Probate Law Firm Chandler, AZ
When meeting with a Chandler, Arizona probate law firm for the first time, many people are surprised to learn about the limitations of wills insofar as estate planning tools are concerned. After a review of your circumstances by our Chandler, AZ probate law firm, you may gain a fuller understanding of which estate planning tools will be of most benefit to you and your loved ones. We welcome new clients, and look forward to learning more about your unique circumstances.
Here are some of the things that a will cannot accomplish but which other types of estate planning tools can do for you with the help of Chandler, AZ probate law firm.
A will cannot be used for the following:
- Bequeath property which you own jointly with one or more other persons. This type of ownership is referred to as joint tenancy. It is sometimes called “community property with right of survivorship” or “tenancy by the entirety.” Joint tenancy property will automatically transfer in whole to the surviving tenant.
- Bequeath property which you have transferred to a revocable or irrevocable living trust.
- Bequeath the proceeds from your life insurance policy for which you have named a beneficiary. That beneficiary will automatically receive the funds after your passing.
- Bequeath funds from your pension plan, an individual retirement account, or another type of retirement plan such as a 401(k) for which you have named a beneficiary. That beneficiary will automatically receive the funds after your passing.
- Bequeath stocks, bonds, possibly real estate that is held in beneficiary in a transfer-on-death basis to that beneficiary.
- Bequeath funds that are in a payable-on-death bank account to a specified beneficiary.
The Reduction of Estate Taxes
A will is not an effective method to reduce or eliminate the estate’s tax liability, particularly federal estate taxes. However, there are alternate estate planning tools that can help you achieve this and they can be explained to you by our Chandler, AZ probate law firm.
Avoid the Probate Process
Not only does a will not help your estate avoid the probate process, if it’s valued above a certain dollar amount then it can be forced into probate. Our Chandler, AZ probate law firm can inform you of whether or not your estate might have to undergo the probate process because its total value is over the maximum value. At that time, we can explore alternative estate planning tools that will bring down the value of assets contained in your will specifically. Probate in Arizona can be easily handled by one of our probate lawyers.
Arrange for Long Term Care for an Individual with Special Needs
If you have a loved one who has special needs, leaving them funds for their long term care in your will is not an appropriate estate planning tool. The legal team at Citadel Law Firm PLLC can help you create a special trust that is customized to meet your loved one’s needs. This method also protects your loved one from getting their government benefits canceled as a result of inheriting funds from your estate.
Learn more about wills and other estate planning tools by speaking with our team— call (480) 565-8020 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Already Facing Estate Litigation and/or Probate?
Most people have heard of the probate process, or the legal process by which a will is determined valid or an estate is administered. If you have lost a loved one or recently considered your own estate plans you may need significant knowledge of probate court and what happens there. An experienced Chandler, Arizona probate law firm can help. There are generally four basic steps:
- Filing a probate petition. The probate petition will bring the will before the court and also move the court to appoint someone to oversee the disbursement of assets remaining in the deceased person’s estate. If the deceased person died with a will, the petition will ask the court to appoint the executor named in the will. If the deceased person died without a will, the petition will ask the court to appoint an administrator of the estate.
- Notification of creditors and lien holders. The person appointed administrator or executor of the will is then responsible of auditing the estate of the deceased person to determine the value, type, and location of assets in th estate. The administrator or executor must then follow state law to notify those who may have an interest in the estate as lienholders or creditors.
- Satisfaction of liens and distribution of assets. The administrator or executor will then be responsible for distributing assets legitimately owed to creditors or lien holders to satisfy any debts against the estate. The administrator or executor will also be responsible for paying any court fees, other legal fees, and any necessary funeral expenses from the assets of the estate. After these obligations have been satisfied, the administrator or executor is responsible for distributing the remaining assets of the estate as directed by the will or, in the absence of a will, as directed by state law.
The probate process can be complicated and time-consuming. It can also be fraught with disagreement. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to consult an experienced Chandler, AZ probate law firm if you find yourself facing estate litigation and/or probate proceedings.
Estate litigation is a type of civil law that can involve resolve disagreements during the probate process. Disputes may arise at any stage of probate. First and most basically, there may be disputes about the validity of the will. Second, there may be disagreement as to the appropriate party to serve as an administrator or executor. Third, they may be disagreement relating to the legitimacy of creditors’ claims and the order in which they should be paid from the estate. Finally, there may be disputes about the disbursement of assets under the terms of a will or under state law. Each possible point of dispute may result in litigation, or filing a lawsuit or motion with the probate court asking for the court to issue an order requiring a certain result. Every party tied to estate litigation can benefit from the experienced counsel of a Chandler, AZ probate law firm.
If you are getting ready to go through the probate process or if you are already in the probate process and anticipate disputes along the way, consider allowing a Chandler, AZ probate law firm to help you understand the intricacies of probate and estate litigation. Make sure that he or she has experience not just drafting wills or setting up estates, but that he or she is also experienced with arguing disputes in the probate court. Probate can be a complicated process all on its own. Adding disputes and litigation will add to the complication and having the experienced team at Citadel Law Firm PLLC on your side can make all the difference.