Wills and Trusts . Probate . Trust Administration
WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING IN ARIZONA?
WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning is the process individuals undertake to ensure that their financial and healthcare wishes are honored in the event of their death or incapacity, and that their friends and family members are provided for.
I am a wills and trusts attorney in the Gilbert and Mesa area. I am in the business of helping people ensure that their assets end up where they want them. As an estate planning attorney in Mesa, I draft wills and trusts consistent with client expectations and their estate plan. I am thorough and complete in accordance with my clients desires. I can draft a revocable living trust, special needs trust, domestic asset protection trust (DAPT), a pet trust, buy-sell agreements, durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney and more.
WILLS. All people have an estate and therefore should have some kind of an estate plan. A Last Will and Testament is the most basic of estate plans. Typically, a Last Will and Testament will come in a package but not always. That package may include a Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will. Koberlein Law Firm provides this kind of Wills package. You also have the option of adding a Mental Health Power of Attorney if needed.
TRUSTS. If you want an estate plan that has more options, a revocable living trust is a good start. A revocable living trust package includes all of the same things a wills package includes, including the Last Will and Testament called a Pour-over will when coupled with a trust. A revocable living trust allows the creator of the trust (Trustor) to make changes to the trust because it revocable (changeable). The main benefits you get from a revocable living trust that you don't get with a will are as follows:
(1) With a revocable living trust you are able to avoid probate, which means your designated Trustee can handle the administration of your trust assets without filing in the Arizona Probate Court.
(2) Your assets are kept private because the administration of the estate is not filed in probate court. Probate is open to the public, so if you have assets that go through probate court, everybody and their neighbor can see them.
(3) If you have multiple properties in multiple states, a revocable living trust allows you to put each property in the name of the trust and provides the Trustee with authority to distribute those assets according to the trust. If they are not in a trust, the personal representative of your estate has to file in probate court in every state where you have property, which could be very costly and time consuming.
Other types of trusts that apply to more specific situations include special needs trusts, domestic asset protection trusts (DAPT or hybrid DAPTs in Arizona), IRA Inheritance Trusts and even Pet Trusts. See my blog for more details on these kinds of trusts or visit me on Facebook.
PROBATE. If you don't have a revocable living trust, upon your death your estate will need to go through probate. In some instances, only an informal probate is required. In other cases, formal probate is required. This is typically when there is a dispute involved over who will be the personal representative of the estate or how the estate will be distributed. An actual probate of the estate may not be required if the personal property of the decedent (person who passed away) does not exceed $75,000 or the real estate property of the decedent does not exceed $100,000. If probate is otherwise required, I can help you navigate the probate court system by reviewing estate documents, helping you to be recognized by the court as personal representative of the estate, as well as being involved in notifying beneficiaries and creditors, getting an EIN for tax purposes, determining the value of the estate, liquidating assets, making distributions to beneficiaries and closing the probate estate.
If there are disputes among family members as to the distribution of assets, I can help in settlement of such disputes or litigating probate issues at trial.
TRUST ADMINISTRATION. Even if you are not going to involved in probate court, the administration of a revocable living trust comes with several different requirements that most people don't know. I can help you with trust administration as well, which includes reviewing trust documents, notifying beneficiaries, getting an EIN for tax purposes, asset valuation, liquidation of assets, distribution of assets and closing the trust estate.