Estate Planning Misunderstandings #1

Estate Planning Misunderstanding #1 Estate planning is only for the old. (This is the first in a series of estate planning misunderstandings.) The fact is, if you are an adult, you already have an estate plan. We all do. It was drafted on our behalf by the legislatures of the state… Read More

Estate Planning Can Be Intimidating

We avoid what we don’t know. For many financial, insurance and accounting professionals, they feel they ought to know estate planning better than they think they do. They also feel they should be assisting their clients in getting their estate’s in order but due to the professional’s discomfort with estate… Read More

Question: Does Having a Will Mean You Avoid Probate?

Question: Does Having a Will Mean You Avoid Probate? Answer: No, almost by definition, a Last Will & Testament implies that a probate will be needed to administer the estate. The best way to avoid probate is using a revocable trust. Another way to avoid probate, but sometimes causing more… Read More

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

This was a column in a local paper that got me thinking that this is actually a very commonly asked question. First, it doesn’t all go the State. It may but this is very unlikely. Basically, the State of Arizona has written a Will for you if you fail to… Read More

Introduction to Self Directed IRAs

Self directed IRAs (SDIRA) have been around since the early 1970s. In spite of their history, they haven’t been all the rage until more recently thanks to media attention. The biggest press was on former Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s SDIRA. It shouldn’t be believed that only the most wealthy can… Read More

“I thought a trust avoided probate!”

This question usually gets asked by the family after a loved one has died and they are told they have to go through probate. How did this happen? Yes, one of the benefits of a revocable trust is avoiding probate. The explanation everyone has heard is because the assets are… Read More

Avoiding Conservatorships

Conservatorships Conservatorship is a court proceeding where an individual is considered by a judge to be unable to manage their own financial affairs so another person or entity is named to handle it for them. There are many reasons why a conservatorship may be needed; disability, dementia, youth, incapacity, and more. The… Read More

Advantages vs. Disadvantages of a Revocable Trust

Advantages of a Revocable Living Trust Avoidance of probate. In particular, a revocable living trust can avoid expensive multiple probate proceedings when you own real estate in several different states, as well as the publication of the otherwise private financial details of your estate. Avoidance of conservatorship. A revocable trust can avoid… Read More

How Much Does the Government Take When you Die?

This question gets asked a lot. Sometimes it is asked if the Feds or Arizona tax you when you die? Sometimes it is asked if the State gets part of your estate when you die? Mostly it is thought of in terms of probate whether you have a Last Will… Read More

Recent Trends Part III

Another trend in living trust and estate planning is less concern about probate and more concern about possible incapacity. The “typical” client 20 years ago was very concerned about ending up in probate after their passing. I am not sure if this came from all the advertised estate planning seminars that used this to scare people into… Read More