How Much Does It Cost to Create a Will in Arizona?
Are you familiar with the costs to create a will in Arizona? Read about some of the most important things to consider when getting started.
Wills, also know as Last Will and Testament, they are not something that a lot of people like to think about.
Because of this, a lot of people like to put off creating a will until they absolutely have to. In the United States, only 46% of adults have a will.
This may be a difficult subject, but doing a will properly be very important to ensure that your assets get assigned based on your wishes.
The first thing that you need to know is how to create a will. Luckily, that is not as difficult as you think.
This guide will walk you through the process of creating a will and give you the essentials that you need to include.
Cost of a Will in Arizona
Arizona has very specific regulations about Wills. Most attorneys will help you create a will on a flat fee as part of your estate plan.
The flat fee to create a Will with an attorney is usually between $950 to $1,500 per person, so services in general will cost more for married couples.
Avoid hiring a lawyer on a hourly basis to help you with your estate plan. A flat fee is usually the best option. That will keep the costs lower.
If you don't plan to hire an attorney consider doing a holographic will and have it notarized in front of two witnesses. To learn more about the different types of Wills that exist in Arizona click here. A Will not done by an attorney will most likely be contested during the probate process. The attorney fees for litigation are usually between $10,000 to $50,000.
Most of the time a Will will also be done together with a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will, and, if there is property involved, usually together with a beneficiary deed.
The cost for a Will based estate planning package done by an attorney is usually between $1,500 to $3,000. If will depend also if you are married or not.
A Will based estate planning is a great strategy when assets are scarce and the possibility of applying for government benefits, like Medicaid of ALTCS in Arizona, is high. At Citadel Law Firm our Will Attorneys in Chandler like using a Will also for elderly clients that will struggle to understand and fund a Living Trust.
Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
The first thing that you should do if you are considering making a will is to hire an estate planning attorney. Preferably, it should be someone that has experience when it comes to creating wills and someone that is specialized in Estate Planning.
Sometimes, a lawyer could also end up being the executor of your will. Some people don't have a personal representative that they can trust. The point is that you should hire someone you trust but also someone you are confident that can handle the details of this legal document plus notarizing it.
You do have the option of doing it yourself, but you would need to be experienced with legal documents. Plus, the process can be more complicated on your own and there is a chance that you use language in the will that gets misinterpreted after you pass.
If you do not 100% know what you are doing here, it is best to stick to a legal estate planning attorney. Trying to save money upfront can cost you a lot in attorney fees if you estate end up in litigation.
Although a Will doesn't avoid probate court there are ways to avoid the probate process using a last Will and testament together with other estate planning documents.
Having a Will may turn your probate from an informal probate to a formal probate, and again the attorney fees will be much higher than if you had hired an estate planning lawyer to start with.
You may consider doing an incapacity planning only if you don't have assets, or if you only have one piece of real estate. A financial power of attorney, together with a health care one and a living well, as well as a beneficiary deed to address your property may keep you out of probate and it will address your needs.
You can also do a hand written will to address any personal property you have, like a family bible you want to leave for a specific family member.
Choosing an Executor
Next, you are going to have to select an executor of your will. This has to be someone that you trust to ensure that your assets get distributed as you wish.
So, you are likely going to want someone that you know is reliable, organized, and honest.
You have a couple of options when you are going down this route. The first is to pick a member of your family to be your executor. This is likely going to be your spouse, your oldest child, or your most trusted child.
The second route that you can take is choosing a close friend to be your executor. Make sure that they are still alive by the time you need this and have a backup option as a worst case scenario if you go this route.
Finally, you have the option of making your attorney the executor of your will. Here, they will have a legal obligation to make sure that your assets get distributed as was written in your Will. This can be a good option for you to take if you want a neutral third party to be the executor.
You can even choose a professional executor if you don't have someone you can trust also, like a professional fiduciary company. They will act according to your wishes.
When it comes to creating a will, one important aspect of this is determining the beneficiaries of your will. In other words, these are the people that are going to be receiving your assets.
For example, say you have $1 million in your savings by the time you write and execute your will. You are not 100% sure how much savings you will have left by the time you pass and you have two children with that you wish to split these savings.
What you can do here is assign 50% of your savings account to each child and write it up as such in your will. Bear in mind that it will be up to the probate court to honor your wishes.
The same can be done for the house that you are living in if you still own it by the time you pass. If you want your children to have the house, you can make them 50% owners each of the house. It will also be subject to the judge to honor it.
So, how much is typically given in inheritance?
In the United States, the median is about $69,000. It is higher for trust funds, with that being $285,000.
A lot of people can end up leaving hundreds of thousands behind in net worth, so it is important to consider this carefully.
You want to make sure your lifetime assets are protected and your taxes properly paid as well. Our clients are always concerned about taxes.
Working with an estate plan lawyer that can give you proper advice has a lot of value. Your death will not make your tax bill go away, the law is clear on that.
Choose Specific Assets Carefully
While savings or a house may be easier to divide evenly, there are going to be other assets that are very difficult to divide like that. With that in mind, you may need to make hard decisions and assign certain items to a person, specially property that may have sentimental value.
For example, you may have two children in your family that love sports collectibles. You may be a big collector yourself, with valuable items such as an autographed jersey from Mickey Mantle and an autographed jersey from Aaron Judge.
While both are nice, your kids may want to keep both items. Sadly, that means that you are going to have to pick a child to take each. Consider this carefully and try to figure out which item would mean more for each person, even if one is worth significantly more.
Another example could be leaving behind a portfolio that had certain assets attached to it. This could include stocks that you have money invested in.
Stock values will change over time, make sure your accounts have beneficiary designation also to make sure they don't go into probate. Assigning a specific percentage to your heirs, instead of a dollar amount, usually makes more sense. Our law firm can advice your properly on that and our consultation is free.
In this situation, you may consider leaving this to someone younger. The reason why is that younger people may have more risk tolerance to keep the money in those stocks than an older relative who may want to sell those immediately.
Call today to Create a Will
These are just some of the things that you should know when it comes to how to create a will and the costs involved with all your estate plan documents. Think about your tangible assets, your beneficiaries, your executor, and who is drafting up your will. Think about your tax, your accounts and how the law will apply to them.
Our estate plan services will help your with all of that. We don't sell documents, we help you create an estate plan strategy that is right for you as a client.
Do you need a lawyer to help you with your Arizona Will near you?Schedule a free estate planning consultation today with Citadel Law Firm in Chandler. Please call (480)565-8020 to hire our services. if you prefer click on the button below to schedule your free consultation today.