Arizona and New Mexico Estate Planning Laws

recent-changes-in-the-lawHow long has it been since you reviewed your estate plan? Ten years? Five years? Even if it was in the past year or two, there may be changes in tax and other laws that you need to know about.

Morris Hall, PLLC, is recognized as one of the leading estate tax law firms in the Southwest. Working with licensed financial advisors from Morris Hall Financial and CPAs from Morris Hall Accounting, we will review your plan to determine how recent changes in the law affect you now and how they will impact your beneficiaries when you die.

Estate Taxes

You have worked hard all of your life and have built up substantial assets. Changes in the laws and planning strategies now make it possible to substantially reduce or even eliminate estate taxes upon your death. The estate tax laws can change, with the next change scheduled for 2013, unless Congress does something before then. Our trust documents help to protect our clients to the greatest extent possible, no matter what Congress does with the estate tax exemption. As laws change, our attorneys stay current with the necessary strategies to preserve as much wealth as possible in each estate we serve.

Arizona Trust Code (ATC)

The law that governs trusts in Arizona is the Arizona Trust Code (ATC). In 2009, the legislature changed certain provisions in the ATC. If you have not had your trust restated or amended since then, your existing Certificate of Trust might not be effective. Additional information is now required on the Certificate of Trust. Unless your documents are updated, financial institutions, title companies and lenders can demand a complete copy of your trust, with all your personal information contained therein.
In addition to the issue of the new Certification of Trust requirements, the ATC requires that an annual reporting be made to beneficiaries when your trust, or any portion of it, becomes irrevocable. Upon the death of a spouse, his or her share becomes irrevocable; upon the death of a single person or the surviving spouse, the entire trust becomes irrevocable. The report must be given to all the qualified beneficiaries, and if a beneficiary is a charity, it must be given to the Attorney General as well.
However, steps can be taken to mitigate, or even eliminate the harsh results of the ATC changes. It is strongly recommended that you schedule a consultation with an attorney to ensure that you understand the impact of these changes.

Sure, You Have a Trust, But Are You Getting Every Tax and Asset Protection Advantage?

Even if you set up your living trust very recently, you may not be getting every tax advantage and asset protection benefit available under the complex federal and state tax laws. We will examine your trust to review it for issues, such as proper asset allocationasset protection strategies, funding options, tax minimization and life-care protection. We can often find options that less experienced estate planning, tax and accounting firms miss — simply because they don’t take as comprehensive an approach to your entire estate preservation and investment needs. If we find that your plan satisfies your objectives, there will be no fee for our consultation.

We Won’t Walk Away After You Sign the Documents

MH has focused on estate preservation and advanced tax planning for more than 30 years. As members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA), we provide excellent and cutting edge legal documents and strategies. But after the ink is dry, we don’t usher you out the door. We earned our reputation for excellence because we are available for you today AND will be around in the future. Our attorneys stay in regular contact with you, reviewing your family’s needs whenever a law changes or a new planning strategy affects you.

Arizona and New Mexico Estate Tax Planning Lawyers

Contact us to arrange a consultation with an experienced lawyer today. Our offices are located in Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico.

AAEPA • NAELA • WealthCounsel • AV Rated* • CPAs • Licensed Financial Planners

*Martindale-Hubbell’s AV peer review rating is the highest-rated category an attorney can achieve in the areas of legal skills and ethical standards. AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.