Estate Planning

The Hall Law Group has the expertise to assist you with your wills and trusts.

Estate Planning Attorney Scottsdale Arizona  

The Hall Law Group has drafted over 6000 living wills and trusts over the past 10 years. We have the expertise to assist you with any of your estate planning needs. We also draft wills for those who have smaller estates. For the most part, we use the last will and testament (Pour-over will) and a living trust as the foundation of your estate plan. Once your trust and wills are drafted correctly, it is easy to keep control of your finances today, let a trusted person step in if you become incapacitated, and ensure there are fewer problems for your heirs when you die.

We use wills and revocable living trusts as compelling documents and tools to help you reach your wealth transfer goals. As trustees, you remain in control of all your finances for the duration of your life. You can amend and make changes to all of your documents as often as necessary.

In the unfortunate possibility that you cannot manage your affairs, the trust allows a person you have appointed to take over as trustee of your trust.

After your passing, your family and loved ones will have an easier time managing your affairs and passing assets in the trust to your beneficiaries. If the estate plan is organized correctly and your trust is funded properly, your heirs will transfer your assets to beneficiaries without the assistance of the courts.

Wills and Trusts

Planning Ahead

I have clients remind me regularly that “You can’t take it with you when you go.” My clients will also state that “I don’t care because I’ll be dead.” While these familiar statements may be factual, you can plan and do your best to control your assets from beyond the grave. If you do not plan, there may be roadblocks in the management of your estate, and your assets may not be transferred to the beneficiaries of your choosing. Those roadblocks may substantially decrease the benefits your heirs would otherwise enjoy. If your wills and trusts are drawn up correctly, it is easy to keep control of your finances.

Estate Tax

The current Federal Tax Exemption is 11.5 million dollars per person. If your estate is larger than 11.5 million, advanced estate planning procedures must be followed. Personal property passing from one spouse to the other is usually not an issue. The available marital deduction provided to spouses by the United States Estate and Gift Tax Law allows wealth to transfer to a surviving spouse without suffering gift or estate tax liabilities. The wealth transfer process becomes much more involved, however, when your wealth is passed to grandchildren. If your assets are appropriately titled, this procedure should be seamless. 

Common Mistakes

Over the years, I have seen clients make significant mistakes on the titling of their assets and naming proper beneficiary designations that may upset even the easiest normal distributions.

During our first consultation, we will explore the transfer of assets to a subsequent generation, children, grandchildren, etc. We will also discuss the differences between a Testament, a Living Trust, and a Testamentary Trust.

Importance of a Will

A Will is an official document stating how you want your affairs handled and assets distributed after you die. This document is enforceable by the Personal Representative named in your Will. A Will is also an essential element of an estate plan.

If you have minor-aged children living in your home, you can name a guardian for your children should you pass away before their turning 18 years old. If you don’t name a Guardian in your Will, your surviving family may ask the court to appoint a guardian for your children at the time of your death. During the court proceeding, the person appointed by the court may not be the person you would want to handle your children’s welfare.

Seek legal counsel before executing a Will. A will can be useful in the transfer of your estate, but there may also be drawbacks. For instance, if your estate needs probate, your estate becomes part of the public record.

Revocable Family Living Trusts

A Trust is a fiduciary relationship between the Trustor and the Successor Trustee.

A trust is also a technique of transferring your assets at your death. We establish trusts for a variety of reasons, and there are many types of trusts. You can also select a revocable family living trust for the primary purpose of avoiding the probate court.

Like a will, a trust will require the successor trustee to transfer property after death to the beneficiaries of your choosing. These trusts are referred to as living trusts because they exist while the property owner, or Trustor, is alive. It is revocable, and you can amend the trust at any time before your passing. If you have your assets in a trust, you maintain ownership of the trust’s property while you are living. The trust becomes active at the Trustor’s death. Unlike having a will, a living trust will pass your property to your beneficiaries outside of the probate court. A compelling reason to have a trust is that there should be no court or attorney fees after the trust is drafted, allowing your property to pass immediately and directly to your named beneficiaries.

A second reason to consider a trust is the fact that they are reasonably inexpensive. Your trust will appoint a person called a successor to control your assets’ distribution according to your wishes. This is also an effective way to control the passing of your estate beyond the grave.

Contact the Hall Law Group

We can assist you with any of your estate planning needs. Please contact our office at 480-478-0040 to schedule a free initial consultation.