Posted by John Merchant on April 26, 2007 at 18:54:33:
Not only in AZ.
An inter vivos (living) trust, that can be terminated at the option of the Grantor, is not any real lawsuit insulation in any state, because it can be easily pierced and its owners and beneficiaries illuminated.
It would be a simple process of discovery to learn who parties are to a trust such as who is trustee, who are beneficiaries, whether trust is rev. or irrevocable, its date of formation, etc.
Its assets and holdings are not generally discoverable until/unless a final judgment is rendered against that trust…because prior to a Judgment, the assets of a Defendant are irrelevant and not the business of a mere claimant. After a final J is rendered, its assets do become relevant and discoverable.
However, an irrevocable trust honestly created, with a 3d party trustee, (unless done in an effort to conceal assets AFTER a cause of action arises) is not so easily set aside or overturned.
That irrev. trust is normally a very good insulator, not a sham transaction, and any creditor would likely have a terrific battle getting to that trust’s property.
Much better to acquire properties inside a corp or LLC because those entities are liability insulators and their stock and unit holders are not easily reached; and only the assets of the corp or LLC can normally be seized or levied after a J is rendered against the corp or LLC.