What is a Trust?
A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person or company manages property for the benefit of another. A trust may be set up within a will to take effect only after death, or it can be effective during a person’s lifetime. Perhaps the most common trust is the "Living Trust," which has become very popular.
The decision to create a trust, and the type of trust to be utilized, should be made in consultation with your attorney and accountant. There are two steps: Preparation of the paperwork establishing and executing the trust, related wills and powers of attorney, and funding of the trust. Funding is done by the transfer of assets into the trust.
Both steps are necessary in order to obtain all of the benefits your trust is designed to provide. As new assets are acquired, they should be acquired in the name of the trust. A trust can be complex—it’s not for everyone—but it can provide a flexible and valuable estate planning tool.
The Advantages of a Trust
- Use of a trust can avoid the cost and delay of probate
- Trust administration can be a private proceeding, as opposed to the public nature of a probate
- A trust provides continuity of estate asset management
- Estate taxes can be avoided or limited
- A trust can allow for flexibility in the use of your property during your lifetime as well as control of the use of your property after your death
- A trust can manage the payment of income and principal for your benefit in the event of a mental or physical incapacity, thereby avoiding the need for a court-supervised guardian or conservator (especially when used in conjunction with a durable power of attorney)
- A trust can provide assured support for a disabled, disadvantaged, or impaired child, spouse, or parent
- A trust can sometimes provide income tax savings during your lifetime
- A trust provides a measure of protection for family assets from creditors and/or lawsuits.
- A trust can provide for a married child or grandchild without exposing family assets to the claims, misappropriation, or mismanagement of the child/grandchild’s spouse.
Phoenix Trust Lawyer
The Arizona estate planning attorneys at Platt & Westby charge reasonable fixed fees to draft trust and related documents. Assistance in funding the trust, including preparation of deeds and other instruments needed for this purpose is provided at our regular hourly rates on an "as needed" basis. Many of our clients choose to perform the funding of their trusts themselves.
Contact our office or call 623-239-4422 to speak with an experienced Phoenix trust attorney at Platt & Westby.