Since most of us would not want a Court or a Judge to decide where all their assets and property go after they pass, every adult should have an estate plan in place. The fact is estate planning is not just for wealthy individuals and doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
As part of the estate planning process, one of your priorities should be determining what you want to be done with your physical and financial assets after your death. If you fail to detail exactly what you want with regard to every one of your assets, your family may have to deal with a probate process, which can be time consuming, costly, and leave everyone involved with a dissatisfactory outcome.
One of the best ways to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want them to be is by placing them into a trust. During an initial consultation, qualified trusts and estates attorney could explain revocable trusts in Chandler and help you determine whether establishing this kind of legal instrument is the right choice for you.
Wills and trusts serve similar but distinct legal purposes in Arizona. Both communicate what the person making the legal instrument—known as the principal—wants to be done with their property, finances, and personal obligations after they pass away.
Through a will, a principal can leave instructions for how their tax and debt obligations should be resolved, who should receive guardianship of their children, what should be done with business and personal assets, and who should inherit certain property and assets. Wills are public documents managed by the court system, meaning that a probate court will still be involved in the execution of a will however now with a Will the Court has a roadmap or a set of instructions on where that person wanted everything to go. This can streamline the Probate Process and add piece of mind.
To get around this, a person in Chandler can create a Revocable Trust and once established, can place some or all of their assets into that private Trust. Revocable trusts can be modified or terminated at any time by the principal prior to their death, while irrevocable trusts offer greater protection from tax liability but cannot be changed at all once they are put in place.
The primary benefit of putting assets into a trust is avoiding any of those assets being distributed through the probate process rather than in accordance with their owner’s wishes following their death. Wills can specify exactly who should get certain assets, but trusts allow for greater control over those assets by both the principal and any trustee they designate to manage it.
In addition, trusts can include terms that address what should be done if the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions on their own prior to their death. By allowing trustees to make these decisions on the principal’s behalf, revocable trusts can often greatly simplify the asset distribution process during complex and emotional times.
That being said, revocable trusts are not without their downsides. While principals of revocable trusts in Chandler can adjust the terms, trustees, and beneficiaries of their trust whenever they want while they are alive, In some cases a person’s creditors can still liquidate assets within revocable trusts to pay for debts a principal has in life.
In many situations, it is beneficial for people in Arizona to establish both wills and trusts as part of their estate planning process. Both documents combined can ensure your assets go where you want them to after your death and minimize the risk of probate regulations and unforeseen circumstances interfering with your wishes.
A knowledgeable Revocable Trust Attorney can offer further guidance about establishing a revocable trust in Chandler. To start exploring your legal options and to the peace of mind that comes with having a complete estate plan in place, call to set up a free consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys today.