Living Trust in Chandler: 7 Things To Know About a Living Trust
A living trust is an important part of an estate planning, there are 7 things to know about a living trust. Hire a living trust attorney in Chandler, AZ.
Your children are grieving your recent death and suddenly they're faced with probate court and the realization that their inheritance is now a matter of public record.
Do you value your privacy? If you die without a living trust in Chandler, Arizona, your assets go to probate court. If that happens, it's public record who inherits your estate.
Not only do your assets become part of the public record, but there are often delays in getting the estate to your beneficiaries. There's a solution to this problem.
Use a living trust attorney! Want to know more? Keep reading for seven things to know about a living trust.
1. Living Trust vs Will
A Last Will or Testament, or just Will, like a living trust, is a document containing inheritance instructions for your beneficiaries. A will goes to probate court and becomes part of the public record.
Because probate records are open to the public, anyone can look through the records and see what your assets were and where they're going.
A living trust does not go through probate court, so it offers better privacy protections. An Arizona living trust lawyer can set one up for you specifically for Arizona.
2. A Revocable Living Trust: What Is It?
A living trust is like a will in that you set it up while you're alive. It's a legal document set up by a living trust lawyer. It designates the person (or persons) responsible for managing your assets upon your death. A Living Trust is a private contract.
A living trust is also called a revocable living trust because you can change it at any time, as long as you're mentally competent. The trust only becomes irrevocable if you're mentally incompetent or upon your death.
Living trust lawyers specialize in setting up these special trusts. It's common for you to name yourself and your spouse as the trustees. This means you have total control of your assets, including selling, investing, or exchanging them. After your passing you will have a sucessor trustee. The new trustee will be someone you trust and they will go over the Trust administration process for you.
A living trust attorney creates the trust, and the other two parties are the trustee and the beneficiaries. You can name anyone as your beneficiaries, though the most common is to name your children or other relatives.
3. What Happens Without a Living Trust or Will?
If you have minor children, it's especially important you have a will or living trust. If you die without a trust or will, the court may assign someone to take care of your children. It may not be the person or people you'd want taking care of them.
In the worst case, your children could end up in the foster system, at least temporarily. It's better to have a trust in which you designate a legal guardian in the event of your death.
Without a living trust or will set up by a living will and trust attorney, the rest of your estate usually goes to your spouse or closest heirs. It goes through probate court first. If you have a blended family situation it is very important to work with an estate planning attorney to make sure your current spouse is taking care of, but your children from previous marriage also benefit from your assets.
4. Who Needs a Living Trust?
Do you have real estate with equity over $100,000? Do you have non-real estate assets totaling $75,000? A living trust is a good option for you. In Chandler, AZ we usually recommend a living trust for anyone that own a house and any type of financial assets, like a brokerage account. There are ways to avoid probate without a trust and we can use that for specific people as well, specially if they are planning to apply for government benefits like Medicaid.
The living trust saves time, money, and frustration for your heirs when there are substantial assets also. Your estate beneficiaries won't have to wade through probate court and the trust makes the transfer of your assets much smoother.
5. The Trustees
It's most common to name yourself and your spouse as the trustees but you can name any mentally competent adult. You can name a successor trustee to take over should you lose your mental capacities. If your spouse is a co-trustee and is still in good health, then your spouse takes over.
Children are often named as successor trustees but they're not the only option. You can also name a professional fiduciary from a professional trust company or even the trust department of your bank. If you expect your family to fight over your assets a professional trustee may be a good option.
Some people don't have heirs and instead give their assets to a charity when they die. It's possible to name a charity as your successor trustee as well. We have helped clients do that.
6. Tax Issues
Everyone's tax situation is different but a trust doesn't typically save you money when it comes to taxes. You own the assets in the trust, and you pay taxes on any income from those assets. If your estate is worth more than $5million we do recommend your talk to one of our trust attorneys in Chandler. Our lawyers have a tax background and they will help you make sure you minimize your taxes.
There are some tax-saving measures lawyers use when creating an estate planning for you. Trusts are subject to federal estate taxes as well as most state's death taxes.
7. Using a Qualified Living Trust Attorney
It's important to use qualified living trust attorneys when setting up a living trust. As with most things in the internet age, you can find generic documents and living trust "kits" online. Be aware that they're a poor substitute for a qualified living trust lawyer.
An online kit may save you money when you're setting up the trust, but it could cost your heirs much more down the line. Living trust attorney fees vary depending on the size of your estate and can be several thousand dollars. Setting up the trust yourself runs the risk of major problems that could cost well over a few thousand dollars from your estate after you die.
It's also less likely that someone will challenge your will and trust if it's set up by an attorney. Did you designate a beneficiary that your heirs don't like? You definitely want to use a lawyer to set up your trust to make it more airtight than a do-it-yourself trust.
Consider a Living Trust in Chandler, Arizona
Consider a living trust in Chandler, Arizona if you own a house and other assets. A trust offers peace of mind that your beneficiaries will get their inheritance in the fastest possible manner after your death. Citadel Law Firm will be pleased to help you today.
Are you looking for a qualified Arizona living trust lawyer to set up your estate trust? Contact us today for more information! Click here to schedule a free consultation or call (480)565-8020. Our estate planning attorneys in Chandler, AZ will be pleased to help you.