​​​​​​​                 Telephone 520 792-2450                PO Box 31928, Tucson, Arizona 85751                   John@JStandifer.com

John J. Standifer Jr.   Attorney at Law, Retired

Common sense, results-driven legal counsel

John Standifer

  • ​Tucson Wills Attorney
  • Arizona Wills Attorney

Other estate planning tools include Powers of Attorney, Living Will, and directives regarding organ and tissue donation.  See how John Standifer, Tucson trust lawyer, can help you with these important estate planning tools --  follow links below.

When you need an Arizona Trust Lawyer . . . 

John J. Standifer, Tucson Trust Lawyer, offers help for creating a will and Arizona estate planning 

Arizona trust lawyer has tools for estate planning

Do you have a question about wills, trusts, or other Arizona estate planning tools?

Wills and trusts attorney offers Estate Planning Tools for Arizona

Estate Planning Tools in Arizona include wills, trusts and beneficiary designations 

Among the estate planning tools I ordinarily recommend are wills, trusts and beneficiary designations. None of these tools are mutually exclusive and clients may choose to have different assets pass to their beneficiaries using different mechanisms. When I do estate planning, I consider which of these estate planning tools in Arizona fit the needs of the individual client. 

For many clients, a will coupled with beneficiary designations frequently provides the least expensive and simplest estate plan.

Creating a Will?

Wills are written documents, complying with statutory requirements, which set out a number of the person’s post-death wishes. Most basically, the simple will sets out who will receive the benefit from a decedent’s estate. The beneficial provisions in a will may be quite simple or exceeding complex. Those provisions identify the beneficiary and may limit when and how a beneficiary may benefit. 

 The will may provide for the creation, after death, of trusts for estate planning purposes, provision for benefits to young or impaired beneficiaries, charitable purposes or for a variety of other purposes.


The term “Trust” is an enormously broad term. When a trustee holds property for the benefit of another, that legal relationship is called a trust. A trust can be formed by a long, formal document or by a handshake.

A trust may be formed:

  • to avoid or minimize the costs of probate (a frequently overstated benefit) 
  • to provide for the administration of a person’s affairs when they become unable to handle their own affairs
  • for estate tax planning
  • to provide for the administration of a complicated asset
  • to provide for the administration of a benefit to a beneficiary who is young, impaired or otherwise in need of protection
  • for a variety of other purposes.      

Living Trusts

Trusts can be established during a person’s lifetime (known as a “living” or “inter vivos” trust) or at a person’s death (known as a “testamentary” trust). 

In order for a living trust to function correctly, the assets ordinarily should be placed in the trust during the grantor’s lifetime.

If the assets are not placed in the trust during the grantor’s lifetime, then, in order for the trust to fulfill its purpose, the assets would need to be placed in the trust at the death of the grantor.

The mechanism for funding the trust at the grantor’s death can be a beneficiary designation or, more frequently, the probate process.

Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary trusts are formed at the time of the grantor’s death and are ordinarily formed as part of the probate process.

Beneficiary Designations

The owner of assets such as life insurance policies, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, bank accounts or even real estate or limited liability companies (LLCs) can designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to take the asset at the time of the decedent’s death. 

Frequently the process of claiming the asset is sufficiently straight forward that assets can be claimed after the decedent’s death without involvement of an attorney or with only minimal involvement of an attorney.  

Particularly in the case of retirement accounts, there are various tax elections that need to be considered before the account is claimed.

 For more information about how a will and beneficiary designation might work for Arizona estate planning, see Probate Process in Arizona.

Looking for help preparing a Living Will?  Call our office.

Making a will can be simple - or very complex  .  .  .


Contact John Standifer today to discuss any legal issues for which you may need counsel.  

We want to help.

Telephone 520 792-2450               John@JStandifer.com

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Making a will also can be a simple process – or very complex – depending on your particular estate and desires. 

Whether you are just planning a will, creating a will, ready to write a new will, or looking for help in updating your last will, I encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your needs. 

Our office has many years of experience handling will planning and writing wills.  Preparing a will is an important step in securing your estate for the future.  Let us help you.