Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a will and a Trust?
A will has to go through court and is only valid upon death. A trust is a living document that holds title to assets and does not die. A trust avoids court while a will must go through court. There are many other differences but the best thing to do is schedule a complimentary consultation to have us address your specific situation.
How do I avoid probate court?
There are many ways to avoid probate court. Joint tenancy, pay on death accounts, named beneficiaries, deed upon death, etc. The best one, typically, is a living trust.
I have a will, that is enough right?
That depends on your situation. In most cases, no, a will is not enough. A will is nothing more than a letter to the judge for when probate court is opened. If you want to avoid court and the government involved with your estate when you pass, then you need more than a trust.
Do you offer free consultations?
Yes we offer complimentary consultations as well as free reviews of your existing estate planning documents so you can have a 2nd opinion.
Can I use LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer or other non-attorney sites to do my estate planning?
The answer is technically yes. If you are single and you are leaving everything to one person than maybe. Those sites are nothing more than a form generator. Your plan is not customized to your specific situation or needs.
How do I get to your Las Vegas Office?
From either direction on the 215 you will take exit 16 “Buffalo Dr.” and head South. You will take your first right which is Badura Ave. Drive for about a mile and our office will be on the right hand side. If you reach Cimarron you’ve gone to far. We are in the Orange/brown building right next to St. Rose Pediatrics on the ground floor. Our entrance is on the South East part of the building.
How do I get to your Salt Lake Office?
We are in the Craig Swapp building right off of I-15 and 10000 South. You can take either the 9000 South or 106000 South exits and head West. If you are heading South from the North you will need to take exit 295. Turn right on 9000 S and then take your first left onto Sandy Parkway. From there you will take your first left, which is 9120 S. You will take that until it T’s and then turn right on 300 W. Take that for about a mile and our office will be on the right hand side. If you hit 10000 South you’ve gone to far.
If you are heading North from the South you will take the exit 293 and take a left onto 10600 South. You will take your first right onto S. Jordan Gateway. About a half mile up you will take a right on 10000 South and then your first left, after passing the railroad tracks. The office will be your first on the left.
Once you have parked, take the elevator in the lobby up to the 2nd Floor and tell the front desk you are here to see Trusted Estate Planning Attorneys.
I live outside of Utah and Nevada, can you still do my estate planning?
Yes we can. We have clients all over the country that hire us to help them take advantage of the trust laws of the states in which we are licensed, typically Nevada. We just can’t write documents drafted to be governed by other states if we are not licensed there. So if we do your documents, Nevada, Utah or Arizona law will govern your documents.
Can I change my documents on my own?
Technically, yes. Should you, probably not. What most people mean by this question is can they simply cross out a name and initial the document, and the answer is NO. That can negate parts of or the entire trust or other documents. Changes to documents must be done through an amendment or executing a new one. While there are no laws stating you have to use an attorney to draft documents, in most cases, you probably should, to make sure things are right. You will not know they are wrong until you die in this case.
How often should I update my documents?
Updates are based on if there is actual changes that need to be made. Updates for updates sake doesn’t make sense. We recommend reviewing your documents with your attorney every 3-5 years or every time you have a major life event. We also suggest you review your assets yearly to make sure they are titled correctly to match your estate plan.
How much does a trust cost?
We do everything on a flat fee basis. That being said your situation and what you want to do will determine the cost. We offer a complimentary consultation to evaluate your situation and then we can provide you with and exact quote that won’t change unless you add work to it.
What is included in a trust package?
- Living Trust
- Last Will and Testament
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Deed for you primary residence into your Trust
Why is Nevada such a good state to do my estate planning?
Nevada is very asset protection friendly. All of the State’s business and trust laws favor the person who created it versus the person or company who is the creditor, if certain time limits or measures are taken.
Nevada also has no State Income tax so with certain trusts, you can reduce your state income tax in the state in which you live.
What is probate court?
Probate court is a division in the court system that deals only with the estates of people who have died. If you don’t have any estate planning documents, or only a will, it is how your assets are passed to the correct people.
What is a power of attorney and does it work after I die?
Power of attorneys give someone the ability to do something on your behalf. You should really trust this individual or individuals because you typically don’t have any recourse against them if they do something you don’t want. When you die, a power of attorney becomes null and void and has no power. It is only valid while a person is living.
Is a health care power of attorney different from a power of attorney?
Yes, the health care power of attorney or health care directive deals only with medical decisions while the power of attorney typically works with financial decisions or document signing. There are many types of power of attorneys with different restrictions so make sure you get one that fits your situation.
How much are power of attorneys?
Power of attorneys can very slightly. We charge $150 per power of attorney in most cases if handled on their own. Clients should always make sure their documents are done by and attorney. The exception to that is the State’s health care directive or power of attorney. Each state puts out its own version of this they want to see for its residents.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
You need to bring a copy of all deeds to real property you own. That would be houses, land or buildings. You also need to bring a pretty good idea of who you want to take your kids, who will be in charge of the money and how you want things distributed upon your death.
How long does it take to get documents done?
We typically operate on a two-week turnaround, but we can produce documents as soon as same day, depending on the circumstances. There may be an added fee for expedited service.
Do my documents get recorded anywhere?
No, for the most part. One of the benefits of doing a trust and living estate plan is that it is private and does not become public record. The only thing that will be recorded are the deeds to any houses, land or building which you own to transfer them into the Trust. To do so the county recorder will need to see a copy of the trust to make sure it is valid and that it can in fact own property, but the trust itself is never included in the recording.
Can you make changes to my trust that someone else prepared?
Absolutely. Changes to a trust are called an amendment. Changes to a will are called a codicil. We can also help update your power of attorneys and health care directives. The cost and amount of change will depend on what you want to accomplish. It may be as simple as a first amendment or we may have to do a total amendment. We will provide a free review and second look at your documents to make sure they are accurate and provide what you think they did.
Do you accept credit/debit card payments? How can I pay?
Yes we accept almost all forms of payment: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Personal Checks, Business Checks, Cash, Money Orders, Cashier’s Checks, Paypal, Venmo, Gold and Silver, Trade for Services, you name it.