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Definition of Estate Planning Mesa AZ:

Estate Planning Mesa AZ is the organization of your estate so that you may use your assets to your best advantage during your lifetime, and then upon your death pass those assets on to your chosen heirs, beneficiaries and loved ones, with the least possible loss in value.

“I want to control my property while alive, take care of my loved ones and myself if I become disabled, and, upon my death, give what I have to whom I want, the way I want, and when I want. And if I can, I want to save every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost possible.”

(From the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys)

Four Things an Estate Strategy Should Accomplish

  1. Avoid probate
  2. Eliminate taxes
  3. Provide for your family in the event you become disabled
  4. Preserve your estate from long-term care costs

Useful Estate Planning Tools

A Living Trust is the foundation to any estate plan. I rarely recommend only a Will because a Will goes through probate upon your death, which is very costly and it is also public (anyone can go look at a probate record.) A Living Trust avoids probate and remains private. Each case is different. Each case we design for your specific desires and wishes. Some of the things we consider to achieve the most effective basic estate plan are:

  • A Revocable Living Trust
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
  • Family Limited Partnership
  • Charitable Giving
  • Personal Residence Trust (GRIT)

A revocable living trust will be the foundation of any estate plan. If you are married and if your estate is valued at more than the applicable exclusion amount or is likely to grow or appreciate in value, you should have an “A/B Trust.”

Basic Estate Plans Include:

  1. Living Trust Document (with A/B election for a married couple)
  2. Back up “Pour-over Wills”
  3. Schedule of Trust Assets
  4. Assignment of Personal Property
  5. Deeds to transfer real estate (including your residence)
  6. Documents for the transfer of assets to your living trust
  7. Guidelines for Trustee
  8. Letter to Successor Trustee
  9. Instructions on how to keep your trust current
  10. Financial Durable Power of Attorney
  11. Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney
  12. Glossary of Legal Terms
  13. Notary and Witness Service
  14. A Trust Binder and organizer
  15. Additional documents indicated by a review of your estate to comply with the “Definition of Estate Planning.” (This may include an ILIT, an FLP, a CRT, an annuity, etc.) A more in-depth look at these documents is found in the booklet “Power Tools for Estate Planning” by Clint W. Smith, J.D..