A LIVING TRUST FOR YOUR ELDERLY PARENTS
I have a concern in my dealings with children of elderly parents who haven’t set up their estate plan yet. The parents just aren’t willing to sit down with a lawyer for whatever reason. The children, who are very concerned about what happens to the estate.
These (adult) children come to me and say, “What do I do?”
It is a difficult situation.
What if the parents don’t want to set up a trust?
I tell them there is a big benefit in setting up a trust. It is that you don’t have to go through probate if your estate is more than $50,000 in Arizona. That is, if the assets that you have at the time you die accumulate to more than $50,000, you have to go through probate even if you have a will.
Therefore, it is beneficial to have a trust for most people.
The problem is there isn’t really an easy solution. It is a matter of getting educated and I would be happy to provide that education where needed and desired. But there is no way to force somebody to set up a trust against their will.
Now there are situations where parents perhaps are no longer able to make their own decisions, incapacitated for whatever reason, and have health matters that preclude them from making wise decisions.
In those situations, there are those rare occasions where a child or somebody else can be appointed as a guardian and then appropriate steps can be taken.
It doesn’t cost anything for you to have a consultation to try to get the parents to listen a little bit to the reasons why a trust might be recommended. I’m happy to do that and happy to help people in that scenario as there are reasons why most people do need to have a trust in the state of Arizona.