What Do Estate Planning Lawyers Do?

By | Estate Planning | No Comments

You have heard of estate planning lawyers.You have probably even had friends and/or family tell you that you need a good estate planning lawyer; however, you are not entirely sure what estate planning lawyers actually do.  Because it is important that you develop a long-term relationship with an experienced estate planning lawyer, you need to know what types of legal issues and problems estate planning lawyers handle. To help you become familiar with what an estate planning lawyer can help you with, the following overview covers some of the most common of those issues and problems.

Estate Planning

The most obvious issue an estate planning attorney can help with is creating a comprehensive estate plan. Contrary to what many people believe, you do not need to reach a specific point in your life and/or amass a small fortune before estate planning becomes necessary. Every adult needs at least a basic estate plan. Without an estate plan in place, the State of Arizona will decide what happens to the assets you have in the event of your death. In addition, a judge might be forced to appoint a guardian for your minor children without any input from you. As your family and your estate grow, you will need to review and revise your estate plan to include additional, inter-related goals and objectives which make it important to develop a long-lasting relationship with your estate planning lawyer.

Incapacity Planning

When most people think of the need for estate planning, they think in terms of planning for the possibility of death. However, your death is not the only thing you need to consider when it comes to protecting you, your assets, and your loved ones. You should also plan for the possibility of incapacity. An estate planning attorney can help you do this by including  incapacity planning components in your overall estate plan. By creating an incapacity plan, you ensure that you will be the one to decide who takes over control of your assets and who makes decisions for you if incapacity does strike.

Probate Assistance

Just as estate planning attorneys can help you create an estate plan that removes the need to probate your estate, saving a great amount of time, money and exposure to your beneficiaries.   An estate planning attorney can also represent you if you find yourself appointed as the Executor of someone else’s estate. As the Executor, you will have a wide variety of important duties and responsibilities. Most Executors retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that they do not make costly mistakes during the probate of the estate.

Trusts and Trust Administration

While a Last Will and Testament remains the most common estate planning document, trusts are not far behind in terms of popularity. If your estate is over $75,000, you will probably find that you wish to create a trust as the focal document in your estate plan to help you achieve a wide range of estate planning goals, including probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and protecting your beneficiaries’ inheritance. An estate planning attorney can help you choose the right type of trust for your needs and help you create the trust agreement. Likewise, if you find that you have been appointed as the Trustee of a trust created by someone else, you may wish to retain the services of an estate planning attorney to help you administer the trust, particularly if you have never before served as a Trustee.

Elder Law

Elder law is a very broad term that is used to refer to legal issues that impact the elderly and those who care for them. Because there is a natural relationship between many estate planning and elder law issues, you will frequently find that an estate planning attorney can help you with elder law issues. For example, if you need to petition for guardianship of a parent or other elderly loved one, qualify for Medicaid, or create and execute advance directives, an estate planning attorney can help you.

Contact Phoenix Estate Planning Lawyers

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, or any of the other issues an estate planning lawyer can help you with, contact an experienced Phoenix estate planning lawyer at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule an appointment.

What You Need to Know about the Arizona Probate Process

By | Probate | No Comments

Most people find themselves directly involved in the probate of an estate at some point in time during their lifetime. For you, it might be because a loved one appointed you the Executor of their estate or it might be because you are a beneficiary or heir of the estate of a recently deceased loved one. You might manage to avoid any direct involvement in the probate of someone else’s estate, however, at least a basic understanding of the Arizona probate process remains helpful for purposes of planning your own estate.

What Is Probate?

Almost everyone leaves behind an estate when they die. That estate consists of all assets owned by the decedent at the time of death, including both tangible and intangible assets as well as both real and personal property. To ensure that those estate assets are properly, and legally, transferred to the new owners, the law requires them to pass through the legal process known as probate. Along with facilitating the transfer of estate assets to the new owners, the probate process also serves as a way to ensure that all debts of the decedent are paid, including both personal and estate taxes.

Is Probate Always Necessary?

Some type of probate is almost always required, however, formal probate may not be necessary. Like most states, Arizona offers an alternative to formal probate for small estates. Estates that include less than $75,000 of personal property and less than $100,000 of real property may qualify to use a small estate affidavit to transfer assets in lieu of going through the full probate process.

In addition, not all assets are considered probate assets. Non-probate assets bypass the probate process and may be distributed to beneficiaries immediately following the death of the decedent. Examples of non-probate assets include:

  • Proceeds of a life insurance policy
  • Assets held in a trust
  • Funds or property held in an account titled as “payable on death (POD)” or “transfer on death (TOD)”
  • Jointly held property if titled with rights of survivorship
  • Funds held in certain types of retirement accounts

Who Oversees the Probate Process?

If the decedent died testate, meaning he/she left behind a Last Will and Testament, the individual named as the Personal Representative in the Will oversees the probate of the estate. If the decedent died intestate, or without a Will, any competent adult can volunteer to oversee the probate process. If no one volunteers, the court will appoint someone.

What Are Some Common Steps in the Arizona Probate Process?

Common steps involved in the probate of an estate include:

  1. Opening probate. This requires you to submit the original Will along with a petition to open probate to the appropriate probate court.
  2. Identifying, securing, and valuing estate assets. All assets must be secured and a date of value must be ascertained for all assets.
  3. Notifying creditors. Creditors of the estate must be notified that probate is underway and given an opportunity to file a claim. Known creditors may be given actual notice while unknown creditors are notified via publication in a local newspaper. Creditors only have a limited amount of time within which to file a claim. The Personal Representative reviews all claims and pays approved clams out of estate assets.
  4. Litigating any challenges. If someone filed a Will contest, it must be litigated before the probate process can be concluded. The Executor is also duty bound to defend the Will submitted to probate.
  5. Paying taxes. All estates are potentially subject to federal gift and estate taxes. If any are due, they must be paid before the probate process can reach a conclusion.
  6. Transferring assets. All assets remaining in the estate are transferred to the intended beneficiaries pursuant to the provisions of the decedent’s Will or are distributed to legal heirs of the estate pursuant to Arizona’s intestate succession laws.

If you find yourself involved in the probate of an estate and you need guidance and/or advice, consult with an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney.

Contact Us

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about the Arizona probate process, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Trustee

By | Trust Administration | No Comments

Proper estate planning typically includes a number of different estate planning tools and strategies. One of the most commonly used estate planning tools is a trust agreement, often referred to as a revocable living trust.  A trust is a private document that allows you to direct how your assets should be managed during your lifetime and after you passing with our court involvement.   One of the most important decisions you will make when creating your trust is who to appoint as the Trustee.  Commonly, people will mistakenly appoint someone close to them to be the Trustee without stopping to consider if the person is really the best person for the job. This is often the result of a failure to understand all of the various duties and responsibilities of a Trustee. To help ensure that you don’t make the same mistake, the attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC can help you understand the role of a Trustee.

Trustee Duties and Responsibilities

A Trustee has a wide variety of duties and responsibilities, many of which requires basic. A few of the most common duties and responsibilities of a Trustee include:

  • Manage trust assets -- a Trustee must be familiar with all trust assets and prudently manage them at all times. Managing trust assets can mean anything from reconciling bank statements to ensuring that maintenance and upkeep occur on real property.
  • Abide by the trust terms unless they are impossible, illegal, or unconscionable –  a Trustee must read the trust and make sure he/she understands all of its terms. The terms of the trust must be carried out objectively without regard for the Trustee’s personal opinions.
  • Communicate with trust beneficiaries – in many cases, current and future beneficiaries have a right to know how the trust is being managed.  It is the Trustee’s duty to keep those beneficiaries informed.
  • Distribute trust assets to beneficiaries – A trustee has a duty to distribute trust assets in accordance with the trust terms. 
  • Keep detailed trust records –  a Trustee has a duty to account to trust beneficiaries, and should always keep detailed records of all trust business to avoid personal liability and/or problems with the beneficiaries.

 

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about selecting a Trustee, please contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

Do I Need an Incapacity Plan?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

When you think of creating an estate plan you likely think about executing a Last Will and Testament to ensure that your estate assets are distributed according to your wishes after you are gone. While planning for the distribution of your estate assets is certainly one important aspect of a comprehensive estate plan, it should not be the sole focus of an estate plan. On the contrary, a well thought out estate plan should include a variety of additional inter-related components, including an incapacity plan. After all, incapacity is not something that only occurs the elderly. Incapacity can strike anyone at any time. Having an incapacity plan within your overall estate plan is the best way to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones in the event you do suffer a period of incapacity.

Incapacity Fact and Figures

Like many people, you may associate the term “incapacity” with an old age-related condition such as Alzheimer’s disease. While age-related dementia certainly can be the cause of incapacity, it is hardly the only cause. In fact, you might be shocked to learn how likely you are to suffer a period of incapacity long before you reach old age. Consider the following facts and figures published by the Council for Disability Awareness:

  • Just over 1 in 4 of today's 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
  • Over 37 million Americans are classified as disabled; about 12% of the total population. More than 50% of those disabled Americans are in their working years, from 18-64
  • An otherwise healthy 35-year-old female has a 24% chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer during her working career.
  • An otherwise healthy 35-year-old male has a 21% chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer during his working career.
  • The average length of disability for that 35-year-old female or male is 82 months.

What Happens If You Do Not Have an Incapacity Plan in Place?

Often, the best way to illustrate the need for something is to point out what happens without it. Imagine that you are incapacitated tomorrow as a result of a tragic motor vehicle collision or a serious workplace accident. Can you answer the following questions?

  1. Who will make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them?
  2. Who will take over control of your assets and property?
  3. Who will handle paying your bills and monitor your finances?
  4. Who will make personal decision for you such as where you will live?

Unless you have an incapacity plan in place, the answers to these questions remain uncertain. Even if you are married, there is no guarantee that your spouse will have the legal authority to take over all decision making for you nor have the legal authority necessary to take over your assets. All too often, what happens is that family members end up in a conflict over who will make decisions and take over control. That conflict sometimes ends up in a protracted, and costly court battle that may create a permanent divide in the family. In the meantime, both you and your assets remain in limbo. The easy way to prevent all of this from occurring is to include an incapacity component in your comprehensive estate plan.

What Might Be Included in My Incapacity Plan?

Every incapacity plan is unique because it is created to meet the needs of the creator; however, some common additions to an incapacity plan include:

  • Power of attorney – allows you to appoint an Agent who will have your legal authority to act on your behalf in general, or specific, situations.
  • Advanced directive – allows you to appoint an Agent to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.
  • Revocable living trust works by allowing you to appoint yourself as the Trustee of the trust and your designated successor as the successor Trustee. Assets are then transferred into the trust and you continue to manage them, as the Trustee, as long as you are able to do so. If you become incapacitated, the successor Trustee automatically takes over the management of those assets without the need for court approval.

Contact Us

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about incapacity planning, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

Phoenix Estate Planning Lawyers Answer Top 5 Questions

By | Estate Planning | No Comments

Surveys tell us that despite understanding the importance of having a well thought out estate plan in place, over half of all Americans have yet to create their estate plan. One of the most common reasons people give for the lack of estate planning is that they are intimidated by the prospect of creating an estate plan. After all, estate planning concepts are not concepts the average person deals with in any other area of his/her life. It really is not surprising that people are a bit intimidated by the thought of trying to create an estate plan. If you are among those who have put off creating your estate plan because you are unsure where and/or how to start, the Arizona and New Mexico estate planning lawyers at Morris Hall PLLC provide answers to the top five estate planning questions which should help you feel more at ease with the concept of estate planning.

  1. I don’t have a large estate yet. Why do I need an estate plan? This is a very common misconception about the need for an estate plan. People frequently think they need to have amassed a large fortune or be married with children before the need for an estate plan arises. The truth, however, is that every adult should have at least a basic estate plan in place. Although you may not have acquired numerous valuable assets yet, the assets you do own probably mean something to you. Consequently, you likely do not want the State of Arizona or New Mexico deciding what happens to them after your death.
  2. My minor children cannot inherit from me directly. How do I leave them an inheritance? Minors cannot inherit directly from anyone. If you are married, you may simply leave your entire estate to your spouse to hold and manage for your children until they reach the age of majority (18 years old). If you are unmarried, or you are concerned about your spouse’s ability to manage their inheritance, a trust may be the better choice. A trust allows you to name anyone you want as the Trustee who will manage and invest the trust assets and administer the trust terms. Your children can benefit from the trust assets while they are minors and then receive what is left directly once they reach adulthood or the age you select.
  3. How can I plan for the possibility of my own incapacity? Your estate plan can include an incapacity planning component. Within that component, you may decide to create a revocable living trust that is often used as an incapacity planning tool to shift control of your assets to the person of your choice if incapacity strikes. You may also include advanced directives that address your medical care in the event of your incapacity.
  4. How often should I review and revise my estate plan? As a matter of course, you should review every three to five years during your working years and every five to eight years during your retirement years. Certain life events, however, call for an immediate review. If you get married or divorced, have a child, or move to another state, for example, you should review your estate plan right away.
  5. How can I keep my estate from going through probate? Probate avoidance is a common estate planning goal because formal probate can be costly, both in terms of time and money. The key to avoiding probate, or at least minimizing the time your estate spends in probate, is to leave behind as few probate assets as possible. Non-probate assets bypass the probate process altogether. Common examples of non-probate assets include:
    • Assets held in a trust
    • Life insurance proceeds
    • Assets held in an account designated as “payable on death (POD)” or “transfer on death (TOD)”
    • Certain types of jointly held property
    • Funds held in many types of retirement plan or pension plans

Contact Phoenix Estate Planning Lawyers

For more information, please join us for an upcoming Complimentary seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, or you wish to get started on your estate plan, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

Living Trust Attorneys Explain Trust Basics

By | Trust Administration | No Comments

Although your Last Will and Testament may serve as the foundation for your estate plan, you will likely incorporate numerous other estate planning documents and tools into your plan as well in order to achieve all of your estate planning goals and objectives. One of the most popular estate planning tools is a trust agreement. Trusts have increased in popularity over the last several decades, due in large part to the flexible nature of a trust which allows a trust to help achieve a wide variety of estate planning goals. For those who are unfamiliar with trusts, the living trust attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC explain some trust basics to get you started.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a relationship whereby an asset (money, real estate, car…) is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a Trustor (also referred to as a Maker or Grantor) transferring assets to a Trustee. The Trustee holds that property for the trust's beneficiaries.

Testamentary vs. Living Trusts

All trusts are first divided into one of two categories – testamentary or inter vivos – the latter of which is more commonly referred to as a living trust. A testamentary trust is a trust that arises upon the death of the Settlor and which is typically activated by a provision in the Trustor’s Will.  A living trust is a trust that takes effect as soon as all the legalities of creation are in place.

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts

Living trusts are further divided into revocable and irrevocable trusts. As the name implies, a revocable living trust is one that can be modified or revoked by the Trustor at any time and without the need to provide a reason. An irrevocable living trust, once it takes effect, cannot be modified or revoked by the Trustor for any reason. Typically, an irrevocable trust can only be changed or revoked by court order.

Testamentary trusts are all revocable because they do not even go into effect until the death of the Trustor at which point they are triggered by a Will that can always be changed prior to the death of the Trustor.

The Role of Trustee

The Trustee of a trust is appointed by the Trustor. Many people make the mistake of simply appointing a spouse or close friend without taking the time to really understand what a Trustee does to determine if that individual is really right for the job. Just a few of the numerous and varied duties and responsibilities of a Trustee include:

  • Managing and investing trust assets using the prudent investor standard
  • Administering the trust according to the trust terms created by the Trustor
  • Keeping detailed records of trust business
  • Communicating with beneficiaries and resolving disputes among them
  • Distributing trust assets according to the trust terms
  • Preparing and paying trust taxes each year

Trust Terms

One thing that makes a trust such an attractive estate planning tool is the flexibility offered by the trust terms. As the Trustor of the trust, you can include almost any terms you wish, as long as they are not illegal, impossible, or unconscionable. If you wish to include a term that says the trust assets can only be used for educational purposes, you can do that. If you want the funds distributed on a specific day each year you can do that as well. Creative use of trust terms can help to foster all kinds of beliefs and philosophies. If family is important to you, a trust term might require a beneficiary to be married or have children before being entitled to disbursements from the trust fund. Conversely, if you don’t want beneficiaries to start a family too early, you could encourage entrepreneurship or continued education with your trust terms as well. The wide latitude a Trustor has when creating trust terms is one reason trusts are so popular.

Contact Living Trust Attorneys

For more information, please join us for an upcoming Complimentary seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about living trust, or how one might fit into your estate plan, contact an experienced living trust attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.

Why Plan?

By | Estate Planning | No Comments

There are so many things in life that we plan for: vacation, retirement, grocery shopping. . . .  So why do we do it?  Planning gives us a level of assurance that what will happen is in our control, more or less.

We plan a vacation so we can get the most out of it.  We can see the sights.  We can maximize the activities.  We can minimize cost (get those deals!).  We plan vacations to get the most enjoyment out of our limited amount of time.

We plan for retirement to live in a lifestyle we have grown accustomed throughout our working years/.  We save.  We put money in IRAs or 401ks.  We know that without this “nest egg,” we would continue to work into our 80s.

We plan our trip to the grocery store so we don’t buy things we don’t need.  We plan so we buy all the things that we do.  My wife is continually telling me to put those chips back, we have plenty at home.  We plan with a list to keep the trip focused, to ensure our household has those things to make our daily routines comfortable.

But very few people plan their estates.  When we all know that our time on earth is limited, it is strange to not plan for this inevitability.  Obviously, our clients are in the minority, as they took that step to make things easier for their loved ones.  Estate planning is much like those other plans I talk about; it sets out the provisions that you want to see done, when you are no longer with us.

Every estate is different.  The plan needed for each of you is different.  But making sure your family, your loved ones are taken care of with whatever you leave behind is reason to plan.

Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.  We want to help you get your plan in place.

Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Jim Plitz.

Why Choose Morris Hall, PLLC:
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, Morris Hall 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 three 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 Morris Hall.  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.

Summary of Potential Tax Law Changes Under President Elect Trump:

By | Attorney David Eastman, Estate Planning | 2 Comments

We live in uncertain times. There is no certainty in what President Elect Trump will do when it comes to the tax code, but he has stated that he would like do the following:

  • Eliminate the estate tax entirely.
  • Eliminate the gift tax entirely.
  • Presumably, eliminate the Generation Skipping Transfer tax entirely.
  • Disallow a step-up in basis for the assets of decedents with estates over $10 million.

However, we don’t know if this will be a high priority or whether Democrats would filibuster such changes.

As far as income taxes go, he has proposed the following: 

  • Cap deductions at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
  • Increase the standard deduction to $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 for married filing jointly.
  • Reduce the federal tax brackets from 7 to 3, with rates of 12%, 25%, and 33%.

Current estimates are that Trump’s tax plan would:

  • Reduce taxes for low income earners by an average of 1.2%.
  • Reduce taxes for highest income earners by 10.2%.

According to a piece in Fortune, Trump’s plan would add $5.3 trillion to the federal deficit over 10 years.  

 

 Contributed by Morris Hall, PLLC Arrowhead, Scottsdale and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.  

About Morris Hall, PLLC:
At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  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.

 

When Should you Plan?

By | Estate Planning | No Comments

Planning is “the act or process of making a plan to achieve or do something,” Merriam-Webster.  We plan ahead of time.  Planning for something after it occurred does not make sense.  A plan is used to mitigate risks and enhance the possibility of success in a set of goals or objectives.

When estate planning, the goal is to make a difficult time (death or incapacity) a little bit easier on your loved ones.  The estate plan outlines who will be your decision maker.  The estate plan describes who will get your stuff (your assets) when you die.

So when should you plan your estate?  Unless you have a crystal ball, the answer is now.

There are too many things that can happen if not properly planned.  We hear all of the time how getting the plan signed and in place gives our clients a peace of mind.  Gives them the ability to continue living life, without the fear that there will be problems when something happens to them.

We hear all of the time how people put off planning because of a fear that the planning will trigger their imminent demise.  This is not a logical thought, but an emotional one.  So, I will help get that thought out of your head.

When you see that the weather forecast calls for rain, when does it actually rain?  When you remember to grab your umbrella (when you planned for the rain), or when you forget it?  Of course it rains when you forget your umbrella.

So by planning your estate now, you will push off the storm clouds.  Call us today and schedule your complimentary consultation so we can help get your plan in place.

Contributed byMorris Hall, PLLC Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, Jim Plitz.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall, PLLC Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  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.

Selecting your Fiduciary

By | Estate Planning, Preparedness | No Comments

When putting your estate plan in place, one of the most critical decisions is naming the person or entity that will make your decisions when you can’t.  Collectively, this role is a fiduciary.

The fiduciary is a person or entity who has a legal obligation to make decisions in your best interest.  This would be the “agent” under a power of attorney.  This would be the personal representative / executor under a last will.  This would be the trustee under a trust.

The role requires many skills.  Foremost is the ability to carry out your wishes in a manner that you have described in your documents.

While you are thinking through the selection process, it is important to know that the fiduciary has a “job” to do.  It is work.  It takes time and effort.

We are here to help you navigate this crucial decision.  We are here to walk you through the pros and cons of selecting your son or daughter, selecting a trusted friend, or having a corporate fiduciary fill the role (such as a bank, trust company, CPA or law firm).

We want your selection of fiduciary work for you and your loved ones.  Call us today to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.

Contributed by Morris Hall Carefree and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, West Hunsaker.

At Morris Hall, PLLC we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 45 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Carefree, Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  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.