The Latest Arizona Living Trust Information At Your Fingertips!

Living Trust

M.D. Anderson in Chandler AzWelcome! 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 desire the most current update for your current trust -- 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 38+ years. I am a Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP), which is necessary for licensing of non-lawyers drafting legal documents in Arizona. 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.

This information site is for you, especially if you are currently lost in the "maze" of legal jargon, wondering what trusts are, who needs them, what they cost, or perhaps you are wondering just who can legally draft them.

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 an update.  Because of a major federal law change on estate taxes in 2013, chances are high you do. 

You may also need help in settling your trust and those services are available. Or, you may also be out of state searching for help on settling a parent's trust as Trustee or estate administrator, and our estate settlement services are available to you as well.


High Quality Legal DocumentsAll properly drafted Arizona living trusts must meet certain minimum standards, especially since Arizona 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 properly.  It 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 "top hat" 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 and updated documents. You can obtain the quality legal documents you expect at an affordable and reasonable cost factor by using my company document preparation services.

Specific Ways To Assist You Right Now

This website is for YOU, so that you can gain the increments of knowledge on how to:

1. Draft from scratch, a modern high quality Arizona living trust and other estate planning documents.

2. Update a current trust and other estate planning documents.

3. Settle any Arizona living trust for your loved one.

In 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 mandatory* law.

* 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 provisions!

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 sound information that is current and up to date regarding any Arizona trust or trust portfolio legal document. 

My 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. 

So, 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 possible.

Check off of Services

Want to Avoid Mistakes?  Read Our "WAR STORIES" Page - Avoid Costly Estate Planning Mistakes + Bad Advisors!

In a Hurry?  Review Portfolio Documents -- Special Online Pricing -- and Complete Ordering Details

Just Need an Update?  Read what happens if you don't update.

And read about our specific update service and pricing.

Settling a Trust?  Free Arizona Estate Settlement Information

Who you should NOT use to draft your Arizona Living Trust

Our Arizona 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 their 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!

Note: 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:

First: The "Jacked Up" Trust Salesman

A jacked up salesman could sell you anything!The worst group to stay away from are the "jacked up" salesman and so-called financial 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. 

These programs are designed to scare you into buying a living trust at a high fee based on False Evidence Appearing Real.  Yes, good old  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 steer clear.

You can identify these programs because they are extremely high priced. That way 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 most cases.  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 them in your mind, whether they are being mostly emotional or mostly logical.  A heavy on "emotions" presentation could be used to mislead you. But generally, a heavy logical presentation will not.


Second: Unusually Low Priced Trust Products

Low priced trusts are worth only as much as you pay for them usually.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. 

This approach 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 for 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 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 13 years!), or printed materials showing charts and graphs from past years. If you don't see the new 2013 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!


Third: Steering Clear of Crooks Masquerading as Advisors

Bernie changed everthing in trusting others.This site is designed to give you the ammunition you need to be able to ask 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 how much it damages you.  But, some even forego the quest to get commissions on your money. 

Some are 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 the site helped motivate them into taking action.

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 the last 38 years -- 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 provided.  Consumers are more suspicious now.  Seeing numerous name brand stock brokerage firms go down into the ground in bankruptcy -- all make my job harder now. These negative events the past six years are not going to make you trust me or anyone else as much as you might have before they happened.  

Whatever the reasons for losing money or not getting what some company promised you, life goes on. 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 you.

A Final Caution

A final caution is in order for your consumer protection.  You could be impressed 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 are themselves 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 proper in these ads on exactly what is really for sale), deceiving sales practices also take place by some unscrupulous salesman in these trust delivery sessions.

Who you should use to draft your Arizona Living Trust

You can use a lawyer if you like. And you can pay a higher rate per hour for the work performed.  One problem I have noticed in the past 10 years or so of my practice is that many lawyer prepared documents are not embracing large IRA accounts in their planning stages and actual documents delivered. And, that funding assistance is limited and many trusts later fail because the strict instructions that funding is mandatory for the trust to succeed and avoid probate is all but missing. (Most get sent out to do on their own and it breaks down...)

Since the largest two assets most estates have are the equity in their home and an IRA account, I am a licensed Realtor and a nationally known retirement consultant that directly allows me to draft important provisions and assist in the funding process as well.

My firm's Legacy Trust Portfolio is nearly 275 pages (married 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 (complimentary funding no matter how long it takes) and the complimentary gifts all new trust portfolio clients receive - also most likely will not be part of a lawyer prepared trust portfolio.  The value of having your trust consultant help you, step by step, and assist you in funding your trust, must be considered in your total costs.

Important Point:  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.  Recent talk about handling Facebook or Twitter type accounts after death is also covered in our newest edition!

FSI's 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. And new 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. Medicaid planning options for smaller estates is also covered.

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. You could also 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 consulting work right along with their IRA getting hit with bad options all because the wrong advisors were trusted and failed to deliver what they promised.

Growing up in Iowa, 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.   (National and local Arizona clients who have lost a loved one find large IRA accounts must pay the trust as beneficiary, which often is outdated and almost always, does not contain proper IRS rules language to handle the funds properly)

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 of the heirs, 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 section!

Sorry if I toot my horn - it is only to gain your confidence!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 you.

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 claim payout.)

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 the  PRICING GUIDE 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!


22 Years of Practice Shows in the "Legacy Trust" Custom Trust Portfolio

Financial 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 38+ years of total practice!  


So, Why Should I Consider Drafting a
Trust Portfolio?

First, For Those Who Don't Know Exactly What a

Trust Is: Class 101!

Learn More about TrustsIf 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.

The "Living 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 knights discovered 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.

Eventually, the 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 today!

However, for 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.

Today, properly 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 prevented.

The Trust 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 Concept Now.
But, Why Do I Really Need A Trust Here in Arizona?

Trusts reduce Identity TheftsIn 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 identity theft! 

Indeed, these 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.

Though Maricopa 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 state statutes! 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!

Protection of 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 dies!

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...

Accountants like 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 Form 709 in the year following a year they exceeded the limit allowed. (Filing date is the same as your personal income tax return) That is unless the transfers were made only between a husband and wife.  (Husband and wife gifts are unlimited and thus, are no longer reportable)

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 estates!

Tip:  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 free informational 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 even after the client died.

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 your demise.

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? Why even let it go there?

At this 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: SHREDDER.

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 or how you family will get along when you are gone, 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.  (Or peace of mind you desire)

If you want more information on protecting against identity theft, visit the United States Department of Justice Website.  

What Are my Options for Trust Makers?

You can 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

Doing Your Own Trust Can Get TrickyYears 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, single spaced!)

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. 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 the job. But writing that paragraph correctly is the key.

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 burst into a roaring flames fire, 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 and patient!

And, sadly, 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:  HIPAA INFORMATION

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 by me when the law became effective.  The early 2009 to current FSI Legacy Trust Portfolio's done by me reflect this important change in Arizona domiciled trusts. 

And, adding in the recent permanent change in estate tax law effective January 1st, 2013...a do it yourself trust maker could easily miss important provisions.  His or her heirs could 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 done. 

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. 

Noting: Your main home still has the 250k exclusion factor for a surviving spouse.

Still Undecided Between a Lawyer and an AZCLDP?

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?So, 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 imperfect legal document, someone suffers. That could 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 Arizona domiciled 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. 

The documents I re-wrote for document clients who did business with the wrong firm in the past, corrected simple mistakes and added needed Arizona  statutes. Some new residents 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! (And a few that came back!)

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.

One of our former Governors found out that "commingling" even a simple bank account (his wife's) can be disastrous. (Yes, 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. (AZCLDP'S take 2/3rds the required CLE hours lawyers must take) I always have to be sure my general information and knowledge including this content you are reading, 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. (A committee under the Arizona Supreme Court governs 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 a probate on partial estate assets that never got funded into the Living Trust. 

The 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 refinance it).  Always check your last recorded deed and make sure it bears your trust's name, if your refinanced with a living trust owning your main home.

About 10 years ago, a property in the Ahwatukee foothills area was found out of trust.  The value of that home at the time was pushing a million dollars! Luckily, nothing had happened and I discovered the mistake during a document update session for the client and got it corrected. It was the mortgage company and title companies fault who had agreed to put it back in trust after the new loan closed.  They forgot...

The 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 documents.

The 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!

So, 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:


The 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 again.

A link is provided so you can also read up on the supervising authority who supervises me and all other AZCLDP's here in Arizona:  


OK, You Don't Like Paying $ 400/hr Law Firm Bills?So Now What?

Note: Fat Legal Bills, not PeopleWell, if you don't like paying out the big bucks to a law firm that charges $250-400 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 Arizona experience.

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 small estates)

Document 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 action.

Today, 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 committee. The top court in our state 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. This was allowed for lower net worth and income clients to obtain affordable legal document help.

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 just use the money care power of attorney document prior to death, so that a separate tax return for the trust is not required under current IRS code. (The GPOA defers filing Forms 1041 and AZ1041 until after a death)

Take A Look At The Individual & Portfolio Documents Available To Order Online -- And Our Important 

"On line" Pricing


10 Reasons to Call Me Right Now


  1. M D Anderson is Set Apart from CompetitorsFew other AZCLDP's have practiced in legal documents in Arizona since 1991. (I only do estate planning documents) I have been an estate planner since 1976 and have written 100's of Arizona trusts since 1991.

  2. Sadly, over 100 clients have used my trust at death so far! None to date, with my knowledge, have ever triggered a probate!!! 

  3. Few document 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!

  4. I am a nationally known and quoted IRA consultant.  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". 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 you!!!  For more information on how to set up your IRA for "Inherited IRA" status, just visit this popular information site also sponsored by Financial Strategies, Inc.:  www.InheritedIRAhell.com

  5. 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.

  6. Adding my knowledge and experience as a Realtor as well just expands my scope and coverage in funding a trust properly. (Realty One Group/Tempe Office)

  7. Constant 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! 

  8. My trust 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 21 years of practice! I give you about 275 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!

  9. 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 here!

  10. I am available right now!  You can call me and get started without delays, excuses or unknown expenses that will later add to your billing.  Just one set fee covers all services provided by my firm.  In just a matter of days after you provide all data to me, your professional Living Trust Portfolio can be signed and in force!

So, The Only Problem With Reading This and Putting It Off Before You Decide to Draft YOUR Portfolio...is...

Putting It Off, but What if You Die Today?...you 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 quickly!)

Closing Remarks

If you have been educated some and enlightened some on who to use and who to avoid in drafting new or update documents, I have accomplished my goal giving this information away for free.

Hopefully, I have also motivated you to take the next step to order up the proper documents to get the protection you desire for yourself and your loved ones. 

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 hiring me online! 

If you now desire a modern and complete Arizona Living Trust Portfolio, or updates to your current legal document portfolio, I would love to assist you right now. 

If a Trust Portfolio is more than what you need in legal documents, take a look at my sister product - The Will Portfolio - which can also fit the needs of smaller estates or smaller budgets.

Now, I cordially ask you to E-mail me for any further questions you may have, or to engage my services.  If this information gave you the "push" you needed to go ahead and draft proper documents, let me know about it. 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 my 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.   

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 desire it.

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 to have a long and happy life!


M.D. Anderson, President

Financial Strategies, Inc.

P.S.   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 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!!!

Client Testimonials!

Testimonial #1 (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 help!

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


Testimonial #2 (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 abroad .

I can 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.

Our office 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 

Testimonial #3 (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.

While periodic 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 doing so.

In all sincerity, Thank you Mike Anderson for offering me "Shaffer Family Trust" peace of mind.

Susan Shaffer

Phoenix, Arizona

Testimonial #4 (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.

He recently 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

Mesa, Arizona

Testimonial #5 A Client Family Thank You Card

A Nice Client Note

Ordering Instructions:

First, please review all estate planning documents our firm offers:

General Review of FSI Document Services


Review the Complete Legacy Trust Portfolio Pricing Page 

Or call us for anything else at:


(There is no obligation or cost)

Free Service Forms & Services

Help yourself to these free forms.  They are the necessary service forms for those thinking about doing a trust portfolio or major trust portfolio update with our firm.  And, of course, 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 formats, which allow you to view online, save to your computer, or print online as well!

What Information Do I Need to Do a Trust?

FSI Current Pricing Sheet

FSI Disclosure Form

FSI Legacy Trust Portfolio Data Worksheet    


And, if you need a definition of a legal term, just CLICK to visit the FSI Law Library For Estate Term Definitions!


To get the latest estate tax updates and commentary, with a humorous approach...  

Visit the BLOG today!

Take A Look At The Individual & Portfolio Documents Available To Order Online -- And Important "On line" Pricing

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  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. 

Privacy Policy/Terms of Service: We maintain a Privacy Policy, and a Terms & Conditions of Use Policy which can be referenced or reviewed by clicking on the highlighted text in this sentence above.

Arizona Association of Independent Paralegals MemberSenior Market Advisor Magazine Advisory Board Member

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 years:


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