott is also a member of The Steven W. Phillips Tucson Tax Study Group, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Arizona Society of CPAs. Scott’s an adjunct lecturer for the Personal and Family Financial Planning program at the University of Arizona’s Norton School of Human Ecology. When out of the office, Scott enjoys yoga, cycling, hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking and outdoor adventures with his wife, Debbie, and daughter, Lily. To learn more about Scott and TCI Wealth Advisors, visit

Michelle N. Kinnison, CPA, Owner, Atalanta LLC:  Michelle works with individuals, business owners and trustees on tax compliance while optimizing tax savings through strategic planning.  With over twenty years in the tax industry, Michelle has experienced a broad spectrum of scenarios.  Engaging with a variety of clients to include single taxpayers, newlyweds, and those newly widowed, Michelle focuses on empowering and educating clients as they navigate their respective tax landscape.


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