Arizona's population swells by an additional 300,000 retirees every year as people flock here to enjoy the mild winter climate and senior-friendly environment. A lot of people that call Arizona their state ask themselves: Do I need a Revocable Living Trust in Arizona?
Many of these older Americans choose Phoenix and Chandler to retire. Here, they know they can protect their assets, privacy, and loved ones by creating a living trust (either a revocable living trust or an irrevocable living trust) or a last will and testament.
For probate lawyers and estate plan attorneys, Chandler offers some of the best clients and they can help you answer the question: Do I need a living trust in Arizona? But don't worry, as any estate planning attorney in Arizona can tell you, the Sunshine State has some of the best probate laws in the country concerning living trusts.
Arizona living trusts when properly created and funded will minimize estate taxes and federal taxes as well (we don't believe anyone like to be paying taxes). Our law firm will make sure that the trust document that we execute for you will help you avoid probate. We want to make sure our clients avoid probate court. The probate process is not only time consuming but the legal fees associated with it will also be higher than a regular trust document.
In the following article, you'll learn why when it comes to estate planning, Arizona is the perfect place to set up a living trust. Arizona law for Arizona living trust are some of the best in the country.
Do I Need a Living Trust?
An estate planning attorney is likely to say: it depends. There are different estate planning options for every family. Our estate plans are different.
Living trusts are a way for a person to protect their assets to a spouse or other family members seamlessly. But if not done correctly it can cause different types of issues. For example, creating a living trust can prevent someone from applying to Medicaid in Arizona. Assets held in Trust by prevent someone from having access to government benefits if the wrong legal strategy is executed.
Do I create a living trust and that is it?
Creating a living trust is a life decision. It is also important to fund a Trust. The person creating the trust moves their assets while they are alive into the trust and can decide to remain as the "executor" of the trust while in good health and sound mental status. This executor is called the "trustee."
When you create the trust, you can also designate a successor trustee or someone who will manage the trust if you die or become incapacitated. There are different estate planning tools that can be used to create the correct type of trust for your situation.
Benefits of a Living Trust
A living trust in Chandler and throughout Arizona has unique benefits compared to other parts of the country.
Chief among them is that in Arizona, the successor trustee avoids probate completely upon the death or designation of the settlor. To make sure that probate is avoid is important to work with an estate planning lawyer to understand how your trust should be properly funded. The funding process is as important as the trust creation process. That means there's no court fees, public record, or wait time for the designate to take control of the assets of the trust upon the person's death or incapacitation.
Other benefits include that the trust eliminates all need for a court-appointed conservator. Another upside is that the living trust can dole out inheritance following the settlor's desired timeframe.
The best way to determine which of these applies to you is to consult an estate planning attorney in Chandler.
How Do I Set Up a Living Trust?
First, an estate planning attorney will review your assets. They'll also ask you questions about your family relationships. If together, you and your attorney decide to start a living trust, which can be a revocable or an irrevocable living trust, the lawyer will create the proper document and have you sign them.
When signed, the trust will be executed and now it needs to be funded," and the settlor's chosen trustee becomes the executor of the trust and manager of the assets.
Usually we also recommend creating a pour over will together with your trust. The Will will address issues like custody (in case you have minor children) and we will also put assets in the trust in case you fail to fund the trust correctly.
Interestingly, the living trust may still benefit the settlor even if they decide to have someone else manage the trust for them.
Pros and Cons of Revocable Living Trusts
To understand better what are the pros and cons of creating a revocable living trust in Arizona we recommend you talk to an attorney. You can also read our blog article that talk about the subject specifically, click here to read.
Should I create a living trust in arizona on my own?
Some people like to do things on their own. There are plenty of companies that will offer you a legal document that will give you the ability to create a living trust in Arizona on your own. The potential downsides of doing it are:
- You disqualify yourself from government benefits like Medicaid;
- If you or a trust beneficiary (or beneficiaries) become disabled you may disqualify yourself or your loved one from disability benefits. All the living trusts created by our law firm will include special needs provisions to avoid that;
- You may create a trust when you don't need one, that is usually the case with small estates;
- You may not fund your living trust correctly. If not properly funded a Trust will still require the probate process to happen.
An estate planning tool that let you create a trust is just that, a tool. A living trust attorney will provide answers to all your questions. The attorney will look at your property, your assets, and at your income and create the right plan for you. You should look at the money that you pay for a living trust not as costs for documents but as an investment in your family and your future.
Irrevocable trusts x revocable trusts - which one do I need?
The two options above are two basic types of living trusts in Arizona. Depending of your assets, your age, and other factors one or the other will be recommended. If you want to retain control over your assets held in trust an irrevocable trust may not be a good option for you. The way that your assets are put into an irrevocable living may make you give up ownership over them. If you don't want to give up ownership over your assets during your life there are ways to transfer you assets to your trust when you pass away.
Revocable living trusts can also be used without the need to give up ownership and control over your property. Attorneys that know the law well will help you.
Wills x Revocable Trusts - which one do I need?
Wills sometimes may be a better option than a living trust, specially for small estates. There are still ways to avoid the probate court process and make sure your personal property will transfer to your beneficiaries when you get to the end of your life. Arizona has strong laws and a living trust is not for everybody.
To understand better if a Will or a Living Trust is the correct estate plan strategy for you read our blog article about that specific subject. Click here to read.
What about federal estate taxes?
Taxes and more taxes, no one like to pay them. Federal estate tax are a very common subject in an initial consultation. The estate planning attorneys at our law firm are also tax attorneys. Which means they know tax law as well. The truth is that most estates don't require a lot of tax planning, very few estates do.
Establishing the correct type of trust due come with the costs associated with consulting and hiring an attorney, but it can save you money and headaches in the future. Arizona offers amazing laws to help your trustee and your beneficiaries to stay protected, but only an attorney will know how to take advantage of them. Revocable living trusts are mainly designed to avoid the probate process.
Talk to a Trust Attorney Chandler, AZ today.
If you are still wondering if you need a Living Trust consult a Chandler Estate Planning Attorney or a Probate Lawyer for assurance as soon as possible. We offer you a free consultation so you can see if we are the right attorneys for you.
They are best suited to answer all your questions about this effective way to shield your assets and privacy. A revocable trust, especially one in Arizona, is a great way to give you and your loved one's peace of mind. You'll go to bed at night knowing that your assets are safe and a line of succession is clearly drawn.
Free estate planning consultation - let us create your trust today
Need help with living trust or want to learn more? Contact us today to schedule a free case assessment, Citadel Law Firm will be pleased to help. Click here to schedule your free estate planning consultation or call (480) 565-8020.