People often ask me what I do for a living. When I tell them that I’m an estate planning attorney, I sometimes get the reply, “Oh really, do you know any good trust attorneys?” My response, “Yeah…me! And all the attorneys at Morris Hall.” Befuddled, they often retort, “But you said that you’re an estate planning attorney.” This usually leads to a discussion of estate planning during which I provide the following basic explanations:
An estate consists of all the property a person owns or controls. This property can be held in a variety of ways, including individually, jointly with one or more persons, or in a trust. Under this description, just about everyone has an estate. What does that mean to you? If you have an estate, then it is important to have an estate plan to determine what happens to your estate after you die. If you have an estate plan at the time of your death, it will provide guidance in the distribution of your property. An estate plan may consist of a trust, last will, healthcare documents, and other documents depending on your needs.
A trust is a legal entity that is used to hold legal title to property. Trusts can provide many benefits such as probate avoidance, tax savings, and control over the administration of your property at death. Many people prefer using trusts as an estate planning method because it keeps them out of court and provides flexibility in distribution of their estate.
Therefore, an estate consists of all the stuff you own, while a trust is an entity that your property can be transferred into to provide you with significant benefits.
If you have questions about trusts and estates, or want to know more about what an estate planning attorney can do for you, contact the attorneys at Morris Hall.
Contributed by MH Phoenix, Estate Planning Attorney, Darren L. Richardson.
About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 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, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, 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.