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A-B Trust Fountain Hills, AZ

The Law Office of Libby Banks > A-B Trust Fountain Hills, AZ

For those in Fountain Hills, AZ, The Law Office of Libby Banks offers unparalleled expertise in the realm of estate planning. Our array of services is designed to cover all your needs. We’re devoted to shaping an estate plan for you, accentuating the inclusion of wills, trusts, and all corresponding matters. Moreover, we shed light on the importance of power of attorney and uphold strategies that fortify asset protection.

Services We Offer

The Law Office of Libby Banks provides a comprehensive suite of services, including the creation of wills, setting up an A-B trust, power of attorney, asset protection, guardianship, elder law, conservatorship, and special needs planning. We also specialize in other important areas like life insurance, health care directives, long-term care planning, retirement planning, charitable giving, and business succession planning. Regardless of the service provided, our goal remains constant – to protect your assets, uphold your rights, and plan for your loved ones’ future.

The A-B Trust Explained

An A-B trust, often referred to as a bypass or credit shelter trust, is a complex estate planning tool that married couples frequently use to minimize estate taxes and retain control over their assets. It’s named after the two sections it creates upon the first spouse’s death: the ‘A’ Trust, or “Marital” or “Survivor’s” Trust, and the ‘B’ Trust, also known as the “Bypass” or “Credit Shelter” Trust.

This trust setup divides the estate into two trusts when the first spouse dies. The ‘A’ Trust houses assets for the benefit of the surviving spouse, while the ‘B’ Trust holds assets up to the estate tax exemption amount. Any leftover estate assets also pour into the ‘A’ Trust. The ‘B’ Trust’s assets can appreciate and pass on to heirs without being subject to estate taxes.

Our A-B trust attorneys stand out not merely because they manage your estate, but also because they understand your needs, your family’s needs, and your future aspirations. The benefits of working with us include our comprehensive services, our many years of experience, and our personalized approach to each client’s unique situation. These factors have helped us forge a robust reputation in Fountain Hills as proficient trust lawyers.

How to Set Up the Trust

The formation process of an A-B trust in Arizona necessitates careful planning. One begins by creating the trust document, which encapsulates the necessary details about the trust’s operation. The next requirement is the appointment of a trustee, commonly the surviving spouse in an A-B trust, to manage the trust in accordance with your wishes. The concluding step is shifting your assets into the trust. Considering the inherent complexities, our advice is to collaborate with the estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Libby Banks for assistance.

The Trust’s Advantages

The trust offers several advantages, especially for Arizona couples. First, it can potentially lessen your estate tax liability. By dividing your combined assets into two trusts upon the first spouse’s death, each of you can fully utilize your individual estate tax exemption. Second, it provides financial security for the surviving spouse while maintaining control over asset distribution. Additionally, it allows for probate avoidance, saving your beneficiaries time and resources.

The Trust’s Limitations

While the advantages of this kind of trust are significant, it’s crucial to understand its limitations as well. The trust structure can be complex and might involve higher administrative costs than simpler trusts. Also, the surviving spouse might face limitations in accessing the assets held in Trust B. This type of trust may not be beneficial for all couples, especially if their estate’s value is below the federal estate tax exemption limit.

What Assets to Include

Your trust can include a wide array of assets like real estate properties, bank accounts, stocks, and other valuable assets. For every asset you wish to include, a formal transfer into the trust is necessary.

Circumventing Probate with the Trust

One of the primary benefits of the trust is its potential to circumvent probate. Assets that are in the trust can go directly to the beneficiaries, avoiding the need for probate. This hastens the distribution process and saves on probate costs.

Tax Considerations

The most significant tax benefit of the trust is its capacity to fully harness both spouses’ estate tax exemptions. However, understanding the potential impact on capital gains taxes, particularly in light of the step-up in basis rules, is also vital.

We understand estate planning might seem complex, but we’re here to help you navigate your options and make well-informed decisions. Whether it involves setting up a trust, drafting a will, assigning power of attorney, or any other aspect of estate planning, we’re committed to assisting you. Contact us today for a consultation and let’s protect what is most important to you.

Our Team of Professionals Serving Fountain Hills, AZ

Our team of seasoned attorneys are committed to meeting our clients’ needs with the highest level of professionalism. With our broad expertise in various areas of estate planning, including A-B trust management, we provide a comprehensive strategy for managing your assets and ensuring the well-being of your loved ones. We invite you to schedule a consultation with us and explore how our team of professionals can guide you through your unique circumstances. Reach out to us today at 602-375-6752 or via our website, libbybanks.com, for more information or a consultation. Let us aid you in preserving your legacy and ensuring the safety of your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an A-B trust?

A: An A-B trust, also known as a Bypass Trust, is an estate planning strategy mainly used by married couples. The trust splits into Trust A (Survivor’s Trust) and Trust B (Bypass Trust) upon one spouse’s death, maximizing each spouse’s individual estate tax exemption.

Q: How to initiate an A-B Trust in Arizona?

A: To initiate an A-B Trust in Arizona, the process involves drafting a trust document, appointing a trustee, usually the surviving spouse, and transferring assets into the trust. Given the complexities and the need for compliance in the process, we recommend working with the estate planning attorneys at The Law Office of Libby Banks.

Q: What do I stand to gain from an A-B trust?

A: An A-B trust offers various benefits, including potential savings on estate taxes by fully utilizing both spouses’ estate tax exemptions. They also facilitate probate avoidance and ensure the financial well-being of the surviving spouse.

Q: Are there any restrictions associated with an A-B trust in Arizona?

A: The main restrictions of an A-B trust relate to potentially higher administrative expenses and certain limits on the surviving spouse’s access to the assets in Trust B.

Q: Can I incorporate all assets into an A-B trust in Arizona?

A: Yes, you can include various assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, stocks, and other possessions in your A-B trust. However, it’s important to follow formal procedures for transferring these assets into the trust.

Q: How does an A-B trust bypass probate in Arizona?

A: An A-B trust allows assets held within the trust to directly pass to the beneficiaries, sidestepping the probate process. This benefit expedites the distribution process and also reduces probate expenses.

Q: Can I modify the terms of an A-B trust?

A: While you can make certain changes to Trust A during the surviving spouse’s lifetime, modifications to Trust B are generally restricted due to its irrevocable nature after the first spouse’s death. For any questions or proposed changes to a trust, it’s advisable to consult with our estate planning attorneys.

Q: How does an A-B trust interact with a health care directive?

A: An A-B trust primarily handles financial assets, whereas a health care directive pertains to medical decision-making when you’re unable to do so. Both are vital components of a comprehensive estate plan.

Q: Is the trustee involved in managing a health care directive?

A: Not typically. The trustee of your A-B trust manages your financial affairs, while a separate person, referred to as a health care proxy or agent, usually handles the responsibilities outlined in your health care directive.

Q: How do I guarantee tax law compliance when setting up an A-B trust?

A: It’s important to seek professional advice to ensure your A-B trust adheres to the current tax laws and regulations. Our estate planning lawyers are acquainted with these guidelines and can assist you throughout the process.

Q: How can an A-B trust preserve my children's inheritance?

A: An A-B trust preserves your children’s inheritance by separating the assets of the first spouse to pass away (Trust B) and retaining them for the beneficiaries, typically the children.

Q: What happens to the A-B trust assets in case of a divorce?

A: In a divorce scenario, the terms of the A-B trust may need adjustment, depending on your specific situation. Consult with our estate planning attorneys to understand the necessary revisions and steps.

About Fountain Hills, AZ

Fountain Hills, AZ, situated in Maricopa County, stands as a unique portion of the state that boasts unparalleled natural beauty and a plethora of recreational activities. Approximately 30 miles away from Phoenix, this area has become a haven for individuals seeking a more tranquil way of life, yet desiring the convenience of a nearby metropolitan area. The town’s namesake, the Fountain, is among the tallest of its kind in the world and serves as a central gathering point for residents and visitors alike.

Recreational enthusiasts can find many different types of activities to immerse themselves in, taking advantage of the town’s scenic backdrop and carefully planned communities. From hiking in the surrounding mountains to golfing on pristine courses, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Moreover, the town hosts several annual events and festivals, celebrating everything from art to music, underlining the fact that Fountain Hills prides itself on its vibrant and tight-knit community.

What sets Fountain Hills apart from other regions, in part, is its perfect blend of natural charm and modern amenities. While it offers all the advantages of a peaceful town setting, it also provides easy access to the bustling energy of Phoenix, AZ, making it an attractive destination for both short-term visitors and those looking to put down roots in a dynamic community.

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Fountain Hills, AZ Zip Codes

85268, 85269