Douglas Wills & Trusts Attorneys
Sorting out affairs concerning your assets, estates, and properties in preparation for your death or incapacity can definitely make anyone feel uneasy and stressed out. Very few people really want to plan that far into their future and talk about wills, trusts, estate plans, etc. because it’s simply an uncomfortable thing to do. It’s also a necessary thing to do if you want to ensure that your family and loved ones are cared for even after you’ve gone.
Passing away without trusts or wills prepared means you die “intestate.” This means that the decision as to who inherits your probate estate and how it should be distributed among your heirs will then be dictated by intestacy laws found in Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. While this sounds like an easy and convenient way to do things, it actually means that your heirs may not receive any inheritance from you for a long time because the probate proceedings involved are many and mostly lengthy. You will also not have any control over which heirs will receive your property and which ones will not.
Your death or incapacity can be a painful, confusing, and complicated time for family and loved ones, and issues concerning property shares and distribution can bring even more stress and conflict. We at Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC want to help you avoid these unnecessary inconveniences because we know coping with loss is tough enough. Our strong team of Douglas probate attorneys are more than ready to help you prepare the necessary estate documents—wills, trusts, etc.—based on how you would want them. We also answer any questions or concerns you may have, provide you with honest professional advice, and give you our full support throughout the entire process.
Call Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC at (520) 214-6562 for a Free Consultation!
Wills or Trusts? Which is Best?
Having been a trusted probate law firm here in Douglas, Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC knows that every single client’s needs are unique and that there is no cookie-cutter solution when it comes to wills and trusts. We know how important it is for you to be aware of your options and to carefully choose the one that best benefits you, your family, and your loved ones. Our dedicated and experienced probate attorneys can help you determine which type is best for you.
A will is a written document that contains your specific instructions as to how you want your estate and property handled and distributed after your death—this includes all property in your name at the time of your death. In the will, you can specify who you would want to appoint as executor of your property; he or she will then be given the responsibility to distribute your assets according to your specific set of instructions. Your will is to go through probate and the process is to be overseen by the court. Your will goes into effect only after you die.
A trust, on the other hand, is when you (the trustor) transfer legal ownership of your property to an individual or an institution (the trustee) who is then given the responsibility to manage the property for the benefit and solely in the best interest of your family or loved ones (the beneficiary). An example of this would be setting up a trust to handle or manage your minor child’s educational expenses.
A trust allows you state the specific conditions for the distribution of the property or benefits, such as arranging for it to be distributed over a specific period of time and not all at once. Unlike a will, a trust will not be subject to probate so its process is not overseen by the court. A trust also does not have to wait for your death in order for it to become effective. It immediately goes into effect as soon as it is written and signed, and can also take effect if you become incapacitated.
Understanding the Difference
While both trusts and wills are designed to protect your estate, your heirs, and your wishes or instructions regarding property distribution, they are not interchangeable. They are also not mutually exclusive, you can have both of them in your estate plan.
They have distinct purposes and are most beneficial in different circumstances. If you’re not sure exactly which one is the most suitable estate planning tool for you, seeking the expert advice and honest professional opinion of an esteemed wills and trusts attorney here at Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC is your best next move.
We at Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC aim to give you peace of mind and assurance that:
- Your loved ones are provided for and looked after
- Your assets are allocated in the exact way you want them to be, and
- Your heirs avoid the possibility of going into unnecessary delays, conflicts, and expenses in the process of dividing your estate
Our Douglas, AZ will lawyers and trust attorneys provide the best legal service possible when it comes to setting up, designing, and preparing wills, trusts, living wills, durable power of attorneys, etc.
Expert Will Preparation Support
Although the topic of wills and trusts may sound very lawyerly, they actually require little to no involvement of the court during the process of setting up. Here in the state of Arizona, it is possible to carry out a do-it-yourself will or trust. It is, however, vitally important to note that in order for your document to be valid and legally binding, it needs to meet the standards set by the state in Title 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
For wills, the requirements include the following:
- The testator must be 18 or older
- The testator must have testamentary intent
- The testator must possess testamentary capacity
- The testator must not be unduly influenced
- The testator must sign and date the will, or assign someone to do it for him
- The will must be signed by two witnesses
For trusts, the requirements include the following:
- The settlor (someone who creates or contributes property to a trust) has the capacity to create a trust
- The settlor indicates an intention to create the trust
- The trust has a defined beneficiary or is:
- A charitable trust with specific goals
- A trust for the purpose of caring for an animal or pet
- A trust for a noncharitable purpose
- The trustee has specific duties to perform.
- The same person can not be the sole trustee and sole beneficiary.
Drafting a trust or a will by yourself is possible, but these are still quite complex legal documents and DIY-ing your way through the process can bring along with it possible complications and confusion. When done ineffectively or inefficiently, it could cost you precious time and money.
When it comes to dealing with the future of your family, loved ones, assets, and property, it’s best to leave these matters to established elder law professionals who have a strong grasp of Arizona probate law. Don’t risk unnecessary delays, expenses, rejections, and headaches, let our attorneys at Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC take care of things for you.
Let’s Talk Now- Free Consultation
As morbid and uncomfortable it can be to talk about what we should do with our assets in the event of incapacity or death, it’s a conversation we need the courage to have at least once in our lives. Why? Because it doesn’t just involve us, it involves the welfare of family and loved ones, the future of a family business, the future of the assets you worked so hard to acquire, and the legacy you leave behind.
As a trusted probate law firm here in Douglas, Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC knows that estate planning isn’t simple. It involves knowing what you have, what you need, what you want to do, and how you want to do it. It involves an experienced lawyer having a discussion with you, learning about you, and coming up with an estate plan that best meets your needs and expectations. Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC can kick it off with a free initial consultation with one of our most trusted wills and trusts attorneys.
Call Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC today at (520) 214-6562 your Free Consultation!