Estate Planning in Arizona
Creating an estate plan can simplify the administration of your estate, ensure your wishes are respected, and prevent bad feelings or disagreements between your heirs. Our attorneys can create an estate plan that accomplishes all of this. We can also provide information and guidance on any possible issues regarding your specific situation and wishes.
Simplifying the Process for You
Estate planning does not have to be complicated. We can help you achieve your goals when it comes to your estate.
Simplify or Avoid Probate
With the right estate plan, the time consuming and expensive legal process of probate can be drastically simplified, or avoided all together. Common options for estate planning include a Last Will and Testament, or a Trust. There are also other options to consider such as probate avoiding options for certain assets, like a beneficiary deed for property. We can discuss your assets and desired outcome and then advise you of the best options.
Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament allows you to designate a personal representative to be appointed by the court as part of the probate process. The will should also provide them specific instructions will how to settle your affairs, and most importantly, how to distribute any assets.
Specific circumstances, such as appointment of a guardian of minor children can also be addressed.
Trusts, both living and irrevocable versions, are powerful estate planning tools that can assist with the administration of your estate after death, but also during periods that occur near the end of a person’s life when they may be incapacitated. If done properly, trusts can remove the need for probate and/or the appointment of a court appointed conservator, both of which are time consuming and expensive processes.
By placing the ownership of your assets such as personal and real property in a trust, you can allow another person, at a specific time, such as death or incapacity to take over the trust directly, without the need for court involvement. Your trustee can either manage the assets for you during your lifetime or distribute the assets to your heirs as appropriate.
Trusts are complex legal documents, but with the assistance of our team, we can create one that will accomplish your goals and possibly save you a great deal of money in the long run.
Other Estate Options
There are a number of other options that can be used to assist with your estate depending on your situation and your wishes. A consultation about your legal options can be extremely useful.
Probate skipping tools like beneficiary deeds are good options for us to provide to our clients in many cases.
The Estate Planning Process
Planning With a Spouse
Many people believe that their spouse automatically receives their possessions upon their death. While your spouse is legally entitled to your estate in many cases, if you have children from a previous relationship, intestate succession laws in Arizona can cause those children to also be your heirs. It’s very important to have your ducks in a row.
A very common problem that faces many estate heirs and personal representatives is tracking down a decedent’s assets. With estate planning and organization, our team can help your loved ones avoid complication in the future. Knowing where everything is can help them collect all the proceeds of your estate after your death.
Many people wish to leave specific items to specific people as part of their estate. While many people believe that their heirs will respect their verbally expressed wishes, it’s unfortunately not always the case. Creating a will or a trust allows you to specifically dictate which items of personal property will go to which person. Correctly creating a will is essential.
Our customers frequently ask us how to avoid probate. For those who have not been through the process before, it can be time consuming, frustrating, and expensive. With careful organization, it is possible for the majority of estates to avoid the process. In many cases, we can assist with organizing your assets to make this possible for you.