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Living Trust and Wills

Living Trust and Wills

What is a Living Trust?
A Living Trust is an estate planning document which contains your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets upon your death.
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Revocable Trust Rate:
$775
Last Will & Testament Rates:
$125 Last Will and Testament
$350 Will Package includes:
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Will
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
Our Living Trust is a complete package!

We will prepare for you and your spouse (if you are married) the following:

  • A Revocable Living Trust
  • A “Pour Over” Will
  • Living Will
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Schedule “A”
  • Personal Property List
  • Procedure at Death Instructions
  • Affidavit of Trust Existence *recording fees additional charge
  • Quit Claim Deeds for Real Estate *recording fees additional charge
  • Assignment of Personal Property

Note: We are Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparers.  Although we have extensive knowledge in the area of living trusts, we are unable to interpret the legal language found in each paragraph of our trust for you as we are not attorneys and cannot provide this type of legal advice.  If this is something that you require, then you may have your living trust interpreted for you by an Estate Planning Attorney in your area.
Read Sue C.‘s review of AZ Statewide Paralegal on Yelp

Avoid Probate

If you have not seen it already look at our Probate page to see the process your heirs/beneficiaries could avoid if you have a Trust.

Click here to see the Probate Process
Why does a Trust avoid Probate?

Unlike a Last Will and Testament, which requires the supervision of the Court during the process of distribution (aka Probate), the law does not require the Court to intervene when a valid Trust is in effect. So why would you force your heirs/beneficiaries to endure the Probate process?

Do I give up any control over my assets if I have a Trust?

No, not with the Trust we will provide. We will draft a Revocable Living Trust and you will maintain complete control over all of your assets. When you die, that control is passed on to someone that you appoint to be the Successor Trustee. During your lifetime you will be able to do anything with your assets you could do if they were not in the Trust.

Do I have to file a separate tax return for the Trust?

No, you will file your taxes as you always have. There is no separate Tax ID number for your Trust. Your taxes will be filed using your own social security number just like you’ve done before.

Does a Revocable Trust offer me any asset protection during my lifetime?

No, since you have complete control over your assets they are subject to attachment as if you held them in your name. If you want a Trust that offers you asset protection during your life then you need some type of irrevocable Trust, and an attorney to draft it for you.

Our Trusts do offer your heirs/beneficiaries some asset protection. There is a “Spendthrift” provision in our Trust. That means if one of your heirs/beneficiaries has a judgment placed against them prior to your death then, at the time of your death, rather than taking possession of the assets to be inherited the beneficiary can request that the Successor Trustee keep the assets in the Trust. In this scenario the judgment creditor of the beneficiary cannot attach the assets in the Trust.�It’s a great feature in our Trust!!

If I am married, how many Trusts do I need?

One, you and your spouse will both be Trustors (creators of the Trust) and Trustees. Upon the death of the first spouse the other spouse maintains all authority and control over the assets in the Trust.

What happens when I die? Does my spouse have to do anything to ensure he/she has access to all of our assets?

No, since the assets are held in the name of the Trust there is no need to change anything. All documents of ownership like deeds, bank accounts etc. in the name of the Trust are then within the control of the surviving spouse.

What information do I need to gather to have a Trust drafted?
  • CHILDREN: Your Children’s first and last names, their dates of birth, and the city and state in which they live
  • SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE: Name, Date of Birth, City and State where they reside
  • ALTERNATE SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE: Name, Date of Birth, City and State where they reside
  • DISTRIBUTION: Have an idea of how you want your assets distributed and to whom
  • ASSETS: A copy of the deeds to any real property, names of financial institutions and account numbers, year and make of vehicles worth more than $75,000
  • LIVING WILL AND HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY: Our Trust package comes with these documents. Decide whether you will consent to an autopsy or want to make an organ donation
What is a “Pour-Over” Will?

A “Pour Over” Will is a Last Will and Testament that names the Trust as beneficiary to your Will. When you and your spouse (if you are married) die, then anything that you have acquired during your lifetime that you have forgotten to put into your Trust will be “poured over” or placed into the Trust.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a document that lets your family and friends know your wishes if you become seriously ill or incapacitated and are not able to make decisions for yourself in regard to your health care. This is the document that states whether or not you want to be kept alive by artificial means.

Start your Living Will Online
What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?

A Health Care Power of Attorney gives an Agent, that you name, the authority to act on your behalf and to carry out your wishes if you become seriously ill and incapacitated.� This document states whether or not you consent to an autopsy or whether you want to be an organ donor.

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What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney gives an Agent, that you name, the authority to conduct any financial transactions on your behalf if you become seriously ill or incapacitated.

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Do I need to change the Deed to my house?

Yes, we will prepare the Quit Claim Deed that transfers your house to the Trust. We will also record it with the appropriate Recorder’s Office.

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Last Will and Testament

A Last Will and Testament is similar to a Trust documents in only a few ways. Just like a Trustee is named in a Trust , the Testator in a Last Will and Testament nominates a Personal Representative to carry out the Testators wishes for distribution upon his/her death. The Personal Representative pays creditors of the Estate and files a final tax return. Just like a Trust describes the Grantors wishes for distribution of his/her estate, the Testator in a Last Will and Testament describes his/her wishes for distribution of his/her estate.

So what is the difference? A Last Will and Testament gets filed with the Probate court when the Testator dies and the Probate process is started to appoint the Personal Representative that the Testator nominated in his/her Will.

The Trustee in a Trust assumes their role as Successor Trustee effective upon the death of the Grantor with no Court appointment.

So why would someone choose a Last Will and Testament over a Revocable Trust? Answer: personal choice. Many of my clients are indifferent about going through Probate and choose to prepare a Last Will and Testament.

Without a Last Will and Testament however, the Court will appoint any person who qualifies by statute to be appointed as Personal Representative if a Last Will and Testament was not prepared and a probate proceeding is required.

A Last Will and Testament at minimum will give the Testator a little bit more control over who should be appointed to handle the distribution of his/her estate.

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All of this is really simple if you’ve done it as many times as we have.