Moore Law Firm

Moore Law Firm

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

What does a trustee do?

When you create a trust in Sun City, you are essentially putting some of your most valuable assets in an account for future distribution. That is why it is so important to make sure that the trustee you assign to manage your trust is reliable and able to effectively manage your property on a daily basis.

Before you decide who will oversee your trust, you should note that there are multiple types of trustees. First, if you have a revocable living trust, you may serve as your own trustee, as the grantor or creator of the trust. If you become mentally incompetent, pass away or otherwise become unable to handle your affairs, the successor trustee will take over all management responsibilities. If you decide to form an irrevocable trust, you may not name yourself as a trustee. You will have to assign an individual, bank or trust company to manage your account. You may even decide to assign more than one person or entity to serve as trustee.

Should you create a pet trust?

As people start the estate planning process, they often forget to consider their pets. While a friend or family member may have offered to care for your pet should anything happen to you, they may be underestimating the time and money required to take care of the pet. As a result, many Arizona animals end up without a home once their owners pass away. A trust may be the best way to protect and provide for your pet long-term.

Although this may change in the coming years, for now, pets are generally considered personal property. This means that you can leave your pet to someone in a will, just like you can leave other pieces of property. However, this does not allow you to specify how the pet should be taken care of. A pet trust, on the other hand, gives you control over your pet's future care.

Can you simplify finances to make things easier for relatives?

As we begin to get older, particularly as we enter our 50s, it becomes even more important to organize our finances and prepare for the future. Drafting a will, creating a trust and drafting other parts of an estate plan require us to make sure our finances are in order. By becoming more organized we can save ourselves and our beneficiaries from a stressful situation.

The fewer financial accounts we have, the easier it is to monitor and manage our transactions and investments. You may consider combining bank accounts, transferring your previous 401ks and IRA accounts into your current employer's plan or consolidating them into one IRA. Choosing someone to professionally manage your mutual funds or exchange-traded funds may be much easier than having individual stocks and bonds. Another way to simplify your finances would be to set up automatic payments. Having your bills charged to a credit card, and auto-paying the bill each month, may help you avoid late fees and damage to your credit score. However, you never want to have too many credit cards. Experts suggest you have one for daily purchases and one for your automatic bill payments. Closing a credit card account can negatively affect your credit score, so make sure to close them slowly over time to minimize the impact.

Why estate planning is essential for Sun City residents

People know Sun City for its wonderful climate, which makes it an ideal place for retirement. Although retirement can be a time filled with relaxation and enjoyment, there are also some important responsibilities to consider.

Thinking about what will happen to your assets after you pass away is crucial. If you fail to plan for your wealth distribution after death, your hard-earned assets may end up in probate, where the courts make decisions about what to do with them.

Important information you need to know about wills

As you begin the estate planning process in Arizona, it is important for you to be aware of how wills work, as they can have a major impact on your and your family's future.

Most people are aware that wills are used to distribute your assets to certain people after you pass away. However, many do not know that they may also need a living will, which serves a different purpose altogether. A living will refers to an advance medical directive that instructs health care professionals how to proceed if you are ever terminally ill. As you approach the end of your life, your living will can specify when to withhold medical care. The main difference between a living will and a regular will is that a living will goes into effect when you are still alive, whereas a will goes into effect only after you pass away.

How does probate work in Arizona?

When a person passes away, their belongings will need to be managed and distributed to their beneficiaries. In some cases, the court will need to appoint a personal representative of the deceased person's estate. This person will be responsible for distributing all property belonging to the estate and paying off all debts incurred. This process is referred to as probate, and can occur even if the decedent died with a will in place.

Trust and probate administration can be complicated, but Arizona law does its best to make things easier for grieving families. In Arizona, there are three forms of probate: informal, formal and supervised. Informal probate often does not require much court supervision. The decedent's spouse, adult children, siblings, parents and other select individuals may file for an informal probate proceeding. An Arizona Superior Court proceeding will take place, with a judge or clerk of the court present to handle the process. If the decedent's estate is valued at less than $100,000 in real estate or less than $75,000 in personal property, Arizona law may allow you to skip probate and instead undergo another informal process known as small estate administration. This process is often much simpler than probate.

Estate planning makes a perfect New Year’s resolution

Before you know it, you’ll be counting down to midnight to usher in the fresh start of a new year. While reflecting on the events of 2017, almost everyone seems to have one question on their mind: “What should I choose as my New Year’s resolution?”

Although “lose weight” and “travel more” can be good answers in their own right, we suggest taking a closer look at your will or trust. This past year may have brought changes that might affect your estate plan, such as marriage, divorce, a new baby, tragic loss, relationship issues or new property.

How to prepare for the end of a trust

As many Arizona residents start to think about estate planning, they start considering trusts as a way to distribute their property upon their death. Trusts can offer your family security and stability during an otherwise difficult time in their lives. Trusts can help lower the amount of estate taxes owed and help your family avoid probate.

Before you create a trust, you should understand that it will eventually come to an end. For many people, a trust ends when the property within it is exhausted. For example, upon your death, the trust may end as the assets in your trust go to your beneficiaries.

How can I get started with estate planning?

We often hear how important it is for us to start preparing for the future, particularly when it comes to our assets. Without a thorough estate plan in place, your children or other relatives may end up in a bitter dispute over the family home or other valuable property. However, according to a survey by WealthCounsel, a majority of Americans feel that estate planning is confusing and they do not have a will or trust in place.

Experts suggest that one of the best ways to distribute your wealth is to create a trust. You can adjust the terms of the trust to fit the needs of your family. For example, you can list your children as your beneficiaries and make sure that they do not receive your assets until they turn 25. You can also prevent your kids from wasting the money you leave them by specifying how the money should be used, such as putting it towards college. By establishing a trust, you can help your family avoid probate court and save then time and money.

Common concerns for succession planning with business owners

Succession planning is a critical step for anyone who owns a business. People need to start thinking about this concept early on in life, similar to every other aspect of estate planning

The succession planning process requires the current owner to identify key objectives, create a thorough decision-making process and develop a transition plan to begin while the owner still oversees operations. Many family businesses end up failing during the second generation due to an inadequate plan. For a business owner to preserve his or her legacy, the line of succession requires establishment early on. However, entrepreneurs naturally have concerns about the process. Speaking with an estate planning attorney can help alleviate those fears, and owners can avoid the most common pitfalls with proper foresight. 

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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