As experienced Phoenix trust and estates lawyers, we often hear good folks that reach out to us saying that they thought an estate plan (including a trust and a will) are only for wealthy people with lots of money, real property, and assets. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Proper planning can ensure that your assets are properly passed down to the next generation. The number one reason to estate plan is that planning gives you control over where your money goes after you pass away. An estate plan allows you to control the beneficiaries of your estate, can alleviate tax burdens, avoid the time and money expenses of probate, protect your loved ones for creditors, and ensure your wishes are followed after you pass. For parents of young children, appointing guardians for your minor children in your estate plan can help make monetary decisions to provide for your children into adulthood.
So, whether you are a new homeowner, newly married, a new parent or you are recently divorced or simply everyone over the age of 18 years of age should have an estate plan in place. Our experienced attorneys are here to help.
What is an Estate Plan?
In its most simple form, an estate plan are written documents addressing such critical items such as who can make decisions for a person (medical and financial) if the individual is not able to. An estate plan also addresses what a person owns (assets) and where those assets should go upon their passing in addition to what kind and how much medical treatment someone wants to receive if they are critically ill and not likely to improve.
Just think about it, if you are sick and in the hospital and not able to make decisions for yourself (also known as incapacitated) do you want a judge or court to make decisions for you on what kind of medical care you should receive? Do you want the court choosing someone to make those decisions for you? If and when you pass do you want the court deciding who receives all of your property and money? Or worse, do you want your family and friends to be able to fight over who gets what? My guess is no, so call our Phoenix trust and estates attorneys to help.
What Critical Documents Should Every Good Estate Plan Include?
To avoid these unknowns, you and your family should all have a proper estate plan which should include:
- Revocable Trust or Last Will and Testament
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Advance Health Care Directives
- HIPPA (Medical Record Waiver)
- Financial Power of Attorney
If you or a loved one have not yet set up an estate plan, or simply want to make a change to your existing plan, pick up the phone and schedule a complimentary consult with our Phoenix trust and estates lawyers. The experienced Arizona attorneys at our Phoenix area law office are ready to help you get your estate plan in order.