Those who have assets they wish to protect for their future heirs have several estate planning tools at their disposal. One of the most popular planning tools is the use of trusts. These require proper planning, or they may not fulfill the intended purpose. Arizona residents who are considering how to plan for their heirs will benefit from avoiding a few common mistakes.
One of the errors that people make is failing to properly fund a trust. An example may be for a couple who chooses to set up a joint revocable trust. They later decide to purchase a home that can be passed on to the surviving spouse or a future heir. However, if they fail to title the property in the name of the trust, then the original intent cannot be fulfilled. Property that is titled in the names of the individuals may instead be subjected to probate when the owners pass on.
Another frequent mistake is failing to ensure those who are named as future trustees are informed of that fact. They should also be provided with a copy of the documents in order to facilitate transfer of the property or assets involved. If the future trustees do not have a copy of the documents or are not aware of the location of them, then they may be required to go through the courts in order to take ownership of the asset.
Lastly, once a property is titled in the name of the trust, then the individuals can no longer make management decisions without doing so as trustees. Individuals cannot take any actions that affect the included assets if they are acting outside of the stipulations included in the documents. Estate planning and the use of trusts may seem like a complex undertaking for many Arizona residents. However, an experienced attorney can provide the informed assistance that will enable residents to draft the plans that best meet their needs.