Estate Planning Attorney Mesa AZ
An Estate Planning Attorney in Mesa, AZ from the Citadel Law Firm will tell you that one common misconception is that you have to be wealthy to consider creating a will. Wills aren’t for just the extremely wealthy anymore. Nowadays, it’s essential for all individuals to have a solid will in place. However, you shouldn’t just draft your will online or have someone with little experience help you with it. It’s in your best interest to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. The Citadel Law Firm can help you establish a valid will that ensures all your final wishes are considered.
Here are some of the qualities to look for in an estate planning attorney:
- Experience. When you’re ready to draft your will, you shouldn’t hire just any attorney to help you with the process. Attorneys who don’t specialize in estate planning may just put your information into a software program without actually knowing how the laws in your state will affect your estate. To ensure that you establish a valid will that reflects your wishes and the laws in your state, hire a member of our team. We have many years of experience in estate planning.
- Quickness. Before you hire an estate planning attorney to draft your will, you should first ask how long he or she will take to complete it. An experienced and skilled Mesa, AZ estate planning attorney at the Citadel Law Firm can help you prepare a will within a couple of weeks.
- Fixed Price. It’s also important to hire an estate planning attorney who charges you a fixed upfront fee for drafting the will. The last thing you want is to be hit with surprise fees down the road. Some estate planning attorneys may charge hourly rates for their services, but they usually aren’t acting in their clients’ best interests. They may require you to come to more consultations to increase their pay.
- Friendly Demeanor. Estate planning can be stressful and personal, so it’s especially important to work with an attorney who is friendly and compassionate. He or she should ask you simple questions in language you can easily understand and take the time to answer your questions. If your attorney seems to just be going through the motions and isn’t easy to understand, it may be time to get new legal counsel.
- Good Communication. Estate planning isn’t just a one-time process. Your situation can change over the years and you may require updates to your will. A good estate planning attorney keeps in touch with their clients. You should follow up with your Arizona estate planning attorney every few years regarding any life changes that may require an update to your estate plan.
The Most Important Elements of An Estate Plan
When first starting to write an estate plan, many people begin by writing down their assets and who they want these items or monetary values to be distributed. Many people need help from an attorney during this time, to confirm that they are doing things correctly and that the documents within the estate plan are unlikely to be disputed after passing away.
Here are examples of questions that our clients at the Citadel Law Firm may ask us:
What is the biggest priority in an estate plan?
A will or trust is one of the main elements of an estate plan. Wills ensure that property is given to beneficiaries based on the preferences of the individual. Certain trusts can help limit the impact of estate taxes and decrease the chances of legal conflicts arising after passing on. The wording on a will or trust must be specific and clear, without room for misinterpretation.
What is the role of a durable power of attorney (POA)?
As part of the estate plan, it is important to choose a durable power of attorney (POA) so the person you appoint can act on your behalf if you become unable to do so because of mental incompetence or terminal illness. Without a power of attorney, the court may then have to decide how your assets are handled. This can cause much distress and upset for your family members who know you best, and have an idea of what your preferences would have been.
A durable power of attorney gives this appointed person the power to make legal decisions for you. Many people choose their significant other to act as durable power of attorney. But, there are instances where an AZ Estate Planning Attorney in Mesa may advise appointing someone who is more financially savvy or familiar with state laws to uphold this duty instead.
Do beneficiaries have to be people, or can they be organizations too?
Who you list as beneficiaries of your estate can include both people and organizations. Perhaps you are a dedicated member of a non-profit and want a portion of your assets to go there after you pass on. We can show you how to properly write down this organization if you wish to pass on a monetary value or other belonging to them. As a rule of thumb, your beneficiaries should be people who are over the age of 21 years old and of mental competence.
How is a healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) different?
A healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) is different from a durable power of attorney (POA) in that the person you choose for this role is to make important decisions regarding medical care if you become incapacitated. This person must be someone you trust to only act with your best interests in mind, and who would choose a medical path for you that you agree with. This person may literally have your life in their hands. It may also be a good idea to appoint a backup healthcare power of attorney (HCPA) just in case the first pick isn’t able to fulfill the duty.
We understand how stressful the estate planning process can be and want to make things a little easier for you. We encourage you to contact a Mesa estate planning attorney in Arizona from Citadel Law Firm to set up a consultation to talk about your needs and goals.