Laurels

Best Estate Planning Attorneys
2022

The Best Estate Planning Attorneys
Here Are The Top Estate Planning Attorneys
Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC

Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC

Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC is a legal firm that operates throughout Maricopa County and handles cases involving business law, risk management, and protection, estate planning, probate, trusts, wills, and guardianship conservatorship. The firm strives to offer an incisive analysis of each case; identify problems and give practical advice with cost-effective solutions and results. Founder and managing partner Joseph Udall earned his J.D. from Arizona State University, and is a recipient of an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell in the areas of Business Law, Trusts and Estates and General Practice.

Mesa, AZ 85201

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Website
Charles F. Myers, PA

Charles F. Myers, PA

Charles F. Myers, PA is a law firm in Phoenix, AZ that specializes in estate planning, business succession planning, and trust administration. The firm was established in 2001, and has since prided itself on client satisfaction; handling simple and complex cases, with a team of lawyers with over 45 years of combined legal experience. Founder and firm owner, Charles Myers earned his J.D. from the University of Toledo, an LL.M in Taxation from New York University, and an AV Martindale-Hubbell rating.

Phoenix, AZ 85012

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Website
Dana Law Group

Dana Law Group

Dana Law Group is a law firm located in Mesa, AZ that handles cases involving probate, trust, and estate planning. The firm was founded by Matthew Dana in 1989 and has continued through his son Zachary Dana. Together, the Dana Law Group has over 50 years of combined experience in assisting families through transitions and formation of estate and wills. Each case is personalized with cutting-edge and full service combined with common strategies to make it easy yet still effective and understandable to every client.

Mesa, AZ 85209

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Website
Brown & Jensen Law Firm

Brown & Jensen Law Firm

Brown & Jensen Law Firm is a legal firm that serves the Arizona area in cases which involve bankruptcy, estate planning, probate, trust administration, tax planning, and asset protection. The firm's principals are Shad M. Brown and Scott T. Jensen, who each bring extensive experience to their areas of practice. Brown received his Masters of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida's Levin College of Law. He has also worked as an attorney at the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel, representing the IRS. Jensen received his JD at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and his BS in Business Marketing at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business.

Mesa, AZ 85209

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Website
Law Office of John E. Perry Jr., LLC

Law Office of John E. Perry Jr., LLC

Law Office of John E. Perry Jr., LLC is a legal firm based in Anthem, Arizona that practices in areas of business, estate planning, guardianship, Medicaid planning, and special needs trusts. Attorney Perry strives to offer an affordable and client-centric representation, with his over 30 years of legal experience. He is admitted to practice not only in Arizona but also in California and has a 7.0 AVVO rating. His background in business and finance gives him a unique perspective in cases he handles and offers trusted advice to business owners in matters of mergers and acquisition, as well as business contact and paperwork.

Anthem, AZ 85086

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Website
Williams & Williams, LLC

Williams & Williams, LLC

Williams & Williams, LLC is a law firm in Scottsdale, AZ that specializes in tax, probate, estate planning, and elder law. The firm is run by a father-son team, Michael and Taylor Williams who goes above and beyond for their clients. They have over 30 years of combined experience in their respective fields of expertise. Michael earned his law degree from St. Louis University Law School, is a member of the Arizona Bar Association, and has been a guest speaker at numerous organizations regarding tax and estate planning.

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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Website
Union Retirement Solutions

Union Retirement Solutions

Union Retirement Solutions is a financial provider for Union members and their families for more than 20 years in the Arizona area. The group also provides other services including estate and insurance planning, as well as retirement solutions. Being an independent brokerage, the group is loyal and objective when it comes to each client. CEO and founder Jeffrey A. Skidmore has been providing his services to union members, regarding health, welfare, and pension programs since 1985. He has over 25 years of experience in financial and estate planning and numerous awards, including being named one of the top 20 Annuity Investment Advisors in the country.

Peoria, AZ 85382

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Website
The Law Office of Libby Banks

The Law Office of Libby Banks

The Law Office of Libby Banks is a legal firm based in Phoenix, Arizona that handles cases which include estate planning, wills, trusts, asset protection, and probate. Founder and managing partner Libby Banks personally handles each case and is known for making the process as smooth and as easy for her clients as possible. Libby offers not only legal counsel but also information by simplifying legal terminologies for clients. This information enables both sides to be open; making sure that clients are involved, every step of the way. She also requires a fixed fee for each case, for clients to have one less thing to worry about, throughout the whole experience.

Phoenix, AZ 85028

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Website
Ronald F. Larson, P.C.

Ronald F. Larson, P.C.

Ronald F. Larson, P.C.is a law firm serving metropolitan Phoenix in areas of estate planning, probate, estate and gift taxation, wills, and trusts. Attorney Larson founded his firm in 1986 and has since earned an AV Preeminent Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, as well as being listed as a Southwest Super Lawyer and one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. Apart from offering legal counsel, Ronald frequently speaks at seminars on estate planning, probate, and ethics. Being a military man himself, he served as appellate judge of the Arizona Court of Military Appeals from 1993 to 2011. With his years of service, he has gained a unique perspective of the law and has used this to help others.

Sun City, AZ 85351

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Website
Nicole Pavlic Law Firm

Nicole Pavlic Law Firm

Nicole Pavlik Law Firm is a legal firm in Phoenix, AZ that specializes in probate, estate, and business planning. Founder and managing partner Nicole Pavlik offers an initial consultation to each potential clients. This gives the firm a chance to assess the cost for their services, as well as offer a general timeline for clients. In the same vein, clients will also be given an option to proceed or find a solution that works for them. Nicole offers a flat rate for her services, for her legal and business expertise. Being a business owner herself, she has a unique perspective and extensive knowledge of business jargon and paperwork involved in running a business. Nicole earned her J.D. from Arizona Summit Law School and is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, as well as the Probate & Trust Section.

Phoenix, AZ 85053

Website

Website

Expert Answers To Common Questions:

  1. What does an estate planning attorney do?
  2. What are valuable estate planning services an attorney can provide?
  3. Can estate planning attorneys help create trusts/wills?
  4. Is estate planning the same as drafting a will?
  5. What are the steps involved in estate planning?
  6. How long does the estate planning process last?
  7. What is a trust?
  8. How does a trust fund work?
  9. How does a living trust work?
  10. Do I need a lawyer for a will?
  11. Can you have both a will and a living trust?
  12. How much does it cost to set up a trust?
Q: What does an estate planning attorney do?
A:
An estate consists of the total assets that form an individual’s net worth, no matter how large or small. Estate planning attorneys use their in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws to help people best manage what will happen with their estates after they die or become incapacitated. Estate planning attorneys can prepare wills, form trusts, reduce estate tax burdens, and decrease or eliminate the need for probate court.
Q: What are valuable estate planning services an attorney can provide?
A:

With the many intricacies of assets, taxes, and state and federal laws that can affect a person’s estate, an estate planning lawyer can be a valuable professional asset, no matter how large or small a person’s estate may be. An estate planning attorney can:

  • Create a comprehensive plan to protect a client's legacy, that includes a will, power of attorney, trusts, life insurance, and advanced medical directives
  • Optimize an estate plan as tax laws, life events, assets, and goals change over time
  • Protect a client’s loved ones by preventing assets from entering probate
  • Help clients designate a person to make important health decisions for them if they become incapacitated

Q: Can estate planning attorneys help create trusts/wills?
A:
Estate planning attorneys can create trusts and wills. Through a will, an attorney can help a client designate their estate’s beneficiaries and assign an executor to represent the will in probate court. These attorneys can also create trusts, allowing a client to assign a trustee to oversee the estate, potentially avoiding probate court and holding assets to be distributed over time.
Q: Is estate planning the same as drafting a will?
A:
While both estate plans and wills officially document how their owners wish to allocate certain assets after their death, there are key differences. In estate planning, a will is often just one of several documents that form a comprehensive plan. In a will, people must designate a person responsible for executing their will after their death. The will can include guardians for their children when they die and beneficiaries to receive an inheritance of money, property, and other assets.
Q: What are the steps involved in estate planning?
A:

To create a thorough and effective estate plan, individuals should follow these steps:

  • Prepare a will that designates an estate executor; indicate who will receive what assets, and assign a trust and guardians for any children. Consider using an attorney if the will is in any way complex.
  • To avoid probate, have an attorney create a revocable living trust.
  • Assign beneficiaries to other assets, such as life insurance policies, retirement plans, and securities.
  • Use an attorney to prepare a living will, name a health care proxy, and create a HIPAA release form.
  • Update the plan every five years.

Q: How long does the estate planning process last?
A:
The length of the process can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the specific law office, and whether there’s an emergency or urgent need. If you’re using an attorney, you can generally expect it to take one to five weeks. You may be able to speed up the process by immediately providing your attorney with any bank statements or other documents they need.
Q: What is a trust?
A:
A trust is an agreement between a grantor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. In this agreement, the grantor allocates funds or real property assets to the trustee to be held either until the grantor passes away or until a specific, agreed-upon date. At that point, it's the responsibility of the trustee to distribute funds or property to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. While there are similarities between a will and a trust, a will is a more comprehensive document that typically requires probate court, while a trust allows assets to pass to the beneficiary without probate.
Q: How does a trust fund work?
A:
When opening a trust fund, a grantor allocates a trustee to oversee and manage assets in the account. This trustee can sometimes be a relative, an estate lawyer, or a bank that acts as the legal owner of the trust. While holding assets, the trustee is required to file taxes on trust assets.
Q: How does a living trust work?
A:
A living trust enables a grantor to manage their assets through a trustee while still alive. They can continually add funds and/or property to their trust fund by transferring them to the trustee, who accepts ownership of everything held in the fund. The grantor can name a beneficiary for their trust, and their assets will be automatically transferred to that person or establishment upon their death.
Q: Do I need a lawyer for a will?
A:
No, a lawyer is not required to draft or complete a will. However, there are some scenarios in which hiring an estate lawyer to assist with a will is a good idea, including when children or high-value assets are involved. Additionally, an estate lawyer can help to reduce probate fees and taxes paid by loved ones after a person dies. It's also best to work with a professional to ensure that the will addresses everything necessary, such as funeral plans, guardianship, and asset distribution.
Q: Can you have both a will and a living trust?
A:
Yes, and individuals who have a living trust should also have a will. While a living trust enables a person to leave funds and assets to a loved one when they're gone, a will is required to cover any assets that aren't included in the trust, such as guardianship of dependents, funeral plans, and forgiveness of outstanding debts, if applicable.
Q: How much does it cost to set up a trust?
A:

The cost of setting up a trust varies quite a bit depending on a variety of factors, including terms that are in place, special provisions for minor beneficiaries, and trustees' basic fees. In most cases, the minimum cost of setting up a trust is about $1,500, but depending on the factors mentioned above, this cost can increase by thousands of dollars.