1. What is the benefit of a trust? Simply put, a trust prevents your assets from being probated and going through a long and costly court process in order to distribute your assets. A trust may also reduce or eliminate estate taxes for a married couple.
2. What is a pour-over will?A will used to transfer any assets not transferred to your revocable trust prior to your death. These assets will be probated and then distributed according to the terms of your trust.
3. What is a power-of-attorney? A power-of-attorney appoints someone to act in your place and make decisions for you. This can be either for a limited purpose or for full financial and health care matters. It can allow for immediate use or may specify that it is valid only upon the incapacitation of the person appointing an agent to act on his or her behalf.
4. Who is the trustee? The trustee is an individual or professional company who manages the assets of the company, as well as making distributions to the beneficiaries of the trust.
5. Who is the trustor?The trustor is the person who creates the trust and generally transfers assets to the trust. The trustor is also known as the grantor or settlor of the trust.
6. What is the federal estate tax exemption? The federal estate tax exemption is the amount each person is allowed to transfer at their death to others, estate tax free. In 2013, this amount is five million two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($5,250,000). This amount changes, so it is important to ensure that your trust is kept current with the present estate tax laws.
7. What is a codicil? A codicil is an amendment to your last will and testament.
8. What is a Certified Legal Document Preparer (CLDP)? A CLDP is certified by the Arizona Supreme Court to prepare legal documents for individuals and entities, at their direction. A CLDP may give you general information about the legal documents to assist you in making a decision which documents you would like prepared, but they may not give you legal advice regarding your individual situation.
9. What is the benefit of using a CLDP versus an attorney? Generally, a CLDP will provide the legal documents to you at a lower cost than an attorney. A CLDP cannot give you specific advice, but can give you general information.