Estate Planning

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Estate Planning2021-08-30T13:59:39-07:00

Estate Planning In Arizona

More than half of Americans have not taken any estate planning precautions and only an estimated 20% Living Trust Priceshave a Revocable Living Trust. This lack of estate planning leads to lengthy and expensive probate proceedings. At Wealth Guardian Legal Documents, it is our goal to solve this dilemma. We offer the residents of Arizona high level customized estate planning documents at affordable prices.

We often see competitor’s documents or do-it-yourself documents fail for various reasons. When you work with Wealth Guardian Legal Documents you will walk away with completed, signed, witnessed, and notarized documents. Unlike many of our competitors, we also help you to properly fund your trust, ensuring that your paperwork is up to date. In any legal proceedings, documents are crucial and could make or break any matter. Being able to send and keep up to date with paperwork and important documents, whether it is done by yourself or by a law firm, should be at the forefront of your mind; find more information here. Fortunately, we do our best to ensure that everything is correct, and you won’t have to worry about it.

For pricing please visit our promotional site by click here, or give our office a call.

Estate Planning Components

There are certain documents that every complete estate plan should have. Below is a list of the main estate planning documents you need with a brief description of how they work.

Revocable Living Trust

A Revocable Living Trust is a cornerstone estate planning document. It will enable your assets to avoid probate. A trust helps you to avoid probate because it holds all of your assets separate from your name. For this to work, you need to title all of your assets into the name of the trust. Even though they are in the name of the trust, you still maintain complete control.

You will also name a successor trustee that will take over after you pass or become incompetent. They will be able to manage your assets for you when you are no longer able to. Once you pass away, your successor trustee will handle distributing your assets to the beneficiaries you named. They will have to distribute the assets according to the instructions that you left behind.

Pour-Over Will

A Pour-Over Will is a backup estate planning document. It is our hope that you never need to use it. However, if you fail to properly title an asset into your trust, it will “pour” the asset over into the trust. Then it will follow the provisions left in your trust.

If you feel you do not need a trust, you should at least have a Will in place. It will not help you to avoid probate, but it will allow your assets to be distributed according to your wishes, as opposed to Arizona’s Laws of Intestacy.

Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are documents that provide written authorization for another person, called an agent, to act on your behalf. In most cases, this authorization is classified as a springing power. This means that the agent’s authority is only in effect when you are incapacitated. There are several different kinds of Powers of Attorney. Our estate planning packages all include the following POAs:

  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney: This document allows you to name a trusted agent to take care of your financial affairs for you. Your agent can pay your bills, manage your investment accounts, manage real property, and complete Medicaid planning on your behalf.
  • Durable Health Care Power of Attorney: This document grants authority to your agent to make health care related decisions on your behalf. This would include authorizing medication, treatments, and surgeries.
  • Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney: Through this document, you name an agent to make decisions with regard to mental illnesses. This includes having access to your records, administering prescriptions, or being able to put you under 24/7 supervised care.

Living Will (End of Life Care Plan)

This document allows you to make decisions regarding treatment if you are terminally ill or in a continuous vegetative state. You will choose what life-prolonging measures you would want to accept or reject. You will also decide how you would want to be cared for at the end of your life. Decisions that fall outside of your Living Will are decided by the agent named in your Health Care Power of Attorney.

Additional Trusts

A Revocable Living Trust is not your only estate planning option. At Wealth Guardian Legal Documents, we offer several other trust options. These additional trusts can help to sharpen your estate plan by giving you the ability to avoid certain situations.

IRA Beneficiary Trust

An IRA Beneficiary Trust is a special kind of trust that helps distribute Individual Retirement Accounts in the most effective way possible. IRA Beneficiary Trusts have special provisions that Revocable Living Trusts do not.

First of all, an IRA Beneficiary Trust can help your heirs to avoid a hefty tax bill. This can happen when an IRA is distributed outright. It also allows you to have more control of the distributions. You can even name a trustee to manage the money for your beneficiaries. An IRA trust also protects your beneficiaries’ inheritance from bankruptcy, divorce, and creditors.

Dynasty Trust

A Dynasty Trust allows you to provide for multiple generations. You can simultaneously protect their inheritance from bankruptcy, divorce, creditors, and their own irresponsibility.

A Dynasty Trust helps prevent outright distributions to your beneficiaries. Instead, you name a trustee to manage the money on your beneficiary’s behalf. You can choose to limit their powers completely or allow them some control over their assets. A Dynasty Trust gives you numerous options and levels of control. Your planning options are almost limitless.

Special Needs Trust

You may find a Special Needs Trust to be very beneficial. They help if you have any beneficiaries that have disabilities or receive governmental assistance. They are also useful if your beneficiary has any addictive behaviors.

A Special Needs Trust keeps all assets in trust for the beneficiary. Your trustee will have control over the assets and will pay bills directly. In a Special Needs Trust, the beneficiary cannot have direct access to the funds. This keeps them from being disqualified from receiving government benefits. It also prevents the money from being spent on a beneficiary’s addictive behavior. But still, allows you to provide for their needs.

If you would like an estate planning package that includes one of these additional trusts, check out our pricing by clicking here.

Irrevocable Trust:

Much like the Revocable Living Trust explained above the Irrevocable trust completes all the same benefits. In addition, it can also protect assets against Creditors, Bankruptcies, Divorce and other liabilities of the grantor as long as the grantor does not have any beneficial interest in the trust. Additionally, it is important to note the nature of this trust is Irreversible, once executed and funded the grantor no longer has access to or control over the assets including making changes to the trust.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)

Much like the Irrevocable Trust explained above an ILIT is useful in removing estate tax that would be imposed on the Life Insurance benefits of a deceased individual. A common misconception is that Life Insurance death benefits are tax-free, this is only partially true, it is true that in most cases (not all) life Insurance is Income Tax-Free, but not Estate Tax-Free. To ensure that your estate is not reduced by way of Estate Tax imposed on Life Insurance benefits, you may title your life insurance in the name of your ILIT and remove the Estate Tax imposed.

1005, 2023

Funding Your Trust

By |May 10th, 2023|Legal Documents|

Funding Your Trust Signing your trust is just the first step in creating a successful estate plan. The second step is funding your trust. This is the process of transferring assets into it. In this article, we will go over the basic steps of funding your trust. Personal Property Personal property includes clothing, furniture, jewelry, and electronics. These assets do not have any formal title, but you will want to sign a general transfer [...]

1502, 2023

When Is a Trust Involved in Probate?

By |February 15th, 2023|Legal Documents|

When Is a Trust Involved in Probate? In general, a trust will help your estate to avoid probate. However, there are certain scenarios when probate may be required. In this article, we will consider one circumstance when a trust may be involved in probate. How a Trust Works When you create a trust, you create an entity that is separate from yourself. Individuals are subject to probate, but entities are not. For your assets [...]

108, 2022

Avoiding Guardianship

By |August 1st, 2022|Legal Documents|

Avoiding Guardianship Avoiding guardianship is what most people hope to achieve in their lifetimes. A guardianship is someone who has been court appointed to care for the financial and health care interests of another person. Many people find themselves needing to file for guardianship to help care for an aging parent. Why does this happen and how can you avoid it? Read on to find out. The Mistake The key mistake that most people make [...]

2001, 2022

Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes-Part 4

By |January 20th, 2022|Legal Documents|

Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes Celebrity estate planning mistakes are entertaining, but they can also teach us valuable lessons. In the fourth installment of our celebrity estate planning mistakes series, we will examine the estates of Howard Hughes, Doris Duke, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, and Michael Crichton. Howard Hughes Died: April 5, 1976 Estimated Worth: $11 Billion Howard Hughes passed without valid estate planning documents. He had verbally expressed that he wished to give his [...]

1510, 2021

Miller Trust

By |October 15th, 2021|Legal Documents|

Miller Trust A Miller Trust, or an Income Only Trust, is a type of Irrevocable Trust. You can use this trust to help you qualify for Medicaid. In this article, we will go over the basics of how a Miller Trust works in the State of Arizona. Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) ALTCS is the Medicaid system in Arizona that provides in-home or long-term care for individuals who meet certain financial requirements. This [...]

1808, 2021

Spousal Lifetime Asset Trust

By |August 18th, 2021|Legal Documents|

Spousal Lifetime Asset Trust A spousal lifetime asset trust, or SLAT, is a type of irrevocable trust that is set up to reduce estate taxes. In this article, we will go over how a spousal lifetime asset trust works, the benefits one provides, and information you should consider before you create one. Purpose A spousal lifetime asset trust serves a very specific purpose. It allows married couples to take advantage of the currently high [...]

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