If you are seeking valid and current information on drafting
an affordable, high quality
Arizona Living Trust
(with other important estate planning documents), or just
most current update for your current trust -- you have come to the right place!
information site will help you if you are
currently lost in the "maze" of legal jargon, wondering what
trusts are, who needs them, what they cost, and who can
legally draft them.
And, if your former trust advisor is no longer available or
not keeping you informed of recent federal and state law
changes -- you may want to check with us to see if you need
Or, you may be out of state searching for help on settling a
parent's trust as Trustee or estate administrator. Again you
have come to the right place.
Hello! I am M.D.
Anderson, a long-term financial advisor originally from
Forest City, Iowa. I have been practicing estate planning
and financial consulting now for 37+ years. The last 27 years here in the Valley of the
Sun. I am a Certified Legal Document Preparer
(AZCLDP), which is necessary for licensing of non-lawyers
drafting legal documents in Arizona. (If not under the
direct supervision of an Arizona lawyer) I am also a
practicing accountant, nationally
recognized inherited IRA
consultant and a licensed real estate agent/Realtor with
Realty One Group in Tempe, Arizona.
(I help IRA owners buy real estate
inside their IRA's!)
properly drafted Arizona living trusts must meet certain minimum
standards, especially since our state has adopted a version
of the Uniform Trust Code. (known also as the UTC)
Be especially cautious if
any work you pay for does not have specific Arizona statutes
and codes quoted in it. That is a SURE SIGN you have purchased a "trust mill" type trust which
frankly, most likely -- isn't going to get the job done
just seems in this continued economic downturn in the
economy, many are looking for lower cost
alternatives. They want
affordable lower pricing, and yet expect excellent work as well.
You still get what you pay for.
Good work normally is not cheap
and cheap work normally is not good...
However, using an experienced Arizona certified legal
document preparer (AZCLDP) can help you save money for new documents,
or updates to your current trust documents. You can obtain
the quality legal documents you expect at an affordable
and reasonable cost factor.
Specific Ways To Assist You
This website is
for YOU, so that you can gain the increments of knowledge
on how to:
Draft from scratch, a modern high quality Arizona living trust
and other estate planning documents.
Update a current trust and other estate planning documents.
Settle any Arizona living trust for your loved one.
order to make the best decisions in
your own estate planning, or that of your loved one, we are
giving away important free information, considered "General
Legal Information" under state law. What
is this free information worth to you?
Well, if you were invited to come to this site by one of our
offsite invitations, it may be worth a lot to know that your
current Arizona Living Trust could now be obsolete if it
still has A/B marital split instructions. Or hasn't
been updated for ATC wording and control since January 1st,
2009 when the Arizona Trust Code became effective and
* 13 provisions are now mandatory, causing many trusts to
become obsolete in wording, or missing wording since "all"
irrevocable trusts must comply with these mandatory ATC
Perhaps, you searched on your own and found us online. Regardless,
be sure to refer this site
to a friend or relative who may also be seeking good sound
information that is current and up to date regarding any
Arizona trust or trust portfolio legal document.
firm tailors our services to local residents who desire
physical delivery of an
Arizona living trust portfolio (or updates), but we also
provide electronic PDF versions for others around the state who
may not want to drive to the valley to meet with me.
whether it is a complete trust portfolio, or just one legal
document, or anything in between, my firm can help you obtain exactly what you need or
want with the least amount of effort and at the lowest cost
to Avoid Mistakes?
Page - Avoid Costly Estate Planning Mistakes + Bad Advisors!
Review Portfolio Documents --
Special Online Pricing -- and Complete Ordering Details
Arizona Estate Settlement Information
Who you should NOT use to
draft your Arizona Living Trust
Attorney General has a warning about using unlicensed
salesman and/or financial planners to create your living
trust. Though it is not illegal to use them (who then have a
connection to a lawyer somewhere behind the scene as trust
ghost writer), be careful as many just want to see how much
money you have so they can sell you annuities, viaticals, or
other investments that may not be best suited to your actual
investment needs. And, normally, the products they
show you will be on the "high" end for commissions in
pocket! (Which means you probably are over paying
them, if you do business with them!) Just remember, that by
doing the trust with them, you WILL expose ALL of your
assets to them. So, choose wisely!
Just click on the flag above to see what the Arizona AG has to
say. But don't forget to hit your "back" button so you don't
miss the important information below!
Here are a
few of the "types" of trust salesman that may be out to get
your legal documents business:
The "Jacked Up" Trust Salesman
The worst group
to stay away from are the "jacked up" salesman and so-called
planners (they will sometimes use designations that are not
professionally recognized) that are connected to "trust
mills" that usually give inflated quotations of what it
costs to go through probate in Arizona.
programs are designed to scare you into buying a living
trust at a high fee based on False
Real. Yes, good 'ol
F.E.A.R. has probably sold more trusts to our senior
population than any other tactic. Just don't become
another one of those victims. This site will help you
You can identify
these programs because they are extremely high priced so the
salesman can make a good commission by splitting the fee
with the lawyer or document preparer who actually is
drafting the documents. You will NOT be able to talk
to the actual document preparer/lawyer for your questions in
almost every case. And worst, the legality of the
person drafting is also in question in a trust mill.
If the person is not a lawyer, he or she is in violation of
Arizona law if they are not certified as an AZCLDP (Arizona
Certified Legal Document Preparer).
You can identify
these people. They will tell you a
closing story that will make it seem like you will be
missing out if you don't sign and pay them on their first
call to your home or business. (If they push you for a
decision -- during a house call -- this approach alone
should tip you off).
If they "push",
don't buy it! They may be using abusive and illegal
sales practices. Just show them the door when you feel
pressured. It is all a selling technique (legal or
otherwise) designed to separate your cash from your
pocket...and into theirs! Some may actually deliver a
credible product in spite of the pressure selling, but
others will not.
And, a final
warning -- you will easily "like" this person, at least
initially because they come all "jacked up" with fun and
emotion knowing if they can get you emotional, you will buy
no matter how high the price is! That's what makes
them so dangerous to your wallet...
Hint: Measure whether what someone is saying is
mostly emotional or mostly logical. A heavy on
"emotions" presentation could be used to mislead you. But
generally, a heavy logical presentation will not.
Unusually Low Priced Trust Products
Recently, I have
seen a derivative of the "Ugly" described above by some
trust salesman coming in on the opposite end of the price
point grid. These are trusts offered with an extremely low
fee to prepare the trust portfolio. Ads may brag about
"lowest prices" or "lower than any attorney", etc.
may also be dangerous to your estate assets and suddenly
un-employ your money advisors you may have used for years to
help you manage your estate assets. The salesman or
financial planner in this scenario may be paying most of the
trust cost or fees to the lawyer who prepares the documents
for just a few hundred dollars. The planner then uses
the trust documents as a "loss leader", to get in your door,
which forces him to recover payment for his time by selling
you commissioned products you may not want or need.
So, watch out
unusually low trust portfolio prices or someone
pushing a trust only. (without the accompanying and
extremely important portfolio documents also being included)
The person could
be legitimate, but if so, normally the delivered product
will be nearly 100% boiler plate, simplified and short in
page count. (therefore short in what contingencies are
actually being covered in your situation) These cheap trusts
are usually just produced on consumer level trust software
programs a small law firm may be forced to use. Low costs
trusts rarely will come from custom high end trust modules
and software that must be used to get a more professional
and definitive legal document result. And, many times,
recent law changes are not reflected in a timely manner in
the low cost "bargain" trust offers out there. A good way to
test is to check their web site or literature and look for
outdated estate tax law (it has changed drastically over the
past 10 years!), or printed materials showing charts and
graphs from past years. If you don't see the new 2011 estate
tax law changes -- you most likely won't get them either in
a cheap, bargain trust offer once delivered.
And, if a trust
portfolio is offered to you really cheap, please remember
that you could then be a "mark" for recovery on the
salesman's end for his or her time spent with you.
Some of these folks in this group will do everything
possible to gain your trust and then later stick it to you
with high commission life insurance, IRA transfers to mutual
funds with commissions, or annuity presentations -- all when
they deliver your trust. There is nothing wrong with
these additional products or services. But, when they
get crammed down your throat when you don't really need
them, or when you can't actually be "bettered" by making the
changes, then there is something wrong with this group and
their people and the techniques they use to trick you.
Again, use extreme caution when talking to anyone
pushing "low price" as the main selling point. My review of
these trusts for clients that got "burned" was that low
price - is the ONLY selling point in the
finished work you get. Many of my clients started with
these, and upgraded to my professional services when they
saw they didn't get much for their money! In some cases,
they got a generic trust with little or no Arizona trust
code in them! And the general power of attorney and
healthcare power of attorney documents and living will, all
reflect law from somewhere else!
Steering Clear of Crooks
Masquerading as Advisors
This site is
designed to give you the ammunition you need to be able to
the right questions up front so you can steer clear of
engaging the wrong firm or person to assist you with your
living trust needs. Sadly, unscrupulous trust salesman use a
living trust presentation to get at what they really want -
commissions on as much of your investment money, no matter
if it damages you. But, some even forego the quest to
get commissions on your money.
out to take your money from you!
Yes it's true.
You literally must "trust" the advisor you choose, and the
firm you choose as well, to prepare your trust in
confidence. Knowing how to tell the difference between who
is trustworthy and who is not, will help guard you against
becoming another financial victim here in Arizona. I'm going
to give you some tips so your work is easier in this task
and so you don't procrastinate any longer. A lot of people
who come to this information site do end up drafting a trust
soon after (we hope with us) and admit I had a hand to motivate them into
All it took was
Bernie Madoff, to force us to rethink EVERYTHING about
trusting advisors. Though thousands of clients have
made me their "trusted financial advisor" for 3 1/2 decades
-- good ol' Bernie has tossed a ring of dis-trust into the
fire of my chosen financial professions. Now, I too
have to try harder to gain your trust in me and my services
Consumers are more suspicious now, losing your valued GM
bonds marked to zero, or seeing your once highly pushed (I'm
talking about stock brokers here) brokerage firm stock go
into the ground in bankruptcy -- all make my job harder now.
These negative events the past few years are not going to
make you trust me or anyone else as much as you might have
before they happened.
the reasons for losing money or not getting what someone
promised to you, or some company, life goes on and using the
lame excuse you can't trust anyone isn't going to hold
so well if you leave your family hanging on the limb without
proper estate planning documents when you become disabled or
when you die. There is no excuse for that. I'm
sorry, but if you have money and assets to protect, don't
ignore this important part of financial planning. Plan
it out. Just be more careful in who you choose to help
A Final Caution
final caution is in order for your consumer protection.
You could be
with a trust salesman to the point, you will let down your
guard. Even after years of trusting financial advisors who
help you in managing your money, a few "slick" salesman will
perform absolute malpractice in some of the investments they
may push hard, the day they deliver your living trust and
any other documents included with it. Some may even
arrange for a notary, or be a notary -- so you can execute
the documents at your kitchen table. In appreciation
of the free notary services, you may very well feel
obligated to take a look at their investment products.
Just like the ads that run in our local newspapers quoting
CD rates on nothing more than annuity contracts quoting a
"first year only" interest rate, (caution in investing,
since full disclosure is not made properly on exactly what
is really for sale), deceiving sales practices also take
place by some unscrupulous salesman in these trust delivery
Yes, you hope they are legally licensed to hawk the
insurance products, but the caution is that some will go way
beyond common practice and ignore tax traps, all to get the
maximum commission on your money! What I am saying is
that a few of these guys will convince you to cash in your
retirement plan and then place it in a life insurance policy
or a high commission annuity.
They will verbally tell
you how much farther ahead you will be, getting rid of your
IRA accounts. Don't believe it and don't get suckered
here without a professional review of any and all proposals
with your trusted CPA or tax advisor. The reason is that if
you sign papers to scuttle your qualified money accounts in
your control (SEP's, IRA's, TSA's), and the accounts are
cashed in, the IRS is going to tax 100% of the funds.
Though some mandatory withholding applies in this case
(20%), you could be 20% short when the tax bill comes in and
the salesman most likely will be in another state doing the
same thing to other victims.
There are variations of
damaging sales practice, but this caution is here for the
main reason to warn you NEVER to sign papers that make a
drastic change to qualified retirement assets, or any larger
money accounts, without a session with your accountant and
the advisors that will be replaced if you sign papers
blindly. If you really want protection, just state you
are going to tape record or video tape the session.
This will send most of them out the door quickly!
I never apologize for quality and paying a higher
price to obtain it. Your
trust and portfolio of additional documents prepared by our
firm is going to cost you about a thousand dollars, give or
take a little depending on your marital status and asset
I found out many years ago
that most cheap things are not good and that most good
things are not cheap. As you shop, knowing you may
look at "price" alone as your gauge, I want to give you the
proper high standards my product is under, compared to
competitors -- so you can compare fairly.
My firm's Legacy
Trust Portfolio is nearly 300 pages (marital version), and
would cost about $3,500 if prepared at the same professional
level by a brand name Phoenix or Scottsdale law firm. The
free funding services I give away at no cost and the
complimentary gifts all new trust portfolio clients receive,
most likely will not be part of a lawyer prepared trust
portfolio. The value of having your trust consultant
help you, step by step, fund your trust, must be considered
in your total costs. With me, you get that important
assistance at no additional cost.
Without proper funding help, your trust will most likely go
through probate, no matter how much you pay for it!
Any trust we
create for you, provides modern provisions for foreign
travel or residency issues. And national travel or residency
issues (2nd homes). I also address the common
situation of having financial records on a computer hard
drive and authorize the spousal Trustee and subsequent
Successor Trustee to use modern electronic means to
administer the estate.
portfolio of documents includes new Arizona Trust Code (ATC),
HIPPA release (health information and privacy act)
provisions, and follow all Arizona statutes where applicable
in the individual documents making up the complete
portfolio. New 2012 - 2013+ estate tax provisions are
carefully drafted in all new or update trusts my firm
creates and delivers, for maximum protection against the
federal estate tax due upon death for larger estates. And
medicaid planning options for smaller estates.
If you are price
shopping, be sure to compare
"like kind" or you heirs may be disappointed in
any bargain plan you put in force. Or, you could pay a
fortune for a trust from a popular firm - yet not get your
money's worth. I see trusts fail every month in my
post-mortem IRA consulting practice.
(National and local Arizona
clients who have lost a loved one find large IRA accounts
must pay the trust, which often is outdated and almost
always, does not contain proper IRS rules language to handle
the funds properly)
don't always guarantee success after death, especially if
funding was not done properly after the trust was signed.
Believe me, I have seen in my practice when people die --
what was cheap in the way of estate planning documents on
this end of life
can become the most expensive on the other end.
It is like a double slap in the face when that happens.
O.K. This is The Horn Section
Disclaimer: To gain
your trust, I am going to do a little more tooting of my own
horn. If this bothers you, please skip to the next
I can say up
front that few other Arizona based "non lawyers" possess the
depth of knowledge that I have gained over the years,
especially in the multiple financial services that I
practice in. I maintain multiple licensing also in
insurance and real estate to be able to provide a package of
services few others offer.
Also, be sure to
read the testimonials at the bottom of this page on my
services from active clients so that you can fully grasp the
difference in my level of service to clients versus most
other firms operating here in Arizona.
So many seem
like they could care less about you after you do business
with them. In contrast, my ongoing service to clients shows
l only care MORE. Just read my client testimonials and
you will see the difference. I am an advisor who will pamper
you and help watch out for you -- watch over you as much as
is legally possible, and do so year after year. That's
the type of advisor I am. I
watch your back for you.
And, I also want
to invite those with incomplete estate planning portfolios
or that have out of date documents to explore this
information fully, so you can discover why a trust update
may be in order. My firms' professional document preparation
services are designed for all levels of your financial and
estate planning needs.
To read what my
clients think of me, CLICK HERE
(just hit your back button on your mouse to come back!)
I have created this site as a free information service to
This is your opportunity to tap into what I know, with
one main goal: to help you better understand these legal
instruments so you can take action. In my experience, most
people who procrastinate in regards to their estate planning
legal documents will experience major problems down the
road. I will always be sure to keep the most up to date
information on this site so you will want to mark it as a
"favorite" in your internet browser. This way you can come
back and read the updates from time to time.
And, if after reading the information -- you
find it helpful -- please send out a few introduction
e-mails to your other advisors, friends, relatives; in fact
anyone you really care about. This way they can get a good
understanding of what a professional Living Trust can do for
them, without any pressure from some local marketing person.
Trusts are not for everyone. Just those who have adequate
current assets or large life insurance payouts or special
needs -- so that funding can be done. (Funding just means
you transfer your assets into the trust once it is created,
or when you die in the case of a life insurance beneficiary
It is my sincere
hope that once you read up on this subject, you would then
take the necessary action to draft these documents with a
qualified firm and not put it off any longer. Yes, I would
love to have you as my new client, if you desire my
personalized services and favorable pricing. But, if you
have a good relationship with a qualified attorney, I still
must urge you to put together your own portfolio with him or
her if possible.
If you don't
currently have an attorney or Certified Legal Document
Preparer (AZCLDP) for these purposes, be sure to click on
to review the complete package costs or to actually order
YOUR UPDATE OR NEW TRUST PORTFOLIO online.
NOTE: I give an additional 10%
discount for all "internet" orders received online!
Years of Practice Shows in the "Legacy Trust" Custom Trust
Strategies, Inc. celebrated it's 20th corporate year doing
business in Arizona in 2012! (July 4th!!!), I am proud to
have delivered hundreds of trust portfolios to Arizona
consumers for 18 of those first 20 years doing business in
this great state! All without one complaint ever!
In fact, no professional complaints in multiple states of
practice have ever been filed in my multiple financial
occupations or practice for all 37+ years of total practice!
HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT AS YOU NOW
SEARCH FOR THE RIGHT FIRM TO DRAFT YOUR NEW TRUST
DOCUMENTS? OR TO UPDATE A CURRENT TRUST? OR TO
HELP SETTLE A TRUST NOW OR IN THE FUTURE?
So, Why Should I Consider Drafting a
First, For Those Who Don't
Know Exactly What a
Trust Is: Class 101!
you are beyond this point in your knowledge about Trusts,
you might want to skip to the next header section.
But, if you don't fully understand what they are, I am going
to help you with some basic and general legal information
for that purpose.
Trust" term comes from the Latin
"Inter Vivos" which means "during life". This phrase
is used to refer to the the making of a gift while a person
is still alive, unlike a bequest in a will. So a Living
Trust or Inter Vivos Trust is a property controlling entity
that is created and goes into effect while you are still
alive, and will remain as long as you want it to,
after your demise.
Trusts date back
to the days of European Kings and conquerors during the
Middle Ages. It seems that when a knight went off to fight
in far away lands for his King, the very same King often had
the bad habit of taking over the management of any property
owned by the knight. Eventually, the King would claim
ownership of the property, considering it as payment for the
management services rendered. Since some of these wars
lasted for many years, the knight would come to nothing!
But, when the
Inter Vivos Trusts and placed their property in them
before going away to war, they secured greatly enhanced
asset and property protection. The Trust was an organized,
legal vehicle complete
with an appointed Trustee. Back then, the church was
the Trustee of choice for the best chance of getting the
property back later. This Trustee was given the
responsibility and power to manage the property and defend
it from any claims of abandonment or other false claims the
government might have made against it.
concept of the Living Trust migrated across the Atlantic. In
1765, Patrick Henry (who was not a lawyer) became the first
to write a Living Trust in the New World. The Trust was
written for Robert Morris, Governor of the Virginia colony.
Interestingly, his Trust, the
North American Land Company, is still operational
most of the history of the United States, Living Trusts were
not very popular with the mainstream population. This was
because in modern times (the birth of the IRS), a separate
trust tax return was required each year for all Trust
holders which is known as IRS Tax Form 1041. Fortunately in
1981, congress passed a law that allows all American
taxpayers to draft a Trust and no longer be required to file
a separate Trust tax return (as long as you remain competent
and in charge of your trust estate). That opened up the
floodgate for this very popular legal estate planning
vehicle here in the United States. It is being utilized
today by younger and younger generations. (I have written
trusts for executives still in their 20's!)
Prior to this
huge IRS tax law change the Living Trust concept was usually
used only in cases of vast riches. You can bet that most of
the past relatives of families such as the Kennedy's,
Vanderbilt's, and Rockefellers, had either a Living Trust or
a Testamentary Trust in their Will when they died. (A
Testamentary Trust is just a trust that is born upon your
death and controls your money and property for the sake of
your surviving heirs.)
When the tax law
first changed, people caught on pretty slowly. But the
Living Trust revolution gained steam throughout the 80's and
was at full pace by the early 90's. Sadly, in spite of the
revolution, about 70% of Americans today still die
intestate, meaning they have no Will or Trust in place to
control their lifetime achievement - their estate!
And just as the
Trusts of old protected the property of knights, placing
your property into a Trust with someone in charge as Trustee
does protect your assets for both a long term disability as
well as for your eventual demise. It was a good idea back in
the beginning when they first came onto the scene -- and it
is just as good an idea today.
signed and funded Living Trusts also protect you against
high legal fees as long as you choose adequate (meaning
trustworthy and financially smart) Trustees and appoint one
or two backup Trustees. This will insure that someone will
always be in charge, and thus court intervention can be
Portfolio of almost any Arizona practitioner also contains
valuable Power of Attorney documents. If you don't have
these documents, a court may order a Conservatorship in the
event that you become disabled. In Arizona, a legal
Conservatorship requires attorney representation and
multiple court appearances each year until you either
recover or die. During this time, you can expect continuous
generous withdrawals from your checking account.
Fortunately, this "living hell" money scenario can easily be
avoided via a low cost properly executed General Durable
Power of Attorney document in most cases.
In summary, a
Living Trust allows professional management of your property
when you are disabled or die. The rest of the coordinated
legal documents in a modern Trust Portfolio protect you
further from hefty legal expenses and court fees. Normally,
this holds true even without invoking an official court
declared "disabled" status.
This allows the
agent you appoint on your Money Care Power of Attorney
document to manage your affairs privately without the extra
expense of legal representation required by the court as is
the case in Arizona with a legal court Conservatorship.
Also, it allows your medical power of attorney agent to
represent you in all medical decisions when you can't make
them, including mental care decisions under a recent change
in Arizona law.
O.K., I Understand the
But, Why Do I Really Need A Trust Here in
the early 90's here in Arizona, I was busier than a one
handed paper boy in the retirement communities I worked in.
I was going from one client referral to another in order to
give consumers what they wanted. Sometimes, I had 3-4
clients all on the same block! Back then, they just wanted
to avoid probate with a Living Trust. But today, you can
avoid another issue that is mainstream. In fact, it is so
widespread that it will soon reach an epidemic level if more
controls are not put in place.
I am talking
about identity theft of course. ET's (Electronic Terrorists)
have invaded the world, using numerous methods at their
disposal to gather your personal information, assume your
identity, and thereby steal your assets. In fact, as of
2005, the U.S. Trade Commission reported that the
Phoenix area had the nation's highest per capita rate of
very talented "bad guys" have ruined the finances of
countless individuals. You may not think this could ever
happen to you, but if it does, you will wish you had been
more careful! Fraud of every kind and description has gone
"electronic", and you not only need to protect your
identity, but that of your future heirs as well.
county was one of the first counties in the United States to
go online with court proceedings and real estate homeowner
information years ago, you can now get online property
information from almost any county recorder in the United
States. And for most states, it is allowed by law! That
includes probate records that may contain what you owned,
who gets what, the value of your estate assets, etc.
Actually, some states have recently passed legislation to
restrict their former online access allowed to view online,
certain legal documents such as property deeds.
It is all public information!
your identity starts with restricting as much as possible
the kind of information that ends up on county recorder
websites. A properly funded Living Trust can help.
Only a Living
Trust can shelter you from probate upon the second death of
a husband and wife union if your real (real estate) property asset count
exceeds $100,000 here in Arizona, or your "other" property
exceeds $75,000. If you own more than these
minimums in these two categories -- titling assets in joint tenancy with rights of
survivorship does not stop probate when the second spouse
And, a single
person has to draft real estate deeds and money accounts
with "payable upon death" clauses in order to try and avoid
probate! Others, try titling assets in joint tenancy with
their brother, sister, or their children to avoid probate
when they die. But sadly, few stop and think about the
consequences if that person they place on the title or
account (and thus create an IRS reportable gift if their
"transfer amount" exceeds $14,000) ends up in a divorce or
lawsuit. Law firms smile at these titling "whoops" when they
discover them. They smile because many times, it helps raise
the firm revenue on the legal case...
me just cringe when we discover asset transfers that exceed
the current $14,000 IRS allowed gifting limit per recipient
per year! I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all
the times I have seen these transfers that exceed IRS
limits, after the fact. And, few understood their
requirement to file an IRS gift tax return, when these
transfers were made other than between a husband and wife!
(Husband and wife gifts are unlimited and thus, are no
Trying to avoid
the costs of drafting a proper living trust portfolio by
trying these "alternative" methods, can and often will "back
fire" on larger estates or in cases of high litigation
professions or rocky marriages! Banks don't always maintain
proper payable upon death records. They mix signature cards
up with double ownership entries such as "Trust Account" and
"Joint Account" which legally means they don't have a clue
what they are doing.
THE CLUE: It
has to be one or the other -- BUT IT CAN'T BE BOTH!
Or in many cases
I have seen a son or daughter will come in and place their
name on the signature card which automatically created a
joint tenancy account! If the person you put on your
accounts dies right before you do -- you are still
reclassified under the law as a "single" estate. (unless a
wise advisor transferred the accounts to a valid living
trust prior to your death) AND THAT MEANS PROBATE on larger
It is either payable upon death with sole ownership, or it
is in joint tenancy. Joint tenancy with rights of
survivorship* precludes any payable death clause. Heck, it
even precludes any and all other legal documents such as
WILLS and TRUSTS that you may have stated therein who gets
the subject property!
* Usually listed
in abbreviation as "JTWROS"
Trying to title
a money account both ways could mean "court required
interpretation". Who wants that? Do you really want to have
to risk making your heirs go to court after your death just
to figure out your true intentions?
So, if there
was a way to avoid the possibility to give away family asset
information, such as can happen when public record probate
files are posted on the internet from your county, wouldn't
it be prudent to investigate it further?
Well, that is
why you are here learning about these concepts so you can be
proactive and do something about any problems or concerns
this free information may bring to mind. I would not be an
honorable and professional financial advisor if I didn't
have answers for any general problem areas that may come to
mind as you resource on the content of this website. And,
rest assured, if you relate any personal circumstances to me
after reading this information that I feel needs a legal
opinion from a qualified attorney -- you will be pointed
that direction first! (I can only give you general
legal information under my AZCLDP licensing)
One thing is for
sure, I have heard just about every kind of problem from the
individual and family trust clients of the past, and never
once was I not able to provide solutions to their problems
and concerns with legal documents. And, whenever a legal
opinion or trust company opinion was necessary to assist in
giving my client a legal solution, it was properly obtained.
Some were upon death beds. Others were after the client
How is your sleep lately?
I know my Legacy
Trust Portfolio clients sleep better knowing they have done
everything legally possible to protect their estates.
Taking safeguards is just pure, plain
common sense. So is
spending a "grand" or so to protect your assets you
worked all of your life to accumulate. Protect them from the
added expense and time delays of probate. And avoid the
chance to create probate financial records in the first
place. Those records can aid an identity thief or any thief
or con artist who then can casually "read about you" on the
internet! In other words, don't seed a potential crime
upon your heirs that will be receiving your property after
Example: If a
con artist or thief reads your probate records, they most
likely could learn about your heirs and maybe even their
address's. They surely would learn more about your estate
assets! What would stop them from staging a fake flat tire
in front of the home of your daughter, for example, that
just inherited a $250,000 brokerage account?
point, I must give you a disclaimer statement:
Just because you draft an Arizona Living
Trust, it doesn't mean some identity thief will not still
dig through your trash at night and find your birth date,
social security number, or credit card numbers. And then use
that information to help take over your identity.
Here is a
guaranteed solution to that happening:
Well, if you
think this concept might be what you are looking for, and
you have already had a few restless nights worrying about
your money, your family when you are gone, etc, just keep
reading. I will try to give you all the choices you
have in Arizona for drafting the needed documents you now
may be seeking.
If you want more
information on protecting against identity theft,
What Are my Options for Trust
draft legal documents by yourself, hire an AZCLDP, (Arizona
Certified Legal Documents Preparer), or engage a lawyer for
such services. I think the most important and fair
information I can relate is that the quality of the work you
seek should be top notch, up to date, and legally correct.
Doing It Yourself
ago, I had an Intel executive contact me with a challenge.
He told me he thought he could create a full Trust Portfolio
on his own, using a software program he had just bought. I
took the challenge. A few weeks later, he called and asked
me to review what he had done, sounding really proud over
the phone about what he thought he had accomplished.
Now, you must
understand that this was a smart guy. Not only did he
have intimate knowledge of how computer chips are assembled,
but he could also take apart and rebuild high-end race cars
in his garage. Indeed he was and still is able to do most
mechanical things others would fail miserably at.
But, what he
didn't know was that I had read every book on Living Trusts
and had been collecting legal documents for many years
before I started my legal documents practice. And since the
start of that practice, I had written over 50 full Trust
Portfolios. I sat down one night with him to review his
work. One by one I circled areas of concern as well as
outright missing clauses and statutes. His Trust was only
about 16 pages in length with double spacing! (For the
record, my original Trust back then was around 38 pages,
As an engineer
who could master mechanical things with great ease, this
prospective client quickly lost his smile and before long
was asking me how much it would cost to draft his documents
for him. To this day he relies on me to take care of this
extremely important area of finance for him and his wife. I
met the challenge back then because I was motivated to show
that my system was better than a "do it yourself" software
program, no matter who makes it. I have to warn you too:
nothing has changed.
Just missing the
important HIPAA waivers in your Arizona documents
may subject the documents you create on your own from ever
being fully useful. New medical information privacy laws
must be drafted or at least addressed in your legal
documents to stave off rejection by both health care
providers and possibly some money institutions. It is
generally accepted legal knowledge now that a simple
paragraph with the HIPAA release waiver can most likely do
If you have
already drafted trust portfolio documents on your own, and
know a nurse or health care provider organization, just have
a chat with them about these new "privacy" rules and see
what they think about the usability of the documents you
have created. Or, seek out an actual legal opinion from an
Arizona lawyer, just to be sure you have a valid estate
planning legal document that will actually perform when it
is needed most.
Just like you
would hate to grab a "spent" fire extinguisher if your
chimney suddenly bursts into roaring flames, suddenly
grabbing those "dusty" legal papers you did yourself a while
back when the hospital asks for them -- and then being
quickly told they can not be accepted or used would be
disastrous. All because they don't include the new HIPAA
clauses. That would be a bad day for both appointed agent
those who don't update their legal documents because they
think they are like a car that never needs service -- I am
aware that this disastrous scenario is happening to them
each and every day! (And I would be willing to bet that at
least 1/2 of those stalled cars you see all over Arizona
were because of inadequate servicing as well!) Updates
don't cost that much, but if you are not willing to update a
modern Trust Portfolio from time to time, it most likely is
not worth spending the money on it in the first place!
To learn more
about HIPAA, use this link:
To learn more
about how to update your current trust, use this link:
Arizona Living Trust Update Services
Additional Caution for Do It Yourself Trust Makers:
It also should be mentioned that the new
Arizona Trust Code (ATC) dictates you get professional help.
You may want to check with a lawyer to be sure you get the
proper wording and provisions in this new trust law that
became effective January 1st, 2009. Or, you can use my
firm as well, since extensive study and research on the ATC
provisions was done when the law became effective. The
2009 onward FSI Legacy Trust Portfolio's
reflect this important change in Arizona domiciled trusts.
And, adding in the
recent permanent change in estate tax law...a do
it yourself trust maker could easily miss important
provisions or his or her heirs suffer loss from stale terms
that remain in old trusts (such as A/B splitting demands)
that now can trigger large income tax bills for heirs since
any "B" assets are not given a second "step-up" in value
upon the second death of a husband and wife.
You see, we used to be
more scared of the 50 %+ estate tax upon death then the
income tax on irrevocable trust assets placed in a B
(bypass) trust upon the first death of a husband and wife.
But, with portability options available to the surviving
spouse (you can preserve unused credits for your own death),
the former "fix" has become the "hitch" and most likely your
older trust, if not amended, forces funding a trust upon the
first death of a husband and wife that doesn't need to be
And worse -- restricts
income tax options to die income tax free for your surviving
spouse on any estate "capital" asset that has grown greatly
since the first death.
(Your main home still has the 250k exclusion factor for a
Still Undecided Between a
Lawyer and an AZCLDP?
what about finding someone else to do this work? Well, that
is why I am giving away as much information for free as I am
allowed to do. This is so you can make a good decision on
who you employ to do your estate planning documents. Just
like the chicken undecided on crossing the road, timing may
be everything for you to make the right decision. I have had
prospective clients reject what I do by putting me off until
later. I understand that. Timing needs to be right. Sadly, I
also find that those who put it off indefinitely just don't
care that much about their surviving loved ones! This is
both sad and disastrous.
But, if you are now looking at doing this work, please look
outside yourself in this area of your finances, because just
one mistake or absent clause, or wrong state statute can not
only cost money to fix later. It could cost a lot of pain
and aggravation as well on your surviving family members, if
you become disabled or die with an imperfect legal document.
That would be your spouse, your children, your grandchildren
-- or if you don't have a direct family; all of your heirs
and survivors, whoever they may be.
What I have found practicing in this area here in Arizona
since 1991 is that the
cost of an Arizona version of a living trust is no
indicator of quality. I have helped clients amend, and
in some rare cases -- revoke -- many attorney prepared
documents, as well as many that were written by non-lawyers
before and since 2003. At that time, "certification" was
required by new state statutes for all document preparers.
In essence, this requirement "legitimized" the work many of
us trail blazer non-lawyers had done for many years prior to
the change in law.
documents I re-wrote for document clients in the past was to
correct simple mistakes as well as to draft the correct
statutes for this state. Some bring their legal documents
with them when they move here and it is pretty well known in
the legal community that an update is in order. If your old
Iowa trust is to adopt Arizona statutes and embrace Arizona
as the controlling trust state, it is good to understand
that an amendment may be in order to change it and adopt the
proper "community property" rules.
And, it is also general knowledge to all legal document
preparers who do estate planning documents, that the state
of residence is usually controlling for empowerment of the
acting Trustee, even if he or she is different than the
Trustor (trust maker). The point is that maybe the
document should update whenever the Trustee or Trustor
change their state of residence. This happens more often
than you might think. I can count at least 15-20 or
more active living trust clients in my files that have moved
away from Arizona!
Particular to Arizona laws, what a husband and wife
accumulate or earn here in Arizona while married is their
"community" property assets, meaning each spouse owns a 1/2
interest regardless of how the asset is titled, or who earns
it in the case of current earned income. Now, you can also
have "separate" assets too, which means you haven't put the
other spouse's name on an account you owned prior to your
marriage. Or, it could remain separate property when you
have inherited money or property and have titled those
assets as your "sole and separate" property, and you haven't
added your spouse to the title or account, since you
received your inheritance.
of our former Governors found out that "commingling" even a
simple bank account (his wife's) can be disastrous.
it's the one who says he believes in UFO's) Now, if you are
in a position where you are either in or threatened by a
lawsuit, divorce, or known potential capital loss situation,
you should use a lawyer and pay the going rate to get a
legal opinion on what estate legal documents you need, and
of course to just have legal representation during any time
of legal conflict.
But, if your life is "normal", and your marriage is "good"
(if married), and no one is about to sue you -- an Arizona
Certified Legal Document Preparer may very well be all you
need to accomplish your estate document planning goals and
still have plenty of money left in your savings account when
it is all done! After all, I personally take many of
the exact same legal "continued education" courses the
lawyers have to take here in Arizona. I always have to
be sure my general information and knowledge, as well as my
specific documents -- are up to date. There is plenty
of scrutiny by administrative boards that govern my license,
to be sure I practice ethically and legally. (Arizona
Supreme Court Boards govern AZCLP's)
Just be sure if you want or need to use an Arizona lawyer to
draft your estate planning documents, that you do business
with a firm that agrees to notify you of any and all state
and federal law changes. Some offer these services, and yet
are not as active as they could be in getting back in touch
with you when the laws change. If either the client or
the lawyer ignores the original work done in estate planning
documents, it can easily lead to at least a probate on
partial estate assets that never got funded into the Living
biggest problem I have seen recently is the failure of
mortgage companies or title companies to put a property back
"in trust" after a refinancing is complete. (Some
still make you take your home out of trust to be able to
largest valued home to date of this happening, was just a
few years ago when a property in the Ahwatukee foothills
area was found out of trust. The value of that home is
around a million dollars! Luckily, nothing had happened and
I discovered the mistake during a document update session
for the client and got it corrected.
last time it happened was for a deceased trust estate owner
who did not have a trust drafted by my firm, but his son was
referred to me after losing his father. Though his single
father had an active living trust prior to his death, it was
found out of trust at the point of sale after his death.
I was hired to assist the heir in preparing his probate
problem in that case was discovered by a simple title search
that the last major bank who had done a "re-fi" on the home
"assumed" the house was in trust and never really checked!
It was one of those loan by phone deals. The client
most likely did not know his home was not in trust prior to
his death. Originally it was funded into the trust,
but another re-fi company took it out and never
assisted after the loan closing to deed it back!
These kind of mistakes yield some pretty large fees for law
firms in the long run. Even if it isn't intentional, it
obviously happens by default. All you have to do is ask what
a prospective law firms' trust update policy is. If
they don't have one, maybe you should look elsewhere!
if you need or want a lawyer for this important work, just
take a few minutes to research a referral, or find a
referral by visiting the state bar website:
committee that governs AZCLDP's is still quite busy trying
to police the un-certified rogues who still practice
illegally here in Arizona without certification as document
preparers. Be sure you ask anyone talking about doing
this work for you if they are authorized. If they say they
use a lawyer to prepare the documents you get, ask for
a written confirmation of this and for the supervision
program they are under. Not from them -- but from the
lawyer they quote who prepares the documents. If they
don't have one...maybe you are looking the wrong direction
link is provided so you can also read up on the supervising
authority who supervises me and all other AZCLDP's here in
ARIZONA SUPREME COURT LINK
OK, You Don't Like Paying
$ 450/hr Law Firm Bills -- So Now What?
if you don't like paying out the big bucks to a law firm
that charges $350 for every hour it takes to create your
documents -- that leaves us AZCLDP's!!! I was allowed
to practice my document preparation business for many years
prior to the law change, so I have have many years of
Even the great
law firms that do a lot of pro bono work, may not have the
same timing when you suddenly need a legal document. (And
most of their free services are for those that have very
preparers in the past filed bankruptcy petitions, divorce
decrees, wrote Living Trusts and Wills, Powers of Attorney,
and so on. In fact, you could previously do just about
anything a lawyer could do - without openly being accused of
"practicing law", absent of representing a client in a court
restrictions abound on what an AZCLDP can do. THANK GOD!
There were some of those "less than desirable" documents
preparers in the past that now face the wrath of the Arizona
Supreme Court. The court is now ultimately in charge of a
committee that governs all actions and mis-actions of any
AZCDLP practicing here in Arizona. The consumers got the
protection they deserved, just like they had with lawyers
prior to the certification statutes being passed and
becoming effective July 1st, 2003.
My firm is
certified to practice as a corporation and I have an
individual certification as well. I can not and do not give
legal advice. But, I can give general legal information in
my client relationship so that it can be agreed upon between
the parties on just what estate planning documents should be
drafted for you. And because of additional licensing, I can
also help on funding and give advice in that area that
others are not qualified or even licensed to do.
Almost all of my
competitors do a full "Living Trust Portfolio" these days,
so the product on the surface is about the same. This means,
each portfolio will have a Living Trust document, a
"Schedule A" asset listing section, a Last Will & Testament
(also called a pour over will), and proper health and money
power of attorney instruments to take care of those matters
if you become ill. These "POA" type instruments are
only effective to use prior to death.
The trust is
effective upon the signing date for any active money
management, during disability, and of course, it becomes the
controlling instrument to govern your estate upon your
death. It is common legal knowledge and practice to try and
just use the power of attorney documents prior to death, so
that a separate tax return for the trust is not required
under current IRS code.
Take A Look At The Individual & Portfolio Documents
Available To Order Online -- And Important "On line" Pricing
So What Sets M.D. Anderson Apart
from other AZCLDP's?
This question should be asked
of any AZCLDP you may consider for this work. But,
pertaining to my practice, I can attest and state openly as
fact the following sets me and my firm apart from my fellow
associates here in Arizona:
Few have practiced doing legal documents in Arizona
since 1991. I only do estate planning documents. I have
been an estate planner since 1976! I have written 100's
of Arizona trusts. Sadly, over 100 clients have used
them so far! None to date, with my knowledge, have ever
triggered a probate!!! THIS WAS BY DESIGN AND CAREFUL
ATTENTION TO DETAILS, AND PROPER FOLLOW-UP SERVICES AS
preparers take the extra time to list each asset with
actual account numbers and assist in funding until the
funding process is completed. I can do so because of
licensing in real estate and insurance, which allows
much more depth in understanding the proper funding
procedures for your assets and being legally authorized
in assisting you in the complicated funding process. Note:
An unfunded trust is worthless. And, an incorrectly
funded trust may be worse than ever having one!
I am an IRA
expert. All 401-k's, 403b's, and other pension plans
sooner or later become an IRA at retirement. And all can
be "stretched" to pay for generations if set up
properly. Knowing how to re-title IRA's is extremely
important!!! I have already saved my Arizona clients
hundreds of thousands of dollars in needless tax when
they die with a large IRA by preplanning for an
"Inherited IRA". This procedure can be pre-planned to
kick in at death and allow your survivors to continue
the minimum distributions the decedent was taking prior
to death, based on the new life expectancy of the
beneficiaries! Warning: Some of the fastest
talking, high ego financial planners have and will tell
you to cash in your parents' IRA as the only option. The
truth is, it is the only option
that allows them to get a new "lump sum" commission on
more information on how to set up your IRA for
"Inherited IRA" status, just visit this popular
information site also sponsored by Financial Strategies,
Also being a
practicing accountant since 1987 allows me to have great
depth in understanding all tax provisions in my company
"Legacy Trust" portfolio series and explaining them
adequately to my legal document clients. Adding my
knowledge and experience as a RE/MAX Realtor as well
just expands my scope and coverage in funding a trust
service is available. I take great pride in my "mobile"
services provided to any metro Phoenix resident. If you
desire, I will come to your home to discuss or draft
your trust portfolio, all for your convenience and
comfort! And I not only service the work I produce,
but I will give document service to anyone else you know
how knows they have an out of date trust! (Appointments
outside the metro Phoenix area are also available on
product may very well be the best designed, complete,
and legally correct trust portfolio available in Arizona
from a non-lawyer AZCLDP, based on other competitor
products that have been reviewed for over 20 years of
practice! I give you about 300 pages of quality estate
planning documents that are long and lengthy by design
to be sure all contingencies are covered. Better yet, I
follow rigid update parameters to be sure my master
documents comply with strict Arizona state statutes as
well as Federal statutes, and all law changes that
affect both of them. I then offer affordable updates
just days after changes take place.
Unlike most Arizona based legal
documents, my portfolio documents give coverage out of
state as well as around the world. With new
portability clauses, you will get extension of
protection no matter where you travel to!
Extras! Extras! Extras! I do family
documentations, digital photography inserts, trust
stationary, etc., that others would never dream of
including -- all at one set "package" price! If you
don't have pictures available for scanning or transfer,
I even give away a free photo session to get up to date
pictures into your portfolio! Also, free designer
pens, note pads, web access, etc. etc.
I even have a new "legacy writer" authoring service
to help you document your life -- while you are still
So, The Only Problem With
Reading This and Putting It Off Before You Decide to Draft
could put it off just like 70% of all Americans did that
have passed on before us. They put it off...and,
then they died!
In that case,
your good intentions, your desires and your dreams for your
survivors -- may just vanish into thin air if you are
seriously disabled or die before drafting these life and
death controlling legal documents.
You might even
be like some "almost" clients who on more than one occasion,
went ahead and set appointments with me to draft a trust --
and never lived long enough to actually attend the
appointments that were set! One died at a rest stop
somewhere in Nebraska and another up on the ridge of the
Grand Canyon! (So in that case, set an appointment
If you have been
educated some, enlightened some, maybe even motivated some
to make you want to go to the next step to investigate the
costs and procedures, I have accomplished my goal! So, the
next step for you might be to just do this and get it over
with once and for all! I doubt anyone is going to give you a
free "trust" for Christmas or for your birthday.
You are going to have to do this on your
own my friend.
I personally and
cordially invite you now to visit my firms' additional pages
and websites if you want, so you can get special internet
pricing. A secured credit card portal allows you to
hire me and get an automatic 10% discount as well for doing
it online! Some sites are "flash" enabled so
hopefully your computer can access them.
Take this next
step if you desire a modern and complete Arizona Living
Trust Portfolio. Also, a Trust Portfolio may be more than
what you need in legal documents, and my sister product -
The Will Portfolio - can also fit the needs of smaller
estates or smaller budgets to pay for these important estate
Now, I cordially
ask you to
E-mail me and
tell me what you think of this information and if it helped
you in your journey (maze?) of understanding these
complicated instruments? Or at least, if this
information gave you the "push" you needed to go ahead and
draft them? Or, just give me your comments, corrections, or
maybe even your own story about how a trust helped or the
lack of having a trust hurt someone you know. I would
be happy to publish it here or on a blog if you submit them
to me. (Be sure to give me contact information so I can send
you a legal release form)
I have found
that this work is a journey, just like life. I was granted
the skills to not only create and draft quality trust
portfolios, but to be able to help families understand them
both before and after -- when things go wrong. I have
tried to give as much general legal information as you need
to help educate you. Not just to be prepared for your
own estate plan now but for the future as well.
Many children of
my senior clients from around the United States now carry a
Trust ID card I gave their parents with my nationwide toll
free number on it. They are ready when they get that dreaded
call..."something has happened to Mom...".
They like knowing someone in Arizona is on
stand by no matter what time of day or evening it is.
If you are reading this and have an immediate
question or perhaps you have someone else here in Arizona
you would like me to contact, help. update, etc. --
just give me a call right now:
(No obligation or cost of course)
I know for a
fact my clients as well as their children have great comfort
in being able to call me when that call comes in and ask for
the general legal information on what they should do. Quite
a few are relieved that I can also perform the needed estate
accounting procedures and tax preparation for them if they
I help my
Arizona clients avoid probate and the hassle, delays and
expense associated with it. I help them keep the estate
information private so "prying sets of eyes" from
undesirable internet crooks won't catch wind of large money
asset transfers.* It is so easy to do that with a
proper Living Trust Portfolio.
* Only real
property (deeds) or mortgage assets (deeds of trust) are
still visible at death on county recorder websites when a
trust is used to fund ALL of your estate assets.
I would like to
help you and your family do this important work the right
way. Please don't be
so busy chopping wood to not come in and sharpen the blade!
Regardless if I
ever personally meet you, or if I ever do business together
with you, it has been my extreme pleasure to meet you
electronically in this format. I wish you the best in good
health and long and happy life!
M.D. Anderson, President
Testimonials are readily available for those who may still
need some coaxing or convincing that my services are premier
and priced fairly over alternative methods. Here are
four recent testimonials from my clients that have used my
will or trust portfolio services, and also show the maturity
of my long-term client relationships. (Meaning I am
planning on being around to help you in the future when you
need it most) If you don't know if you can trust a
long distance advisor - two of the
four clients have never personally met me!!!
(Received on 9/30/08)
"My first interaction with Mike
happened back in September 2005 approximately 1 month
after my mother passed away in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Mike
had made my mothers living trust some years prior to her
death. I had copies of bits and pieces of the trust my
mother had sent me but had never seen the whole trust
until it was given to me by her new husband of 8 months
only hours after her death. Being unfamiliar with the
trust as well as devastated by the sudden passing of my
mother I went through it briefly and hit what I felt
were the high points. It wasn’t until I arrived back in
Spokane, Washington that I sought out help ciphering
through the whole trust with the help of a reputable
living trust attorney. His initial charge to complete it
all would be between $15,000- $25,000. It was a fairly
substantial trust but I felt that was a bit over the
top. I then sat down and read it cover to cover and
stumbled upon a statement that said to contact Mike
Anderson if any problems were encountered reading the
trust. So I figured I’d contact him before proceeding
forward of course figuring another big price tag to get
Boy was I
pleasantly surprised after speaking with Mike for just a
few minutes and finding out he could take care of
everything for somewhere around $1000-$1500 depending on
what changes my mother had done to it. I sent the trust
to Mike. From that point on I never had any worries.
Mike kept in constant contact with me always keeping me
informed of what needed to be done and when and then he
took care of it. My mother (bless her heart) had made
quite numerous changes some on her own and some with
assistance from her new husband of 8 months. Most
changes were done by pencil scratch out and re-written
in new information. Mike was able to cipher through all
the legal and questionable changes that had taken place
and handled everything there in Arizona.
I felt so
comfortable with Mike’s guidance and knowledge I had
him go ahead and make living trust’s for both me and my
wife. I have been in contact with Mike over the last 3
years asking guidance when I make additions and changes
to my trust and he is always very expedient and
professional in getting back to me. I cannot thank Mike
enough for all the monetary value he saved but more for
all the mental grief he saved me. Thanks Mike!"
Retired MSgt USAF
Max & Ellen Eskildsen
Mead, Washington 99021
(Received on 6/27/08) "I have known Michael Anderson for
some time as both a colleague and as an associate of our 105
year-old Brazilian international law firm, located in Rio de
Janeiro. Mike and his Arizona firm, Financial Strategies,
Inc. has been contracted to do strategic financial, tax,
trust and estate planning and development on behalf of an
important and long-standing client, a member of one of
Brazil’s most famous families with assets in Brazil and
personally attest to his business acumen, sharpness of mind,
outstanding professional abilities and most importantly, his
honesty, integrity and professionalism in accomplishing the
most difficult and complex tasks put to him. Mike’s
personal interest in the well-being and concern for the
client’s interests entrusted to him is remarkable and
noteworthy. His Estate Planning & Trust Portfolio has become
a model for others attempting to match his efforts in
producing such an important and meaningful document to both
clients, their heirs and family members.
has constantly dealt with professionals in all sectors
world-wide over the years and I can attest to that fact that
Mike is head and shoulders above them all. We look forward
to a continued and fruitful relationship with Michael
Anderson and his firm for years to come."
Saul S. Gefter, Esq.
U.S. Consul (ret.)
Member, D.C. Bar Assn.
Petrópolis, RJ Brazil
(Received on 6/14/08): "It was my mother,
Berniece Robb, who first introduced me to Michael
Anderson. Mother's tax accountant extraordinaire for a
period of time, she became aware of Mike's family trust
preparation capabilities. Contacting referrals, she
received splendid encouragement from individuals who had
engaged Mr. Anderson in preparing their trusts. Mother
placed her confidence in Mike and asked him to proceed with
her estate. Soon after, as I was a widow with three
children, Mother encouraged me to do the same. That
was winter of 1992.
Mother died in April of 1996.
As difficult as the loss was emotionally, Mike stepped
up to the plate (Mike was only a phone call away),
just as he informed us he would and as the trust would.
As successor to Mother's estate, I had immediate access to
her accounts, including the ability to write checks for her
funeral expenses. There was no probate, no waiting, no
need for approval from brokerage houses and financial
institutions, and no added expenses. Everything was in
order and fell mercifully in place, thanks to Mike's
foresight in trust preparation.
updates may be necessary due to changes in the law (I have
had one), I can say with confidence that I have peace
of mind Mike will inform me of such changes and my children
will experience the same ease when it comes time to settling
my estate at my death. My children will know my final
wishes. Short of that, the individuals I have chosen
will have the trust tools (Powers of Attorney), to deal with
all health and financial issues should I be incapable of
In all sincerity, Thank you Mike Anderson for
offering me "Shaffer Family Trust" peace of mind.
(Received on 5/8/08):
"Mike Anderson has been handling our taxes
for our small business for about 20 years. He never keeps us
waiting for answers when we have questions about anything
from taxes to finances to real estate. He is very
knowledgeable and we know that we can trust his advice.
did our trust for our family and it was wonderful! He
seems to make it come alive by the way he represents the
family in personal ways by adding pictures of us and even
our pets. Mike makes our life run more smoothly and he
does it at a very affordable price."
Frankie and Dennis Malicowski
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Help yourself to
these free forms. They are the necessary service forms
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if you have decided to employ our certified document
preparation services for your living trust at this time,
this is a handy way to get instant access to everything you
need to get started.
All are in PDF
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What Information Do I Need to Do a Trust?
FSI Current Pricing Sheet
FSI Disclosure Form
FSI Legacy Trust Portfolio Data Worksheet
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Disclaimer: The information
contained on this site, though deemed reliable and accurate, is solely
the opinion and statements of the advisor profiled. Therefore, it should
be considered "general" in nature and no action should be taken based on
this information until such time your specific situation and
circumstances can be reviewed and analyzed by competent and qualified
tax, insurance, legal, and/or other financial advisors. This information
is not intended, nor should be construed as legal advice. FSI can not
and will not give you legal advice. If you need legal advice, we can
refer you if you desire and request it. Founded in 1990, FSI is a
long-term Financial Advisory and Arizona domiciled Corporation now
providing services nationwide and in some foreign countries. Services
profiled herein are available unrestricted to Arizona residents.
Residents outside of Arizona are eligible for certain consulting
services and to legal (lawyer) referrals by our firm when requested of
us. For Arizona residents, communication with an Arizona Certified Legal
Document Preparer (AZCLDP) are private and confidential but are not
"privileged", such as they would be with an actual Lawyer.
Besides being a licensed Arizona Certified Legal
Document Preparer, Mr. Anderson is also an Arizona
Professional Accountant/Consultant (soon to apply to the IRS
as an enrolled agent) and registered IRS tax
preparer and ERO (Electronic Return Originator) agent/firm.
He also is an Arizona licensed Professional
(Realtor®)/consultant (with Realty One Group) and a licensed Professional insurance
agent and corporation for life, health or annuity sales.
Lastly, he and his firm is an appointed representative for
Royal Metals Group as a Professional Precious Metals
consultant and sales advisor.
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which can be referenced or reviewed by clicking on the highlighted text
in this sentence above.
Corporate Member, Arizona Association of
Independent Paralegals / Mr. Anderson also serves on the
Advisory Board of Senior Advisor Magazine
M.D.Anderson is a personal member of the NEA
(National Ethics Association) for multiple
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