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Moore Law Firm

9949 W. Bell Road
Suite 201
Sun City, AZ 85351
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Sun City Estate Planning Blog

Can I make changes to my trust?

Arizona residents who have started the estate planning process may be concerned that they will not be able to make changes to their trusts once they are finalized. Fortunately, most trusts are both revocable and amendable, so you may be able to make multiple changes to your trust over time, or cancel it altogether. However, trusts are legal instruments, so the terms of the trust will dictate what you can do with it.

If you and your spouse choose to enter into a joint revocable trust, the terms will likely be somewhat broad. Broad terms will allow you to amend the trust over time, even after your spouse passes away. You may not be able to change the residuary beneficiaries, or, in other words, the people who gets the money. However, if you just take all the assets out of the trust and create a new one, you will not need to change the beneficiaries.

Avoid these estate planning pitfalls

As you start thinking about the future, you may start to plan the distribution of your property to your beneficiaries when you pass away. However, many people make the mistake of ignoring seemingly small or insignificant pieces of personal property. If you want your family to divide up your assets peacefully, you need to avoid these mistakes as you draft your will and other estate planning documents.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to consider the sentimental value of your personal property. Old photographs, trinkets and other personal property with little monetary value may be very valuable on a sentimental level. Talk to your family as you draft your will to determine what sentimental items they would like to have and then make your decision about who gets what. Make sure to put any bequests in writing. You may have unintentionally promised certain items to multiple family members, which will cause conflict in the future. The best way to avoid this is to put your final decision in writing.

Hugh Heffner's estate - who gets what?

People of all levels of wealth need to create a plan to distribute their assets upon their death. Hugh Heffner, the founder of Playboy Magazine who recently passed away, used estate planning to ensure his loved ones were taken care of when he passed away. At 91-years-old, Heffner had an estate valued over $40 million as well as $100 million from the sale of his home earlier this year. In the 1970s, the estate was worth over $200 million (equaling over $1 billion today).

Heffner left his estate to various parties including his four children, the USC Film School and multiple charities. However, Heffner's widow, Crystal Harris, is not receiving anything from the estate due to a prenuptial agreement signed in 2012, but will apparently be taken care of. While it is unclear what this means at this time, it is likely that the prenup stated that Harris would receive income from a trust or annuity.

What are the types of trusts available to me?

On our website, we often discuss the importance of planning for your family's financial future and how trusts can be extremely useful, even if you don't have a lot of assets. Once you have decided to begin the estate planning process, it is important that you talk to your attorney about the variety of trusts available and decide which type would be best for you.

One of the most popular trust options in Arizona is a revocable trust or living trust. Generally, revocable trusts are the best option for people who want to create the trust during their lifetimes and continue to make changes to the trust until they pass away. If you choose to create a revocable trust, you may assign a trustee to manage your estate if you are physically or mentally unable to handle your affairs. The trust can serve as a guidebook to distributing your assets when you pass away, and save your family from having to deal with the long, and oftentimes expensive, probate process.

How To Choose A Financial Power Of Attorney

One of the pillars of a solid estate plan is having a financial power of attorney in place. A designated financial power of attorney empowers someone to make financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated or unable to make such decisions on your own. Incapacitation can happen for many reasons, whether because of an accident, a stroke, Alzheimer's or another event. If you or your spouse becomes unable to make financial decisions for any reason, this doesn't mean that all financial activity stops. It keeps going, and that's why a financial power of attorney is necessary.

Evaluating your options

Arizona residents may have misconceptions about trusts

Forming a trust can be a great way to help manage assets and make sure they are legally distributed to the right parties when one passes away. However, residents may be weary of using a trust due to a few common misconceptions. A financial planning expert debunked five major misconceptions regarding trusts.

One misconception is that people with smaller estates do not need to bother creating a trust. The truth is that trusts can be beneficial no matter how small the estate. A trust can ensure that assets are properly managed and protected from irresponsible parties.

How can I make sure my will is valid?

Before one passes away, they need to make sure their family is taken care of financially when they are gone. To do this, they should consider drafting a will to legally distribute their assets to their loved ones in a legal way. But, creating a will is not as simple as writing down who gets what. They must follow the rules in the state to make sure the will is valid.

Generally, to create a will, one must have legal and testamentary capacity. This means they have to be 18 or older, legally married or in the U.S. military. They must also have mentally capable of understanding the purpose of a will.

Estate planning advice for Arizona residents

Both men and women may find it uncomfortable to prepare for death, but it is necessary to ensure that your assets end up in the right hands. Women have a unique set of challenges when it comes to creating wills and dealing with other parts of estate planning. Statistics show that on average, women live 4.9 years longer than men. In addition to longer life expectancies, many women take time off work to raise a family and therefore have shorter work histories. As a result, they may have less saved up for retirement. In many cases, a woman will outlive their spouse and will need a solid estate plan in place to help her protect her estate when she passes.

Whether you are a man or woman, it is important to prioritize your estate planning and make sure you have a plan in place for when you pass away. Being aware of your financial assets and being involved in the management of your financial assets is extremely important to make sure your property is properly distributed when the time comes.

Who will get my house when I pass away?

Older adults have a lot on their minds, from preparing for retirement to getting their affairs in order. Determining who will get the house when they pass away is a major concern for many retiring adults. Generally, there are two possible estate planning options: sell the house and leave the proceeds to your heirs, or deed the house to one of the children before you pass away.

Moving to a new place is not an option for many people, so it is likely best to leave your house and other assets to your loved ones in a will or trust, depending on your particular situation. Simple wills are often best for families that get along and can agree on what to do with family assets. The executor of the will should live in the state where the house is located to make the process easier.

Revocable trust can help you distribute your estate to loved ones

Many people put off deciding who to leave their estate to when they pass away. Unfortunately, many people die unexpectedly in Arizona without a plan and their assets go to unintended beneficiaries or the probate process delays the distribution of the property significantly. A revocable living trust can help you make sure your loved ones get the things you valued so highly as quickly as possible.

A revocable living trust requires you to transfer your assets into the trust's name and assign a trustee to manage the trust. You can act as your own trustee, but it is best to assign someone else as an alternate trustee in case you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle these matters. Because it is a revocable trust, you have the power to make changes to the trust or cancel it as you see fit.

Client Testimonials

I got the family trust updated.
I was very pleased with the expertise and professionalism exhibited by your staff in serving my needs.

I needed to review my Will, recommended by my son.
Mr. Farrer’s expertise helped me realize that a Trust would better serve my needs.
The staff and Mr. Farrer were very professional and friendly (not cold). Thank you. Very comfortable atmosphere.

Our legal documents were outdated due to time and circumstances.
The staff at Moore Law Firm worked with us to develop a trust and other legal documents which meet our current as well as our future needs.
The staff at moore law firm were so professional, knowledgable and friendly to work with. They worked beyond to accomodate our needs. Thank you all.

Moore Law Firm
9949 W. Bell Road
Suite 201
Sun City, AZ 85351

Phone: 623-207-9153
Phone: 623-207-9153
Fax: 623-977-7237
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