ESTATE PLANNING IN GILBERT, AZ AND MESA, AZ
Wills and Trusts . Probate . Trust Administration
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. Contact us today to learn more about real estate law in Gilbert, AZ.
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.
BUSINESS LAW IN GILBERT, AZ AND MESA, AZ
Contracts, Mediation, Arbitration, Business Formation, Buy-Sell Agreements
I am also a business law attorney. My practice includes business formation, business litigation and real estate. I handle real-estate partitions. I draft contracts, review the terms of commercial contracts and leases, and negotiate their terms in accordance with my clients' specifications. I handle contract disputes and work to find a settlement in most cases where a settlement can be reached through mediation or arbitration. If litigation is necessary, I zealously advocate for my clients throughout the legal process, in both pre-trial and trial litigation.
CONTRACTS. In order for me to draft a contract the way you want it done, it's important to know the terms and conditions of your agreement. If it is a service agreement, it will be the same type of contract over and over again, but you will still want to know general terms of the agreement:
(1) What services you provide.
(2) How much you charge for the services.
(3) How you take payment.
(4) How you settle disagreements (usually arbitration clause).
Depending on the type of business you own or are starting, there is likely going to be specific laws and regulations related to that kind of business. Some businesses are required to provide the rights and laws associated with the transaction they are doing with a particular customer. These are all important things to be thinking about when you come to me to talk about drafting a contract.
If you have a contract dispute, the best way to handle it is usually going to be outside of court. In some cases, you may have people who hire an attorney just to see if they can get you to send them a sum of money because they don't want to bother with you. Other situations may be more serious where you have breached the contract or caused some other kind of harm under the contract. In these situations, it is important to have legal representation to keep emotions out of the dispute. If it can be settled through mediation, I can help.
BUSINESS FORMATION. If you want to start a business, one of the first things that you will do is make sure that you have your articles of organization or your articles of incorporation listed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Forming a business can be very simple or it can be quite complex, depending on the complexity of the business. Figuring out whether you want an LLC, Partnership, S-Corp or C-Corp is going to depend on several different factors. These are the kinds of discussions that we would have in setting up your business and putting together legal documents.
BUY-SELL AGREEMENTS. A lot of times, but not always, family business owners would be smart to incorporate a buy-sell agreement into their business. A buy-sell agreement is a written agreement that provides for the mandatory purchase, or right of first refusal, of a shareholder's interest usually upon the shareholder's death or retirement from the business. In a family business, this allows the business owner to structure an agreement according to his or her terms to exercise some degree of control over what happens to the business. Often times, the owner (Father) will want the children who work the business to have the option of continuing in the business. If the children choose to continue in the business, they will buy the Father out. Funding such buyout may include the purchase of life insurance to guarantee a certain amount of money at owner's death. Another option would be to use an installment note either in lieu of or in addition to life insurance. There are a lot of exceptions and nuances involved with buy-sell agreements, so don't get sucked into a one-size-fits-all template.