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Wills & Trusts Attorneys in Sun City

Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney can help clients with Wills and Trust.

Like many people in Sun City, you may see creating your Last Will and Testament, establishing a Revocable Living Trust, and/or creating advanced directives (such as a Durable General Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney or a Living Will Declaration) as matters which you can put off for another day. This is a mistake. It is really never too early to protect yourself and your family, and prepare for the future.

Through your estate plan, you can avoid costly and unnecessary guardianship or conservatorship by making certain that your finances and health care are handled by a person of your choosing if you become incapacitated. You don’t want to put your loved ones in a position where they either have to guess about your choices regarding your health care or go through a lengthy and costly court action in order to have authority to make those decisions.

Through your estate plan, you can also make certain that your post-death wishes are carried out and your assets are distributed in the manner of your choosing. If you do not have an estate plan, the laws of the State of Arizona determine how your assets are distributed amongst various family members: you may have different ideas for the distribution of your assets, which may include distributions to more remote family members, friends or charities, or the exclusion of certain people. Without an estate plan, you cannot make certain that your wishes will be followed.

At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, our Sun City estate planning attorneys know how important it is to plan for your future. We want to help you to create a comprehensive estate plan that achieves all of your objectives. To learn more about your legal options and how we can assist you, contact us for a consultation: all initial consultations are free of charge.

What Is a Will?

If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to Arizona’s intestacy laws. These laws determine which surviving family members, or “heirs,” will receive the assets which you leave behind. Unfortunately, these laws may not mirror your wishes. This is why it is important to create a Last Will and Testament.

Seniors writing their last will.A will is a written document that directs how your estate’s assets will be distributed after your death. Through your Will, you can choose the individual responsible to enforce your decisions (a Personal Representative), and determine the precise manner in which your assets are distributed, and to whom. For instance, through your Will, you can leave your home, car, or boat to one person, and other valuable items, such as art or jewelry, to another person.If you have minor children or grandchildren, you can make a bequest for that child in a trust, and nominate someone to serve as their guardian, or name a trustee to manage their assets you bequest to a minor. You may even use a Will to leave assets to a charity that is important to you. You can revoke or amend your Will at any time before your death.

In most cases, any assets directed by a person’s Will must still go through the probate process before they pass to designated beneficiaries. Probate is the process of submitting a Will to court, getting a Personal Representative appointed, and meeting all of Arizona’s requirements for the distribution of an estate’s assets to the beneficiaries. Probate can, in some instances, be a costly and time-consuming process. For this reason, and because of certain tax advantages, some people choose to establish and fund a Revocable Living Trust. Unlike a Will, a properly and fully funded Revocable Living Trust is not subject to probate.

What is a Trust?

A Trust gives authority to a Trustee to hold and manage assets for your use during your life, and for ultimate distribution after your death. The most common types of trusts that our attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker PLLC, assist clients within Sun City are:

  • A revocable trustRevocable trusts – This type of trust allows you to maintain control of your assets, select a Trustee to assist you if you become incapacitated, and distribute assets at the time of your death. Because it is revocable, you can modify or even revoke the Trust at any time during your lifetime, so long as you still have testamentary capacity.
  • Irrevocable trust – This type of trust transfers assets out of your estate, into a Trust that is usually managed by another person (or professional) serving as Trustee. After the trust is executed, you cannot amend or revoke it without court authority and a compelling reason. In this sense, it is less flexible than a Revocable Living Trust. However, because the assets you place in this type of trust are no longer deemed to be either a part of your taxable estate or under your control, an Irrevocable Trust may provide tax savings or benefits. A Certified Public Accountant and/or Financial Advisor should be consulted to determine what potential tax benefits an Irrevocable Trust may provide. it is a useful took for Medicaid planning.
  • Special Needs Trust – This is a Trust with specialized provisions for persons who are disabled, or receiving government benefits. When assets are held in this type of Trust, the recipient is allowed to have the benefit of the usage of the funds, but his their government assistance and benefits are not placed at risk due to actual ownership of the assets.

People can select from many other types of trusts that will allow them to achieve different goals, from protecting specific loved ones to saving money on taxes. At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker PLLC, we will listen to you and develop a clear understanding of your estate planning goals. We can then help you to create a last will and testament and/or one or more trusts that are tailored to meet those goals.

What Other Estate Planning Documents Should You Consider?

  • Documents showing living will & healthcare power of attorney.Living will – Also known as a health care directive, a Living Will Declaration states what type of medical care you want to receive or decline if your condition prevents you from communicating those wishes. Specifically, the Living Will provides whether you want only comfort care if your condition becomes terminal, or you may want to receive “life-prolonging” care or heroic measures.
  • Powers of attorney – With a Durable General Power of Attorney, you give authority to someone else whom you trust to make important financial decisions on your behalf. The Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to choose someone to make your health care decisions and works in tandem with the wishes you set out in your Living Will Declaration regarding end-of-life care preferences.

Our Sun City Wills & Trusts Attorneys Are Here for You

Planning for the future is important. However, it is far from easy. You will benefit from working with an experienced estate planning lawyer at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker PLLC, who will listen to you, explain your options, and help you to develop and carry out the best strategy for you and your loved ones. Our firm understands that you have worked hard for your assets, and your loved ones are important to you, which is why we will strive to exceed your expectations in protecting them. To learn more, contact our Sun City office today for a consultation.

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