Estate Planning is something that an individual does while they are alive and have capacity, so that they can be protected during life from times of incapacity, and so that their assets pass to the people they want to have them. The usual goal is to avoid the need for Probate Court when someone passes away, and Estate Planning can help you achieve that. We also plan for tax savings, and for other situations that may arise during life, such as long-term care planning, or Special Needs Planning. Talk to an Arizona estate planning attorney if you need help.
Estate Planning also involves several decisions and customizations that are unique to each individual person. There is not a one-size-fits-all option for Estate Planning. Below, find some options and more information regarding some of the documents and packages our attorneys can prepare for you.
Revocable Living Trust. - A trust that is amendable during the life of the TrustMaker and becomes Irrevocable after they pass away.
Last Will and Testament. - A contract signed during life that dictates who will receive assets after a person passes away.
General Durable Power of Attorney. - A document that allows the person signing (the Principal) to designate another person (the Agent) to make their financial decisions in the event of incapacity.
Health Care Power of Attorney. - A document that allows the person signing (the Principal) to designate another person (the Agent) to make their Medical decisions in the event of incapacity.
Living Will. - A document that outlines what care a person desires to receive in the event of Terminal Illness or a Persistent Vegetative State. Usually dictates that artificial measures to prolong life should cease in certain circumstances.
The documents above are all base-level estate planning documents and can be bolstered with other documents. For example, we might include a stand-alone HIPAA Waiver, or an assignment of business interest or personal property to a trust. Each situation is different and thus requires personalized attention.
Without the use of Estate Planning, upon death state law would control as to how assets are split and who gets what. We would likely be looking to Probate Court and a Judge to decide how things will go under the law. The law is written in such a way as to be fair to the most amount of people possible, but it makes several assumptions and provides only a base level of protections. By utilizing Estate Planning, we can opt out of the default setup the state provides and make sure that your wishes are honored and that you are protected during life.
In summary, Estate Planning can provide a high level of relief in that our clients often feel as though a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. Estate Planning included the use of Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills, among other documents. We use these documents to make sure that you are protected during life if you should face a time of incapacity, and we make sure that your wishes are honored after you pass away. We can also provide excellent liability protections for your loved ones, but each estate will be unique.
Please click here to schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys or call (480) 565-8020. We will be pleased to help.