Do I Need to Change My Living Trust?

Arizona and New Mexico Trust Attorneys

update-my-living-trustLaws change. Lives change. Your needs change. If you are meeting your estate planning needs with a living trust, it is a good start. In fact, at Morris Hall, PLLC, we believe it is the best place to start. But setting up a trust and not occasionally reviewing it along with your life circumstances is like building a protective fence and never keeping it under repair — an initially good idea that may not be capable of offering the complete protection you expected.

Whether you started your trust years ago or just more recently, are you sure that it is meeting all of your goals? Talk to an Morris Hall estate planning attorney about recent law changes that may have a serious impact on you and your beneficiaries when the assets are distributed. Working with Morris Hall tax accountants and Morris Hall financial planners, our attorneys will perform a comprehensive review of your trust, to make sure that you know of the changes that are necessary to optimize your advantages under current tax and other trust laws.

When you meet with an Morris Hall estate planning attorney for a review of your goals, we will discuss trust law issues, such as:

  • December 31, 2012, Congress passed a $5 million estate tax exemption (indexed for inflation).  The law, while deemed permanent by Congress, is always subject to change by Congress.  Proper planning will give you peace of mind, regardless of the laws passed by congress or state legislature.
  • Distribution rules for IRAs and other retirement plans: If your estate includes an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), SEP or other tax-deferred accounts, your current plan may trigger income taxes even if no distribution has been made. Make sure your trust is a “qualified trust” under IRS rules.
  • Medicaid planning: Provisions for avoiding the required spend-down of all your assets for long-term care expenses include the ability to transfer ownership of assets from your estate to your loved ones. Setting up an irrevocable trust with Medicaid triggers is one of the best ways to affect this transfer and avoid taxes.
  • Divorce and creditor protectionsIf your assets go into a properly created trust upon your passing, your estate can be protected for your beneficiaries against lawsuits, claims by creditors and ex-spouses of the beneficiaries and the required spend-down for long-term care.

Additionally, a Morris Hall estate plan protects the inheritance of a spendthrift beneficiary, or one who may have chemical dependency, a gambling addiction or other problems. It also protects a young beneficiary who might not be ready to exercise control over an inheritance because of his or her young age or other factors.

Arizona and New Mexico Living Trust Review Attorney

We champion the use of revocable living trusts as the foundation of almost every estate preservation plan. Let us review your plan to help you find ways to protect your success for future generations. 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 • 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.