The process of distributing assets to beneficiaries after an individual’s death can take various paths. Trusts, PODs and the probate process are all legal avenues in which assets and funds can be transferred to the decedent’s designated beneficiary. Understanding all of the many ways assets can be distributed to beneficiaries, and the proper legal strategies for doing so can be difficult, and may require the assistance of an experienced attorney.
At Gorman & Jones, PLC, our Phoenix probate and estate planning lawyers offer representation to individuals and families throughout Arizona. With more than 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skills needed to help you address a wide range of issues relating to estate planning or the probate process.
The legal process following an individual’s death is referred to as probate. During the probate process, an executor is named to handle a number of tasks, including inventorying and valuation of all of the decedent’s assets. Following completion of these tasks and payment of all of the decedent’s creditors, the executor is released to distribute the estate’s remaining assets to beneficiaries designated by the decedent’s will and other estate planning vessels.
Creation of a trust is an effective legal strategy to insure that assets are distributed to beneficiaries in the best way possible. Often used to limit tax liability or to protect minor or vulnerable beneficiaries, trusts designate the amount of funds to be distributed to the beneficiary, and also govern the timing of the distribution. For example, a trust could be created that does not release the decedent’s assets until the beneficiary has reached the age of 25. Throughout the life of the trust, a trustee is responsible for oversight and care taking of the assets held in the trust.
POD, or payable upon death accounts, allow for the distribution of assets immediately upon the death of the estate holder. An effective strategy for insuring that all legal, medical and funeral expenses can be covered, a POD governs a beneficiary who may collect bank funds, stock investments and other financial accounts without having to wait for the probate process to run its course.
Whether you are interested in learning effective strategies for insuring that your last wishes are met, or have lost a loved one and have questions regarding the probate process or a trust, our attorneys can help. We work closely with you to review all of your individual concerns before offering the advice and guidance needed to be sure that every last detail of your case is addressed in the manner necessary.
Contact us online or call 623-974-5585 to discuss your specific concerns with one of our attorneys today.