Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: Do I need a will or a living trust?
A: The answer depends on your needs. We'll help you identify needs and goals and then explain options for attaining those goals. If you are unable to decide after viewing different options, Four Peaks Planning, Inc. has attorneys to whom we refer.
Q: Does a will prevent probate?
Q: Can I avoid probate without a living trust?
A: Yes. Use beneficiary designations on accounts and use beneficiary deeds for property. If the remainder of the estate in Arizona is less than $50,000 you should be able to avoid probate.
Q: Can unmarried couples create a living trust?
A: Yes. Committed couples can create a common-law trust.
Q: Can family members create a living trust?
A: No. Only a husband and wife or common-law couple can create a living trust.
Q: Does each person in a marriage or common-law relationship need their own trust?
A: No. The couple can share a trust. However, an individual may choose to have their own trust.
Q: How long is the process to create a will or living trust?
A: Typically one week but the process can be expedited.
Q: Do I lose control of my assets with a living trust?
A: No - if you appoint yourself as both the trustor and trustee.
Q: Can I put assets such as real estate from other states into an Arizona living trust?
Q: Can I make changes to a living trust?
A: Yes - if the trust is revocable.
Q: Can the surviving person of a marital trust or common-law trust make amendments?
Q: How much does it cost to make a change / amendment?
A: All clients receive two free amendments except for successor trustee changes, which are $75.
Q: Does a living trust protect assets from lawsuits?
Q: Does a living trust protect assets from Medicaid spend-down if I go to a nursing home?
Q: Can I give my assets away to qualify for Medicaid or AHCCCS?
A: Arizona has a five (5) year look-back period.
Q: Do I gain any tax advantages or disadvantages with a living trust?
A: Your income taxes remain the same as if you did not have a living trust.
Q: What is a Certified Legal Document Preparer (CLDP)?
A: A CLDP is licensed by the Arizona Supreme Court to prepare documents just the same as an attorney. The only thing a CLDP is unable to do is provide legal advice.
Q: Can I talk to references for Four Peaks Planning, Inc.?
A: Yes. Contact information is available for several references on our home page. Contact us for additional references.
Q: Who keeps the original signed documents?
A: Our clients keep the original documents.
Q: Does Four Peaks Planning, Inc. keep a copy of signed documents?
A: Only upon request. We usually keep a signed copy of the Certificate of Trust and the first & last pages of the living trust.
Q: Are there ongoing maintenance costs associated with al living trust?
A: No, aside from any fees charged by the DMV when transferring a new vehicle into the trust or fees charged by the county recorder to record a new deed with the trust.
Q: Do I need to keep using Four Peaks Planning, Inc. once my documents are signed?
A: No. You can take your documents to any other estate planner for changes.
Q: Will Four Peaks Planning, Inc. notify me of changes in estate laws?
A: Yes. Please keep us updated with current phone and email information.
Q: How often should I review my documents?
A: Update your asset & liability checklist a minimum of once per year if not twice. Review all other documents at least bi-annually. Four Peaks Planning, Inc. offers complimentary reviews of all existing client estate plans.
Q: What else can we learn about owner, Jamie Kahn, that is not listed in the About Us section?
A: Jamie is still an avid soccer and softball player, plays several musical instruments and enjoys square foot gardening in his backyard. He highly recommends the book available in most bookstores and recommends purchasing heirloom seeds from Baker Creek. His wife, Courtney, is an 7th and 8th-grade science teacher in Gilbert.