10 Questions You Should Ask a Lawyer for Estate Planning in Arizona
You're ready to start planning your estate, it might be time to speak to an attorney. Here are questions to ask a lawyer for estate planning in Arizona.
Did you know that less than a third of Americans have a will in place or any estate plan?
Many people think that estate planning and living trusts are solely for the ultra-wealthy. However, having a proper estate planning in place can help you manage the assets you have so that they’re passed on correctly. Depending on what assets you want to pass on, there are benefits to plan your estate and have estate planning documents in place in advance.
This is why it’s so important to find an experienced lawyer for estate planning. With the right advice and guidance, you can structure your estate plan and assets perfectly for the next generation. Estate plan is not just legal documents, an estate planning attorney will create the proper strategy for you and your family during the estate planning process.
Thinking about finding a lawyer for estate planning? Read our blog for a quick look at the essential questions you should ask your attorney about estate planning in Arizona.
1. How Much Will Your Initial Meeting Cost?
The first thing you should always ask your lawyer is how much the first consultation is going to cost. This is because you may be planning to visit more than one lawyer before finalizing your choice. In this way, you can see if the law firm is going to charge you an upfront cost that may not be in line with your budget.
Most estate planning lawyers offer a free consultation instead of doing hourly rate. A free consultation gives you the opportunity to see if if the estate planning lawyer is the right one for you. You will also know about their services and see if they have the right plan for your family before you hire the attorney.
2. Are Your Attorney Fees Flat Rates?
The second aspect that you should clarify with your lawyer is how their legal fees are structured. Lawyers often charge per hour or per case, so it’s important to see which options are available. Flat-rate lawyers are usually the clearer option as you can budget around those fixed numbers. Many attorneys will do estate planning and a revocable living trust on a flat fee.
3. What Is Estate Planning?
If you’re unsure about the depth of estate planning, don’t be afraid to ask about it. Estate lawyers are skilled in this department and will explain everything you need to know about estate planning. This will also give you a good idea of the entire process and how long it’s going to take.
For some people the correct plan may be only a will, for other a revocable living trusts may be the best option. Most people want to avoid probate, minimize taxes and make sure their minor children are taken care of they pass away. Estate plans are specific to your family, our law firm doesn't believe in "one size fits alls" like some other firms.
Although the Arizona state doesn't have estate taxes it is important to take that into consideration as well.
4. Why Is Estate Planning Important?
As mentioned above, millions of Americans don’t believe they have enough assets for an estate plan. However, this is not the case. An experienced lawyer will help break down the benefits of having a solid estate plan, including how to avoid probate and stay out of court.
Probate is not only time consuming but it is also more expensive. The probate process and probate court can also create issues between family members. Establishing a relationship with a lawyer and going to the estate planning process can also minimize the stress during such a difficult time.
5. How Do You Set Up an estate plan?
At the core of any estate plan is a good estate planning attorney whit whom you can communicate well. Your lawyer will quickly walk you through the entire estate planning process. He will talk to you about personal details and your family dynamics.
Your estate planning attorney will review your retirement accounts, you life insurance policies, a business or businesses that you may own, and any other financial or real assets you may have. The attorney discuss with you what happen if you pass away without a Will of estate planning in Arizona. The estate planning attorney will establish a plan where your spouse and heirs will be protected for every single possible worst case scenario.
6. Can You Help Me Draft My Estate Plan?
The best part about working with an experienced lawyer is that they can help you every step of the way. Whether you want advice about how to structure your assets or how to word your actual will itself, the right lawyer can help. This is why it’s important to find an experienced lawyer that’s willing to go above and beyond for your exact needs.
7. Can I Change My Estate plan Later?
Having an estate plan is incredibly important. However, you can still make changes to your will or living trust if you ever change your mind later. Ask your lawyer about this process so that you know what to do whenever you wish to make changes.
Keep your lawyer’s contact details and your documents in a safe place so that you always know you can call them when you need help. A good firm will be there for you in an emergency, that is when their expertise is so important.
8. What Is a Trust?
A trust is a separate legal entity that can hold property and other assets on behalf of a beneficiary. This is a great way to pass down ownership of assets in a simple, easy way and avoid probate. Instead of having to transfer the assets from one person’s name to another our clients usually have a succession plan inside their trust.
There are a few different kinds of trusts that you can set up for your assets. This is why you should ask your lawyer to explain the various options you have and the benefits of each. This way, you can make the best decision for your individual circumstances.
You can read more about trust here.
9. Can a Trust Help Avoid Taxes?
When you set up a trust, it’s important to understand that you’re creating a new entity. This means that the trust may or may not be taxed differently from your own. An estate planning attorney with a background in tax should be able to explain and help.
Having property in a trust also helps save on transfer taxes if you have a substantial estate. Definitely talk to an attorney if you have $13 million or more in assets. Legal services and law can be tricky to interpret.
10. What Are the Benefits of a Living Trust?
When it comes to a living trust, there are tons of benefits that you should know about. A living trust can help keep assets in the family, it can avoid probate and keep you out of court. It can protect your assets for your heirs and potential predators in the future as well. It can make our the difference in your heirs life if properly done and funded.
A living trust not only need to be created right, it also need to be properly funded for it to work. All your accounts need to be put in trust, as well as all the real assets that are owned by you.
An Experienced Lawyer for Estate Planning
When it comes to finding a lawyer for estate planning in Arizona, it’s important to understand the fees and costs before you get started. Every estate plan is unique to your personal circumstances, including the assets that you want to pass on. In this way, getting the right advice is essential.
If you have any questions or need some advice regarding your specific circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. Our experienced lawyers at Citadel Law Firm offer world-class service at affordable rates in Arizona. Contact us today for more information.
You can schedule a free estate planning consultation by clicking here or by calling (480) 565-8020, we will be pleased to help.