Passing on a family legacy is a sorrowful rite of passage that includes having a final wish respected.
Most commonly, people preparing their final will and testament do not know of the strategy and state regulations involved.
The result is property that becomes tied up in the courts, property liens and estate taxes entangle property from heirs, and leading to uncertainty for the future.
Knowing the differences in wills and trust law in Arizona for organizing estates to efficiently and clearly designate who is to take care of minor children after your death, and how property is to pass, are reasons why experienced and careful Arizona wills and estate lawyers are involved.
Below, you’ll find ways that Arizona wills and trust laws are created, and how they work at a basic level to help respect the final wishes of a departing family member, and ensure heirs receive the fullest amount they are entitled to.
I. Overview of Arizona Wills and Trusts Law And Duties Of Trustees In Phoenix, Tucson, And Flagstaff
According to Jackson White’s blog on revocable and irrevocable trusts, trusts are very important in an estate plan to ensure property is managed effectively for the benefit of heirs.
The main duties of a trustee, or one who holds in the strictest degree of confidence the trust’s assets are to do the following:
- Appraisal – Get an appraisal and make an inventory of trust assets for asset protection.
- Taxes – Follow all rules regarding trust state and federal taxation laws.
- Notice to Beneficiaries – Duty to send out communication of the trust document to all beneficiaries.
- Fulfill Duties – Carry out trust document’s purposes.
- Powers – Manage prudently the trust’s assets.
Most important, Arizona law gives trustees fiduciary duties, or duties considered created out of confidence and trust similar to that degree of trust between professionals, husbands and wives.
The problem in trust litigation is for assertions by the beneficiaries of a trustee who is no longer abiding by his or her fiduciary duties in the management of the trust assets.
There is the option of removal for beneficiaries for a personal representative or trustee who no longer is following the trust’s purposes by their acts or omissions, or any of the following is true:
- It is in the best interest of the estate.
- The appointment was made based on a misrepresentation of facts.
- Negligence or lack of compliance with court orders by the personal trust representative.
- If the personal representative has disregarded the wishes of the decedent.
Common for Arizona wills and trust lawyers involving trust litigation is for failure of a trustee to administer a trust properly, whether private or a charitable trust. Arizona Revised Statute 14-11001.
A skilled, understanding and meticulous advocate in Flagstaff, Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona can petition the court for the following remedies:
- Court order – Forcing the trustee to perform his or her duties.
- Reimbursement – Seek reimbursement for the trustee’s misguided decision in wasting trust assets.
- Accounting – Forced accounting.
- Appointment – Appointing a new fiduciary, or person to take action the original trustee would not take.
- Penalty – Penalize the trustee by suspension or removal or docking his or her pay from the trust assets.
- Void – Void the trustee’s transaction, or impose a lien or constructive trust on the trust property, or put a restriction on the trustee’s ability to carry on transactions entered into and claim an interest in it.
- Justice Requires – Do whatever is necessary for justice to the plaintiffs harmed by the trustee’s negligence.
Related to trusts are wills, which direct the way property passes to the family members surviving the deceased parent.
There are several forms of wills. Each will requires validity or testamentary capacity, which involves:
- being at least 18 years old
- having testamentary intent, or the intent to give instructions for what will happen to his property upon death
- have testamentary capacity ( be of sound mind)
- not be unduly influenced; and
- sign the will or have someone else sign it at his direction
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S) § 14-2501.
Choosing a capable Arizona wills and trust law firm with many years of experience specializing in help narrow your particular issues and tailor solutions that save you money while providing peace of mind.
II. Getting Legal Advice And Estate Planning Tools From A Flagstaff, Maricopa, Or Phoenix, Arizona Special Needs Trust Law Firm For Peace of Mind
According to the Dana Law Group, PLLC, dedicated and well-informed Arizona wills and trusts and probate lawyers use modern technology to explain the types of trusts available to Maricopa, Phoenix and Flagstaff families:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Last Will and Testaments
- Durable Financial Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills, and
- Health Care Powers of Attorney
Revocable Living Trust – With offices across the state of Arizona, including Phoenix, Chandler and Mesa, Arizona, Stewart Law Group, helps families plan their final wishes for wishes that the grantor can change while still alive, typically including life insurance plans.
Last Will and Testaments – Four types of wills or final legal documents exist: Non self-proved, or witnessed wills; self-proved wills; holographic (or handwritten wills); or electronic wills.
Durable Financial Powers of Attorney – This gives the legal authority to another adult to act on major life decisions of the creator of such an arrangement.
Living Will – This is an advance directive for a hypothetical situation involving being comatose or in a vegetative state, which outlines the creator’s wishes relating to life support.
Health Care Powers of Attorney – Similar to a living will, such a document gives authority to another person when the grantor is no longer mentally capable of making medical decisions.
With the proper training in capacity and formality questions, Arizona wills and trust lawyers are highly skilled at making sure wills are foolproof, or able to challenge wills created by fraudulent means, or challenge complacent trustees failing to follow their duties under the trust.
III. Legal Advice: Value Of A Phoenix, Tucson Or Maricopa, Arizona Wills and Trusts Lawyer In Estate Planning Stages
Many Arizona wills and trusts lawyers, such as the Tucson-based Bouman Law Firm, and Gilbert, Arizona-based Cholewka Law, and Phoenix-headquartered Stewart Law Group, often are trained at the best law schools in Arizona, or other states and around the country, provide exemplary legal services to get you through your legal crisis.
Often times those may believe they are creating a will but fail to do so creating uncertainty for those family members surviving the creator of the will.
Avoid the traps and common pitfalls most people fall into in the probate process and estate planning after death by consulting with a premier, dedicated and top-tier Arizona wills and trusts advocate.
IV. Speaking To A Scottsdale Wills, Trusts and Conservatorship and Guardian Lawyer For Loved Ones’ Peace Of Mind
A reputable Arizona estate planning firm located in Tempe, Arizona Seiter Law, PLLC features top-tiered representation at competitive rates to make having a reliable structured estate administration within reach to any Arizona resident from humble origins and modest means.
Also, Brown and Hobkirk, PLLC is renown for its estate planning services targeting the weak areas in plans presented to them creating new and improved plans that protect against risk.
Selecting an honest and accomplished Arizona wills and trust lawyer gives you a strategic advantage over someone who tries to rely on “self-help,” leading to uncertain outcomes, costly real estate transfers through poor estate tax and estate planning, devaluation of estates and property and valuables in the hands of the wrong people.
V. Forming an Attorney-Client Relationship: Call a Flagstaff, Tucson, Or Phoenix, Arizona Estate Planning Lawyer Today for a Free Case Evaluation and Free Consultation
Once introduced, you and the Arizona wills and trusts law office will form a bond of trust and confidence known as the attorney-client relationship.
Unless where there is a disclaimer of not forming this formal relationship, you can look to your lawyer to be a zealous advocate offering estate planning tools for the management of your life, present and future.
With directories spanning Tucson, Mesa and Phoenix-based wills and trusts lawyers, Lawsuit.org, beyond State Bar of Arizona association, or University of Arizona School of Law state law library, or Arizona bar office, will help you pinpoint the right firm to reduce liability to the government, ensure assets pass to those intended, and prevent property from being given away to the government for attempts made to do the process by yourself.
Only by hiring a seasoned and worthy Arizona estate planning trust attorney, or wills and trusts lawyer will you adequately plan for the distribution of your estate after death and give you peace of mind that loved ones are provided for.