Is It Necessary To Have A Trust Or A Will In Arizona?

Home 9 Probate Law 9 Is It Necessary To Have A Trust Or A Will In Arizona?

by | May 28, 2022 | Probate Law

In the state of Arizona, you are not required by law to have a trust or will in place. However, this does not mean that it is not necessary to have these estate planning documents in order to protect your assets and make sure your wishes are carried out after your death. Each person’s situation is unique, so it is important to consult with an attorney to find out what is best for you. Estate planning can be complex, so don’t wait until it’s too late!

The Difference Between A Trust And A Will In Arizona

When it comes to estate planning, many people think that a trust and a will are one and the same. However, there are actually some key differences between these two documents that you should be aware of. Here is a look at the difference between a trust and a will in Arizona.

  • A will is a document that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed after you pass away. You can name specific individuals or charities that you would like to receive your property. A will is a public document, which means that anyone can request a copy of it.
  • A trust, on the other hand, is a private document. This means that only the people who are named in the trust can access it. A trust can also be used to manage your assets while you are alive. For example, you can use a trust to fund a child’s education or to provide for a loved one with special needs.
  • Another key difference between a trust and a will is that a will must go through probate, which is a court process that can be time-consuming and expensive. A trust, on the other hand, does not have to go through probate.

If you are thinking about estate planning, it is important to understand the difference between a trust and a will. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine which document is right for your situation.

The Pros and Cons of Having a Trust or a Will in Arizona

There are many good reasons to have a trust or a will in Arizona. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide which is best for you.


Pros of a Trust:

  • A trust can help avoid probate court.
  • A trust can help you control how your assets are distributed after your death.
  • A trust can help protect your assets from creditors.
  • A trust can help reduce estate taxes.
  • A trust can be revocable or irrevocable.

Cons of a Trust:

  • Setting up a trust can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • You will need to name a trustee, who will be responsible for managing the trust.
  • You may need to re-title your assets into the trust.
  • If you have a revocable trust, your assets will still be subject to probate if you die without a will.


Pros of a Will:

  • A will is a simple and inexpensive way to plan for the distribution of your assets after your death.
  • A will can be changed at any time, without the need to re-title your assets.
  • A will does not require the approval of a court or any other authority.
  • A will can be used to appoint a guardian for your minor children.

Cons of a Will:

  • A will must be probated in order to be valid, which can be time-consuming and expensive. 
  • If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state law, which may not be what you wanted.
  • If you have minor children, a will does not appoint a guardian for them.

As you can see, there are both pros and cons to having a trust or a will in Arizona. Ultimately, the decision of which is best for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you have questions about trusts or wills, or need help creating either one, you should speak to an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney.

Are You Looking for an Estate Planning Law Firm You Can Trust?


Probate law is a complex area of the legal profession that can be difficult to understand. At GillespieShields, our probate & estate planning attorneys have extensive experience in estate planning and will work with you towards an amicable resolution. 27 years of experience in estate planning and probate law means that our attorneys have helped many families navigate the legal system without any problems. We work with clients to find solutions for their reasonable goals, paying close attention along the way so they can feel confident about what’s happening legally throughout all stages of the process! Estate planning can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. With just a little time and effort you will find yourself prepared for anything that may come up! The best part about working together? All of our estate plans are customized with love by our talented team of lawyers! During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer any and all of your questions surrounding Arizona’s estate laws, your family’s unique situation, and how you can preserve your wealth for the next generation. Contact us today for your consultation!


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