Is Trust or a Will Better?
Regularly, we have new clients come into our office stating they want a trust, because someone told them that is the best choice. Is a trust the best choice? The truth is that one is not clearly better in every case. As with most things in life, it depends. In this case, it depends on the client, their life choices, who & how they want to give their assets and the character of their assets.
Often people are frightened of probate, and this fear drives them towards a trust. Uncontested informal probates are a pretty straightforward administrative process in Arizona. The court is there, if it is needed. The documents are filed with the clerk and the Personal Representative never steps foot into the court. Trust Administration does not involve the courts, except when people are fighting. In both cases, if a party wants to fight or is unreasonable, misbehaves or challenges the actions of the Personal Representative or the Trustee, then you are in litigation and in court, whether there is a trust or a will. If no one is misbehaving or fighting, then a trust administration is cheaper than a probate, but you can’t predict how people will behave in the future.
If you are financially responsible for a spouse or children and you pass away, it could create a serious financial bind for those who depend on you. If you are the primary wage earner in your household, then you have or have likely considered life insurance to protect them from this situation. The same circumstance is applicable for small business owners, especially if they do not have a proper succession plan in place. For small business owners, it is important to have life insurance for your business and understand the types of plans available.
When starting a business, an owner or partners are advised to create a succession plan in case the owner or one of the partners passes away. Creating a succession plan can be done in the operating agreement or a buy-sell agreement. These documents help mitigate stress for not only business partners, but that individual’s family. Partners who do not have proper succession plans in place can end up in a predicament where, if one them passes away, the deceased partner’s spouse or children are put in a position they might not otherwise be capable of fulfilling. This can be avoided by making amendments to your operating agreement or by executing a buy-sell agreement. A succession plan should be the first step in making sure your business is properly equipped to handle if you or your partner(s) passes away. Next is deciding on a life insurance plan.
Why are Power of Attorneys so Important
Unlikely circumstances happen to arise every day, for instance, car crashes, freak accidents and terminal illnesses. These circumstances illustrate why only verbalizing what you want to happen financially and medically is not enough. Thus, why powers of attorney are such an important part of the estate planning process. These documents give individuals peace of mind that if one of life’s unlikely circumstances happen, their health care and financial decisions will be handled as they desire and by the right person(s).
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone, usually a spouse or close relative, as the agent to make financial and/or medical decisions for you. These documents bring the comfort of knowing your agents are legally required to act as you have directed. POA’s can be as specific and detailed as the individual would like.
Please contact us for a free initial consultation. Experienced representation is just a phone call or email away.
A Personal Note
From Our Team
Thank you for the positive feedback we received on our inaugural newsletter, and please let us know if you have any requests for future article topics.
Enclosed please find our Summer newsletter, which continues to focus on our main practice areas: Business law, Estate Planning and Probate/Trust Administration. This Newsletter is providing information about the difference between Trusts and Wills, life insurance for small businesses, the importance of a Power of Attorney, and estate planning for pets.
Should the newsletter prompt you with any questions, please give our office a call or email.
With very best wishes,
Margaret and the team at Tritch Buonocore Law
Estate Planning for
Typically, when we think of estate planning tools, we think about them in the context of protecting family members like our spouse, children, and friends. But what about having a plan for our furry friends? It may be more important than you might think. Many potential issues arise for pet owners and their furry friends.
Meet a Member of our Team:
Rebekah has eighteen years of experience in various accounting, executive and administrative roles in multiple industries. She was Office Manager and Bookkeeper to a local small business in Phoenix for many years prior to joining TB Law. Rebekah joined Tritch Buonocore Law, PLLC in January 2017. Her role as part time Accounting Manager is to keep our billing and accounts organized and ensure the accuracy of our financial and operational data. She can be reached at email@example.com should you have any billing questions.