Trusts Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
When a person meets with a Trusts Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC about estate planning, they may ask for help in creating a family trust. This type of trust is established for the benefit of certain family members. The intention of writing a family trust is to safeguard and manage assets for current and future generations.
At our firm, we understand that estate planning is not usually at the top of everyone’s to-do list. The task can feel heavy, since it entails planning for a time when you have passed on. However, by completing estate planning documents you get the peace of mind that what you have gained in your lifetime will be transferred on as you so wish.
What a Trust Does
A trust is a legal document that allows an individual to determine how their assets will be distributed among beneficiaries upon the individual’s death. A living trust is similar to a will, but there are a few significant differences between the two.
The trust document itself is written and signed by the owner of the estate. A notary’s signature is usually also required for a trust to be valid. The typical living trust will list the individual’s assets and which beneficiary will receive each asset. It should also name a trustee, who is responsible for disbursing the person’s property upon his/her death.
One of the primary reasons why individuals create living trusts is to help their beneficiaries avoid probate court. Probate refers to the process of dividing up a person’s estate, and it’s notorious for being lengthy and expensive. It’s common for families to hire an AZ Trusts Lawyer at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC immediately upon discovering that they’ll have to go through probate.
Revocable Living Trusts
There are many different kinds of trusts but the most common one is a revocable living trust. When you establish a living trust, you can change the conditions and terms as you need to without having to provide a reason for doing so. It can also provide clarity about how you want your property distributed after your passing.
A revocable living trust establishes a fiduciary relationship between two parties:
- The person who places their assets into a trust, referred to as the trustor.
- The person responsible for managing that trust on behalf of the trustor, called the trustee.
Reducing Confusion and Conflict
Effective estate planning can accomplish many things, which is why it is so important to choose an AZ Trusts Lawyer in Phoenix for comprehensive estate planning. Legally sound estate planning, including trusts, enable you to specify how your assets will be distributed after you pass. Using tools like a trust can give you peace of mind. In addition, the trust can make your wishes clear so that there is less room for confusion and conflict among your heirs.
Here are the top reasons why you should consider setting up a family trust:
You Are Protected From Creditors
Since property transferred into the family trust is no longer owned by the grantor, creditors are not permitted to make claims against the estate (assuming that conditions were met during the settlement). If you are concerned about creditors gaining access to your assets, we encourage you to visit a member of our legal team for more details.
Spendthrift Beneficiaries Aren’t Tempted
If you are worried that a certain family member won’t be able to manage their inheritance in a savvy way, you can set up the trust so that the beneficiary gets the money in payments overtime. This may help you feel more comfortable giving a family member you care about a significant percentage of your legacy, without the temptation for them to spend it all at once or frivolously.
Special Needs Family Members are Covered
A family trust can be a useful estate planning tool for those who have children or relatives that are of special needs or require extensive medical care. A Trusts Lawyer in Phoenix can talk with you more about setting up a fund specifically for these family members during your consultation.
Protection From Relationship Property Claims
Under some circumstances and based on relationship property law, assets that are gifted to children may also have to be shared with the partner in the event of separation. By putting your assets into a trust versus the name of your children, you won’t have to worry about their partner fighting for a chunk of that financial legacy. These assets would be considered personal property, thus protected from any relationship property claims.
Tax Advantages Provided By a Living Trust
If tax considerations are your primary reason for thinking about hiring a member of our team, consider an irrevocable trust. This takes the assets out of legal ownership by the trustor. Once the assets are inside the trust, they are no longer part of the trustor’s estate. This allows the heirs of the trust holdings to avoid probate.
Avoiding probate is preferred for two main reasons:
- Probate can be costly for your heirs in terms of taxes, attorney fees, and time.
- During the probate process, your heirs will not have access to the assets they inherited.
For purposes of minimizing taxes and looking ahead to asset protection planning, a Trusts Lawyer in Arizona is invaluable. They can assist you in creating a living trust that suits your needs. No matter the size of your estate or the types of your assets that you own, a living trust can provide you peace of mind about how your assets will be handled in the future.
Limits of a Living Trust
Before creating a living trust, it’s prudent to know the benefits and the limitations of a trust. There are a few important matters that a living trust cannot address, but a will can. These issues include:
- Naming guardians for minor children;
- Naming financial guardians for the property of minor children;
- Leaving specific instructions on how to handle remaining debts and unpaid taxes; and
- Naming an executor for the estate.
For these reasons, many parents with young children (under the age of 18) choose to write up an official will instead of a living trust. While a living trust may be suitable for passing on assets to adult children, a will is more suitable when young children are involved.
If you have any concerns that a living trust might not be the right option for you, don’t hesitate to speak with us. Each person’s estate needs are as unique as the estates themselves. Living trusts are a great choice for many families, but they are not perfect solutions for every case.
Living trusts are documents that may be amended and rewritten several times in a person’s life; many individuals find this beneficial. However, this constant upkeep could be a drawback for other individuals.
Furthermore, it is essential to keep in mind that the creation of a living trust does not guarantee that a decedent’s family will be able to avoid probate. As a Phoenix, AZ Trusts Lawyer might attest, when a living trust contains mistakes, beneficiaries will likely have to go through probate. This could jeopardize the individual’s entire trust. In fact, we might even suggest that the person should also draw up a simple will to serve as a backup for a living trust.
Getting Legal Support
The process of writing and officially establishing a family trust can be perplexing. Grantors who are creating a family trust may accidentally cause loopholes or commit oversights in the estate planning documents, if they don’t have a professional guiding them along the way. To ensure that your family doesn’t enter a dispute or get hurt feelings for accidentally being left out of your estate plan, we highly advise seeing a member of our legal team for insight.
How We Can Help
An experienced member of our team can be essential in this process, as it can seem overwhelming to approach this on your own. It is important to properly draft and make legally valid documents both for state and federal estate planning purposes. Our team can assist you with numerous estate planning goals while giving you a clear vision of the future. We can endeavor to understand your individual goals and determine the strategies necessary to accomplish your future plans.
We are ready to take your call, so please reach out to book your first initial no-cost consultation with a Trusts Lawyer from AZ at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC.
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