Estate Planning

Estate Planning Checklist Arizona

Essential Components of Estate Plans - Documents Checklist

Estate Planning Checklist Arizona - What Do You Need to Know?

Are you wondering how to go about estate planning? Read here to find out everything you need to know about estate planning checklist in Arizona.

You love your home and your family heirlooms, but how do you know they'll end up in the right hands down the road? Or do you know when is estate planning needed?

Research shows that just 46% of Americans have wills that describe how they want their assets and money to be distributed after they die. A Will is just on estate planning document.

The question is, how do you go about estate planning in Arizona? Knowing the legal documents for estate planning is essential. Let's examine what well-thought-out estate planning outline looks like. By having an Arizona, basic estate planning checklist and the help of an experienced estate planning attorney you will have your financial affairs and medical decisions taken care of. Your loved ones will know exactly what to do when having estate planning checklists set in place. Estate planning checklist for seniors are extremely important because you need to know what to do for your estate plan and fast. You do not want to leave your family not knowing what to do. An estate planner checklist can help you tremendously. Keep reading to learn about an estate planning check list.

Estate Planning in Arizona

How to prepare an estate plan: Arizona estate planning involves preparing for your estate funds, assets, and property to be transferred to other parties if you pass away or become incapacitated. A question that may arise when starting is "how long does estate planning take?" and to answer that question, it depends on the type of estate plan you decide to fulfill and it is different depending on your circumstances.

The purpose of estate planning is threefold.

First, it allows you to spell out whom you want to receive your assets upon your death. Second, it can protect your assets from probate. You want to avoid probate. Third, it allows you to make medical care arrangements if you become incapacitated as a result of injury or illness.

When Arizona residents create estate plans, they must consider applicable laws. These laws concern the following matters:

  • Probate proceedings
  • Requirements for executing wills
  • Inheritance rights
  • Estate taxation

You'll also need to consider the most appropriate way to oversee your estate before it's passed on. Having the right executor for you estate or the right trustee for you revocable living trust after you pass can make a huge difference.

Essential Components of Estate Plans - document checklist

How to prepare for estate planning: The Arizona estate planning process involves various documents with unique purposes. These documents are the will (also know as last will and testament), the health care power of attorney (POA), the durable POA, the trust agreement, a living will, beneficiary deeds, and more.

Will (also know as Last Will and Testament)

An Arizona estate planning lawyer will explain to your that your Will is the foundational of your estate plan. Your will should include instructions about how to distribute your assets when you die. It should also offer instructions concerning who will become your minor children guardian in this situation. A Last Will is usually more important than a revocable living trust. It will express your wishes to your family members. An estate planning attorney can help put together a will preparation checklist.

Health Care POA

Let's say you fall ill or suffer an injury that leaves you incapacitated. This document will legally permit somebody to make decisions concerning your medical care since you won't be able to do this. It is probably your most important power of attorney. Money always find a home. Having a health care agent and medical power of attorney may be the difference between life and death. Between all your estate planning documents your power of attorney for health care is probably your most important document. Make sure to have it in your Arizona estate planning checklist when talking to estate planning attorneys.

If you don't have this document, a loved one will have to request to assume this role in court. If this doesn't happen, somebody you don't know might be given this role. That can save your family members a lot of headache and time.

A medical power of attorney will address issues like organ donation and end of life care. It is a document that is usually done together with a living will (which includes an advance directive as well).

Durable POA

This document will allow somebody to manage your finances if you can't do this due to illness or incapacity. For instance, they can buy and sell property. They can also manage your bank accounts, investments, and bills. They can help with insurance policies and brokerage accounts.

This individual can file your tax returns for you as well. In addition, they can apply for the government benefits you need on your behalf. They can also help with digital assets, retirement accounts, and other financial matters.

Revocable Living Trust Agreement

This document offers a faster and more private way of transferring property outside of a probate court proceeding. That means your assets won't have to be verified and dispersed to the proper beneficiaries through the probate court. A Trust is not for all clients as it has long term maintenance costs. Property doesn't need to be in trust to avoid probate. Beneficiaries may be able to receive property using a beneficiary deed for example.

Additional Components of an Estate Plan

Your estate planning process may also include setting up retirement benefits, like a 401(k) plan, or a life insurance policy. These financial vehicles will help you to provide your beneficiaries or dependents with future support.

Is Future Planning Necessary for Everyone?

Arizonians of all net worths should have estate plans. Having a legacy planning checklist is essential.

Let's say you have a lower income or don't have many high-value assets. You still need an estate plan to make sure your money and personal items go to the right people.

As we mentioned earlier, the plan should also express who will care for your young children if you pass away. This is especially important if the other parent isn't involved in your or the children's lives. Even if they are, you'll still want your will to cover guardianship since both you and the other parent may pass away at the same time.

If you don't name guardians to rear your children, the probate court will end up deciding who will take care of them.

Also, perhaps you are a single individual without children. If you don't have an estate plan, your parents will receive your assets. By creating a will, you can make sure your best friend or partner receives these assets instead if you prefer. You may want to give your assets to charitable organizations.

Why Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?

You might be tempted to do estate planning yourself. However, it's best to hire an attorney to create an estate plan for you.

Your attorney can assess your financial situation and determine the most appropriate estate planning documents for you. After all, not all clients' estate planning needs are alike.

In addition, they can review your estate plan periodically. This is important because regulations and laws might change over the years, which may impact your objectives.

Your attorney can also help you to update your life insurance and 401(k) paperwork over time. It's common for a young adult to name their mom and dad as their life insurance or retirement plan beneficiaries but then forget to change the beneficiaries to their spouse and children after they get married and start a family.

How We Can Help with Estate Planning

Estate planning in Arizona will allow you to dictate what happens to your assets when you die. It also empowers you to decide who will manage your health care and financial decisions should you become incapacitated.

Your document can also explain who will become your minor children's guardians if you pass away. But what if you are from out of town but moving to Arizona? We can also help with a moving to Arizona checklist.

At Citadel Law Firm, we offer high-quality estate planning services, which include creating last wills and trusts. We also help with special needs and tax savings planning, as well as planning for long-term care.

Contact us to learn more about our services, and get a free consultation today! Call (480)565-8020 to click here to schedule your free consultation today. It will be our pleasure to talk to you and serve you.

You don't want to just create estate planning forms, you want to work with an attorney you trust. Call us today if you need help with your estate planning documentation. We can also help with an estate planning checklist for financial advisors and an estate plan checkup checklist.