Arizona Living Trusts and Wills

In Arizona, if you own a home or other assets worth more than $75,000, the Revocable Living Trust is by far the preferred estate planning vehicle. At Phelps Law we have been designing and implementing living trusts in Arizona for over 35 years. We know what works and doesn’t when the time comes.

All Living Trusts Are Not Created Equal

Unfortunately, many people have been led to believe that all living trusts are the same. But the truth is … all living trusts are not created equal! Here are just a few examples why:

  • A primary reason to do a living trust is to avoid wasting thousands of dollars in needless fees and many months (if not years) in Arizona’s Probate Court system, but nearly all internet, do-it-yourself, or bargain-priced attorney plans usually fail and end up in probate court because of failure to properly fund the living trust.
  • Most living trusts do not protect your loved ones’ inheritances from unexpected crises in their lives, such as divorces, lawsuits and creditors! (A Living Trust that merely avoids probate isn’t good enough anymore.) Click here to see how a living trust can protect your beneficiaries.
  • Many living trusts are not designed to protect you and your assets during a time of disability.
  • Typical living trusts leave what might be your most valuable assets – your IRAs, 401(k)s and retirement plans – vulnerable to automatic taxation when you are gone!
  • Typical living trusts often force the surviving spouse to endure needless paperwork and legal & accounting fees.

Our many years of experience in drafting living trusts and seeing them work in real life will help you avoid these costly mistakes.

A Living Trust Avoids Probate After You Die

A revocable living trust is a Will substitute … and much more! Unlike a Will, which is subject to Arizona’s Probate Court after you die, a living trust is a private agreement that allows your loved ones to administer your estate privately around the kitchen table instead of in a courtroom. Because living trusts are not supervised by a probate court, your loved ones can carry out your wishes without the frustration of court costs, mandatory waiting periods, public notices to creditors and frivolous contests from disgruntled heirs.

A Living Trust Avoids Conservatorship During Disability

Have you ever considered who will manage your affairs if you are disabled? Who will sign checks, pay your bills, run your business, etc.? Without planning in advance, your loved ones will likely have to go to court, prove you are incompetent and then ask the court to appoint a conservator to manage your finances; and oftentimes this is true even if you have executed a power of attorney.

There is a better way.

When you create a living trust, you hand-select a Successor Trustee to act for you not just when you die, but also when you are disabled. Your Successor Trustee will be able to access your money and other assets for your care almost immediately if you become disabled.

You can learn more about Living Trusts here.