Living Will in Chandler
Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney today to get help with your Living Will in Chandler
Clients often approach our law firm with interest to create an Arizona Living Will in Chandler. Coming with such a specific request triggers us to ask one question: why do you specifically want a "living will"? What we discover is that most people confuse a living will with a last will and testament or a living trust. We help our clients understand that an Arizona living will is but one instrument in a suite of tools that should comprise a portfolio of estate planning documents. In this article, we briefly discuss the core elements of an effective estate plan and how a living will forms an integral part of the whole.
An estate planning attorney Chandler will advise clients on how to tailor a portfolio of legal documents to implement an effective estate plan. For most clients, a revocable living trust forms the core of this plan. We refer to such a plan as a "trust-based estate" plan that offers the primary benefit of allowing clients to avoid probate upon their passing. This is because assets held in a living trust are legally not included in the deceased client's probate estate. A typical uncontested probate often takes between 9-12 months to administer whereas administering a distribution of trust assets can be done in a matter of weeks in simple cases.
In the event a client could not or did not move assets into their living trust, we also prepare for them a last will and testament. The beneficiary of the last will and testament is the client's living trust. This ensures that upon one's passing, if all assets are not placed into the living trust, then there is a last will and testament to probate assets into the living trust as a failsafe. But, as we advise clients, this should only be relied upon as a backup in most circumstances and clients should endeavor to move as many assets as possible into their living trust. There are certain assets that should never be put into a living trust and we work with clients to ensure this never happens.
A financial power of attorney grants a third party, referred to as an "Agent," to have control over a client's personal property and real estate not held in the living trust. Many financial powers of attorney will grant an Agent the authority to fund (i.e. move assets into) a living trust. In exercising this power, the financial power of attorney agent can help a client avoid probate by using the powers granted to shift assets out of the individual's ownership into the living trust if a client is unable to do so for themself.
A healthcare power of attorney similarly grants a third party Agent authority but in this case it is over the client's physical person. Many will consider this only an end-of-life document, and it certainly should contain such provisions, but it is often used for people of all ages who are not in a position to make medical decisions for themselves. Naming loved ones as Agents to make such decisions can avoid costly legal bills in the future for a family to put in place a court ordered guardianship to make such decisions in the absence of a healthcare power of attorney.
Lastly, comes the Living Will in Chandler. In some states a Living Will is referred to as an Advance Directive, Advanced Healthcare Directive, or Medical Directive. The Living Will is a statement to spouses, children, courts, and medical providers of what types of medical care a client wishes if they are unable to communicate such desires themself. The most obvious statement involves a client's desire to not be kept alive by artificial means if there is no meaningful hope of recovery from an illness or injury. We have all heard the horror stories of a person who has been kept alive for months or years, perhaps in an unresponsive and comatose state, while their life savings is expended on medical care with no hope and a family grieves for their loved one who cannot be allowed to pass naturally. A living will is a legal statement designed to avoid this scenario. In addition, a living will can also address pain management and authorize the alleviation or treatment of pain even if doing so may hasten death. So the living will is a failsafe document to enable a client to express their wishes about avoiding pain and spending their last days in as comfortable a state as possible.
Call Citadel Law Firm, PLLC today to talk to an Estate Planning Attorney Chandler so he can help you with your Living Will. Although a Living Will will not be specific to the city of Chandler it will be specific to the estate of Arizona. Call (480) 565-8020 to schedule your free consultation or click here.