Living Trust Attorney Phoenix, AZ Living Trust Attorney Phoenix, AZ

Anyone who wonders what a living trust entails can turn to a living trust attorney Phoenix, AZ residents rely on at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for support. When you’re thinking about estate planning, most people think only about a will. The truth is that, while having a will is important, it’s only one piece of a complete estate plan. A living trust is another component of a full estate plan. Whether a living trust is right for your specific situation depends on several factors.

What is a living trust?

As a living trust attorney Phoenix, AZ clients turn to may explain to you, a living trust is a legal document where you place your assets in the name of the trust. During your lifetime, you continue using your assets as you normally would. Upon your death, your assets are held for your beneficiaries.

A living trust allows you to distribute your assets to your heirs upon your death, like a will. It also allows you greater control. You could keep the assets in the trust, managed by a successor trustee, until your heirs reach a certain age or complete certain life events, like graduating college. The biggest difference between a will and a living trust comes down to control over how your assets are distributed.

A Living Trust Avoids Probate

You may have heard that one of the most expensive parts of managing your estate after your death is probate. This is the legal process where the court determines the value of your estate and helps to distribute your assets to your heirs. Of course, they don’t do this for free.

Your living trust attorney Phoenix, AZ residents depend on from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC may warn you that your estate can still go through probate even if you have a will. One way to avoid this costly legal process, however, is with a living trust. Because a living trust does not need to go through probate, the costs associated with your estate will be less. In addition, your heirs generally receive their distribution faster. 

While a will costs less to draft, it also provides less protection for your heirs and your assets. In the end, by avoiding probate, a living will may cost less in the long run even though it may cost more to draft.

A Living Trust is Private

A will becomes effective the day you die. Once your estate is opened by the court, your will becomes public record and anyone can view it. A living trust, however, becomes effective the day you sign it and never becomes public record because it is never probated. Avoiding probate has many benefits and a living trust is one way to reap these benefits.

A Living Trust Defined

A living trust may also be referred to as “inter-vivos” or “revocable trust”, which holds assets of the creator for his or her benefit throughout their lifetime. After passing away, these assets are distributed to loved ones chosen by the creator. The “successor trustee” is someone the creator had appointed to carry on the wishes as instructed in the trust after passing away and is responsible for transferring assets to beneficiaries. The terms within a living trust can be altered at any time, as life events occur or if a significant change in financial status happens.

Top 4 Reasons People Prioritize a Living Trust

A living trust has become one of the most popular elements of estate planning, as there are numerous potential benefits. Those who are new to establishing an estate plan, may not be sure what a living trust is and whether it can benefit them. Perhaps the best way to find out whether a living trust is suitable for you is to meet with a living trust attorney Phoenix, Arizona residents turn to for advice. Then, you can get guidance as you go through the steps towards creating an official living trust.

Here, we have described the top four reasons why people prioritize this document:

#1 Probate is Avoided

The process of probate is court-supervised, in which the deceased person’s estate is distributed. Probate can be lengthy, and in some cases may not complete until a year after the person’s death. Probate can also be expensive for loved ones left behind, as they may have to pay for court, attorney, and other legal fees. By creating a trust, an estate can avoid probate because a successor trustee takes responsibility for distributing the assets instead, without court supervision.

#2 Save Money in the Long Run

Living trusts tend to be more expensive, at least initially. Creating a last will and testament is probably cheaper, but only in the short-term. Living trusts are more likely to remain strong in the event a person comes forward to file a contest than compared to if the same thing happened to a will. So, by creating a living trust it can save money in the long run and help get assets into the hands of beneficiaries faster.

#3 Privacy is Protected

There may be nothing more excruciating for grieving family members than having to deal with complications of their loved one’s estate, all the while being under public scrutiny. If a person’s estate goes through probate, privacy is no longer an option. A will is also a public record, so there’s no guarantee it’ll be handled discreetly that way either. The only way to keep a person’s legacy private, is to establish a legitimate living trust with help from a living trust attorney Phoenix, AZ clients know will provide quality legal services. 

#4 Provides Peace of Mind

When created thoughtfully and with professional guidance, a living trust sets up a clear plan for how assets are to be handled after the creator passes away. The creator can maintain peace of mind knowing that what they have built in their lifetime will be distributed with care and through private means.

What You Need For a Living Trust

When you are considering making a living trust, you likely want to know what benefits it can offer you and your family and what will go into creating it. As tempting as it can be to create a living trust on your own (or other estate planning documents), we encourage you to give a living trust lawyer in Arizona a call. We want to help make sure you do not leave anything out when it comes to your living trust. Many family members have found later in life that a loved one did not have each piece of the living trust together after they were left confused or without items or assets they were promised. To see what we can do, call us now. 

A Rundown of Creating a Living Trust

As you are gathering a list of your assets, it is important that you put the ones in your trust that you want to pass on to someone else. 

  • Gather your assets. You may be looking at antique books, expensive paintings, jewelry, or your house. Whatever you own that you would like to pass on to someone else, you should write it down in the living trust. You are not required to place all of your possessions in the living trust. By putting items into your trust, you help to avoid things like probate.
  • Determine if you need a shared trust. If you are married to someone or in a domestic relationship with someone, you will want to speak with them to determine if you should create a shared trust of all of the property you both own. 
  • Find the necessary paperwork. Just because you want something listed in your living trust does not mean it will automatically happen. You need to ensure you have the paperwork for your items. Things like life insurance policies or deeds of property will be useful when you are hoping to transfer property and assets. 
  • Choose the person you want to name as “successor trustee.” When you pass away, the successor trustee will be the person who is in charge. They will make sure that your beneficiaries get the items you want them to have and they will help repay your debts with the money in your trust. It is important that you can completely rely on this person to follow your wishes and they can even be someone you name as a beneficiary in your living trust. 

Contact Us Today

Contact Kamper & Estrada, PLLC to get the help and assistance you need. We have the experience required to guide you when putting your estate plan together and can offer counsel during the probate process. While a will may be just fine for some people, it’s not enough for everyone. If you are young, have no children, and do not have many or major assets, a will may be sufficient.

To find out if your assets and heirs are safeguarded under your estate plan, you can speak with a living trust attorney Phoenix, AZ families depend on at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for a free consultation — so please contact us today to make sure your assets are protected!