Last Will and Testament

Beneficiary of Your Will in Arizona

Beneficiary of Your Will in Arizona

Who Should Be A Beneficiary of a Will in Arizona

Beneficiaries receive benefits and finances after you've passed away. But who should you name as a beneficiary of your will?

Did you know that nearly 70% of Americans do not have an estate plan? If this number seems alarming, it should — naming a beneficiary is crucial if you want to have control over your asset allocation after you pass away.

You don't want your real property and your personal property to go to someone you are to close to it. That may happen under Arizona inheritance law, specially if you are not married or if you have a blended family. The probate process and intestate succession laws can be complicated.

Naming a beneficiary is specially important if you have a blended family as Arizona is a community property state and not a separate property state. Your assets may not necessarily go to your surviving spouse in a intestate succession. Intestate succession takes effect when a Will doesn't exist by Arizona law.

However, not everybody understands how to decide who they should name as a beneficiary in their will. Let's take a closer look at the key details you need to know to help make this decision. Naming your personal representative is also very important if you end up in probate court.

It is important to highlight that creating a Last Will and Testament does not avoid the probate process as well. You will have a probate estate if you have a Will alone.

Name Your Surviving Spouse as Beneficiary

This is one of the most common options when it comes to including another party in your will.

In most cases, it is a straightforward choice. If you have a spouse, then your spouse will likely be the primary beneficiary of your estate. This is the case regardless of how long you have been married. However, it's possible that you may decide to leave some or all of your estate to someone else aside from your spouse.

This is often true in marriages where both partners like to separate their assets and finances. Arizona inheritance laws usually name the spouse as primary beneficiary but when children from a previous marriage exists they will also be entitled to half of your estate in the absence of a Will.

Name Your Children as Beneficiary

If you have any children (whether they are biological, adopted, or from a previous marriage) then it's important that you include them in your will.

This ensures that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes after you are gone. You can also designate a guardian in your will to care for any minor children should something happen to both you and your spouse.

As you might guess, the terms by which you leave assets to your children should be nuanced. It wouldn't be in anybody's best interest to give them full access to your assets on the day they turn 18 years old, for instance,

Other Family Members and Foster children

If you do not have any children, then you may decide to leave some or all of your estate to other relatives such as siblings, parents, etc.

This is a great way to ensure that your estate goes to those closest to you and who will be most affected by your passing. Of course, this is solely at your discretion. If you do not feel as though your other family members are reliable enough to manage your assets, you don't have to name them in your will.

Consider Charitable Organizations if Applicable

This is a great way to ensure that your wealth continues to have an impact long after you're gone. Donating part of your estate to a charitable organization is also tax-deductible in most cases, making it a great decision for both you and the charity.

Be sure you keep this in mind when moving forward. It can serve as a great alternative for those who find themselves in unconventional situations.

Close Friends

In some cases, you may decide to leave some or all of your estate to a close friend or confidante. This could be someone who has been in your life for many years and to whom you feel especially close.

You can also designate that they are responsible for carrying out certain tasks after your passing, such as gathering any assets and distributing them according to your wishes.

What Happens if I Don't Have a Beneficiary?

If you don't specify a beneficiary in your will, then your assets will be divided according to the laws of intestacy in your state.

This means that your estate may not be distributed as you originally intended. Depending on what you have to allocate, this could be a catastrophe. For example, let's assume you own a large amount of real estate.

If you don't designate somebody to handle these assets, there is no way to guarantee what happens to them.

Therefore, it is essential to name someone as a beneficiary in order to ensure that things are handled properly after you pass away.

How Can I Get Started?

The best way to get started is by consulting with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the process and make sure that your wishes are carried out according to the law. They can also provide valuable insight into how to allocate your assets so that they go where you want them to go after you're gone.

With their help, you can feel confident that your estate will be taken care of properly.

What Should I Look For in an Attorney?

Make sure to look for someone who is experienced in estate planning and understands the laws of your state.

You should also make sure that they are familiar with any unique circumstances you may have (such as minor children or out-of-state assets) so that they can accurately guide you through the process. Ask them questions to make sure that they understand your needs and have a clear plan for how to approach the situation.

Your estate planning attorney should also have a comprehensive understanding of your situation. If your children are minors, for example, they should be able to help you determine the best course of action regarding how you distribute your assets to them.

Once you've found an attorney who meets all of these criteria, then you can get started setting up your will and avoid issues that you may have encountered otherwise.

Naming a Beneficiary Doesn't Have to Be Difficult

Ultimately, deciding who to name as a beneficiary in your will is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. If you need help coming to a suitable arrangement, it's best to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.

They can guide you through the process and help ensure that everything is in order. Feel free to reach out to us today to learn more.

Call Citadel Law firm at (480) 565-8020 or click here to schedule your free estate planning consultation. Our experienced estate planning attorneys and probate lawyers in Chandler, AZ will be pleased to help.