- Estate planning for your potential disability. If you were to become disabled, what would your family do? In the absence of an estate plan, your family members would be required to go to court in order to have you declared incompetent and to appoint a conservator/guardian. However, a Living Trust with proper health care documents provides for this possibility without court involvement.
- Estate planning will help you avoid Probate. Probate is the court process that proves the Will, if any, is valid and carries out the instructions of the Will. Probate is often costly and time consuming. It is also a public process that allows anyone to know of your financial affairs and subjects your heirs to possible predators. With a Living Trust your assets are kept out of Probate and provides an efficient private way to transfer assets to those you love upon your death.
- Estate planning will protect your assets from creditors. If your assets are transferred to your loved ones outside of a Living Trust they cannot be protected from the loved ones creditors. If, however, the assets are transferred through a Living Trust, in the form of a beneficiary trust, the creditors of your loved ones will not be able to access the inheritance.
- Estate planning instills your values to your descendants. This is one aspect of estate planning that many people to not even consider, yet it is very valuable. Even though you are gone, a Living Trust will provide a way for you to keep your values alive. For instance, if you want your loved ones to receive a college degree you are able to provide assets in the trust for this purpose. You may also allow them to receive their inheritance upon completion of their education or deny them their inheritance if they don’t get a college degree.
- Estate planning helps to minimize taxes. Although currently less than 1 percent of people in the United States die with a taxable estate, a good plan will help to avoid paying more in taxes than you owe.
- Estate planning will protect your assets from Long Term Care. Provisions in the Living Trust will allow for planning to take place to avoid having to spend down your entire estate before you qualify for public benefits coverage.
- Estate planning will provide divorce protection for beneficiaries. Your Living Trust will provide protection for your loved ones in the event they get divorced. This will ensure that your hard earned assets do not go to some future son/daughter-in law.
Contributed by MH Phoenix, Arrowhead and Scottsdale Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.