Living Trust Lawyers Phoenix, AZ
If you or a loved one has decided to create a living trust, it would probably be to your benefit to consult with living trust lawyers in Phoenix, AZ. Our legal team at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC realize the importance of estate planning and are well equipped to assist you in preparing your living trust. Our clients’ goals are important to us and we make a considerable effort to meet their expectations.
Intentions of Trusts
A trust is a common way for you to pass along your assets. Its primary benefit is that it allows you to decide where your assets go, and when your beneficiaries will have access to them. A trust passes the assets to a trustee, who in turn holds those assets in a trust fund for a third party, typically a beneficiary. Trusts can be excellent options if you wish to minimize taxes, protect your assets, and avoid the probate process.
When you create a trust, you can also control how and to whom your assets will be distributed. You can choose whomever you like as trustees to carry out your wishes. Residents of Phoenix, AZ seek living trust lawyers at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for help creating trusts that minimize hassle and expenses for their loved ones, or to establish a legacy of charitable giving.
Main Types of Trusts
Each type of trust is structured to accomplish different goals. Here are a few examples of common trusts:
- Marital or “A” trusts: These place assets into a trust for when one spouse passes away. The income generated by those assets goes to the surviving partner, and then to the couple’s heirs when the surviving spouse dies as well.
- Credit shelter trusts: These trusts allow married spouses to take full advantage of their estate tax exemptions. Assets above the estate tax exemption amount are usually subject to a 40% estate tax once the second spouse dies. If the exclusion amount is held in a credit shelter trust, the surviving spouse can receive income from the trust’s principal until death, at which point the beneficiaries receive its assets free of estate taxes.
- Revocable trusts: People often consider a trust as an alternative to a will; a way of passing on wealth after an individual’s death. However, you can create a trust and pass on assets during your lifetime with a revocable, or living, trust. A revocable trust can be altered and even dissolved so long as you’re still alive. It typically keeps your assets out of probate, but you likely won’t escape estate taxes. Most revocable trusts automatically convert to irrevocable trusts upon the death of the grantor.
- Irrevocable trusts: You relinquish control of your assets but can protect beneficiaries from estate taxes and probate with an irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust cannot be altered once it has been created.
Living Trust Benefits
A good number of people are beginning to choose creating a trust over having a simple will. If you begin the living trust preparation process with the assistance of living trust lawyers located in Phoenix, AZ you will likely find many benefits, such as the following:
- Privacy Protection: Different from a will, living trusts are not part of the public record which means that other people cannot search public records to gather information about your assets and estate. A living trust has a privacy protection advantage which ensures that your valuable information does not get into the wrong hands.
- Illness Event Assistance: If you seek the help of living trust lawyers in Phoenix, AZ, there is a chance you can avoid having a court-appointed conservatorship if you become sick or fall seriously ill. The trustee you appoint for your living trust can ensure your affairs are handled without court involvement.
- Avoiding Probate: The probate process typically involves the distribution of a deceased person’s assets through the court. The probate process can take a long time, usually months, and may hinder the amount of the estate the beneficiaries actually inherit after taxes and other fees are paid out. A living trust allows a trustee to distribute the deceased’s assets and avoid court intervention altogether which saves a lot of time and money.
Four Elements of a Trust
There are four elements of a trust, including the grantor, trustee, principal, and beneficiary. The grantor is the person who creates the trust. The grantor is also known as “donor,” “settlor,” or “trustor”. The trustee is the third person, people, or entity that holds the grantor’s property or assets (the grantor may also be the trustee). The principal consists of the property or assets themselves, such as money, which is held in the trust and therefore managed by the trustee. Beneficiaries are the person or people who conclusively receive the property or assets in the trust.
Estate Taxes and Probate
When an individual dies without a will, the decedent’s family will likely have to go through probate litigation. As stated above, probate court can be very complicated and time-consuming, even when receiving help in Phoenix, AZ by living trust lawyers. Furthermore, beneficiaries only receive their assets after taxes and debts have been paid out.
If an individual did create a will but a problem arose subsequently, the family might still have to go through probate. For example, if the guardian or conservator of the will was improperly executing their duties, a lawyer might recommend probate court.
Depending on how an estate plan is formulated, there are may be a myriad of components to consider. It is important to choose a lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC who is intimately familiar with estate tax law. At our firm, we may oversee IRS regulations and protocols in a timely manner on your behalf. Some of the more common tax services we address include:
- Unfiled federal and state tax returns
- Payment plans to the IRS and the state
- Offers and compromise
- IRS and state wage garnishments, liens, and audits
Additional Aspects of Estate Planning
If you have encountered probate or estate planning obstacles after the loss of a loved one, consider seeking the advice of living trust lawyers located in Phoenix, AZ for compassionate legal support. Though it might appear to be clear at first, the process of transferring that net worth after death can be challenging, especially if there wasn’t a clear title held by the deceased proving their ownership.
At Kamper Estrada, LLC, we consist of a licensed and experienced legal team that can provide a variety of finance-related services to local families. This may include:
- Financial and healthcare powers of attorney
- Probate litigation
- Medical directives
- Guardianships and conservatorships
- Living wills
- Revocable or living trusts
- Trust administration or formation
Questions To Ask a Living Trust Lawyer
It may be beneficial to ask a variety of different questions during your consultation with living trust lawyers from Phoenix, AZ. It is crucial that you ask the right questions to determine if the attorney is the right person to handle the living trust process for you and your family. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask during your appointment:
- How many years of experience do you have dealing with wills and trusts? It may be a wise idea to seek help from an attorney who has at least a few years of experience in dealing with wills and trusts.
- What is your pricing structure? It is often advisable to seek legal help from an attorney who will charge you a fixed price for creating your living trust. If a lawyer is charging by the hour, they may not be considering your best interest.
Contact a Living Trust Lawyer
At Kamper & Estrada, PLLC, we understand that these issues are very important to our clients. We know that each client approaches us with unique problems and concerns, and it’s our job to help them feel comfortable with their estate plan. We’re proud to give our clients legal assistance when they need it the most.
We understand all this can be challenging to navigate on your own. Contact us to set up a consultation and get professional advice from a qualified trust attorney. If you are looking for seasoned and dependable team of living trust lawyers in Phoenix, AZ, please call Kamper Estrada, LLP today at 602-730-7988 to schedule your free consultation.