Why Our Clients Create Trusts
At Keystone Law, we usually don’t have to wonder why our clients create trusts – we know. Trusts have become a popular estate planning tool for many people for good reason. But deciding to use a trust is not like choosing the trendiest watch or most fashionable pair of shoes. Creating a trust can have lasting effects on your life and the future for your loved ones. So careful thought and expert advice are needed.
Generally, a trust involves a trustor or trust maker, a trustee, and one or more beneficiaries. Depending on the client’s individual needs, an estate planning attorney might advise a client to use trusts to:
Continue Receiving Benefits from Trust Assets. Depending on the terms of the trust, the trustor may continue to control and receive income from the trust assets.
Avoid Probate. Trust assets usually are distributed to beneficiaries without the need for a probate proceeding.
Quickly Transfer Property to Beneficiaries. Transferring assets of any kind to named beneficiaries is generally faster and less expensive than other methods.
Protect Trust Assets from Creditors. Trusts are often used to safeguard property from creditor claims. This can be complicated, so always speak with an estate planning attorney before trying to set up an asset protection trust.
Avoid a Conservatorship. Usually, a successor trustee is named in the trust document. The successor can take over if the trustee becomes incapacitated. Without a trust or other safeguard in place, it might be necessary to ask a judge to appoint a conservator who, among other things, would manage the trust assets.
Reduce Taxes. Using a trust, especially in a larger estate, may help lower the amount of estate taxes owned by the estate.
Care for the Future Needs of a Loved One. Some clients have children or other loved ones with conditions requiring special treatment, possibly for life. A special needs trust allows money to be set aside to provide money for personal needs, medical treatment, housing, and more.
Signing the trust document is not the final step to setting up a trust – you need to fund the trust itself. When you discuss trusts with your estate planning attorney, please make sure you know how and when to move assets to the trust.
We can help.
You can rely on the attorneys at Keystone Law to help you set up your trust. Find out more about your estate planning options by watching some of the free videos on our website, keystonelawfirm.com. To set up an appointment with a qualified Arizona estate planning attorney, give us a call at (480) 209-6942. We provide estate planning advice for clients throughout Arizona, including Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Mesa, and Tempe.