Expert Estate Planning Attorney in Scottsdale, AZ
The fundamental goal of any estate plan is to transfer your assets according to your wishes and no one else’s. A well-written estate plan seeks to pass the things you own to the persons you choose at the time you choose, and in the most efficient manner. There may be tax considerations depending on what you own or added legal complexity depending on who you leave your property to. However simple or complicated your situation may be creating an estate plan will serve you and those you care about well.
What is estate planning?
When you create an estate plan you receive all of the necessary legal documents that you need to keep your affairs private, out of court and with the individuals who you select to manage your important decision-making.
Why create an estate plan?
If you fail to create an estate plan (will or trust), then at your death state law will decide who receives your property and how property is distributed. By having an estate plan, you are overriding state law and ensuring that your assets go to the individuals of your choosing and in the manner you desire.
Moreover, your estate plan is your opportunity to design a personalized plan that protects you while you are alive (especially during any periods that you are incapacitated) and after you have passed away. Your important decisions will be with those trusted individuals who you have selected.
Your estate plan also provides protection for these trusted individuals who may need to act on your behalf. Perhaps your loved one is making your medical decisions if you are in a coma or perhaps, they must collect and distribute your property after you’ve passed away. By having an estate plan in place, you are ensuring that those people who you want to act on your behalf have the legal authority to do so and that your desired wishes are given legal effect so that your wishes are followed.
The Estate Planning Essentials
A typical estate plan should include:
- Revocable trust. A trust is meant to hold some or all of your assets and avoid the need for a probate at the trust-maker’s death.
- Last will and testament. If a probate is needed, the will ensures that any assets are transferred to the trust so that all assets are disposed according to the estate plan.
- Financial power of attorney. Designates trusted individuals the legal authority to conduct your financial affairs.
- Medical & Mental Health powers of attorney. Appoints trusted individuals to make your health-related decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate your wishes.
- Living will. Allows you to provide explicit instructions regarding your medical treatment if you are in a hopeless medical condition.
These documents are tools for you and your loved ones to use while you are living and after you pass away. It is important to work with an attorney to tailor these legal documents to your personal needs and estate planning objectives.