Estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ

Do I Need a Will?Unless your financial situation resembles Scrooge McDuck jumping into a mountain of gold coins, you probably think you don’t need a Will. But a quality estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ has to offer will tell you that is not true! Creating a comprehensive estate plan can help you plan for your future, the future of your family, and beyond.

Why Do I need a Will?

Your Life Will Change. An estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on will recommend you not only make a Will, but also to update it every 3-5 years or at any major life event. As you age, your life circumstances are likely to change. You might get married or divorced. You might have children. Your children may turn 18. You may experience the death of a loved one. You may fall ill or get injured. You may have a significant career change, purchase a home, file for bankruptcy, etc. As your life circumstances change, so will your wishes and desire for what will happen to you and your estate.

You Decide Who Oversees Your Estate. If you die without a Will, you will have no control and no say in who takes charge of your estate. With a Will, you get to choose the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and obeying the laws of your state. An estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ respects can help you decide who the best person is to oversee your estate.

You Decide Who Will Take Care of Your Children. For parents of small children, this is perhaps the single most important reason to make a Will. You can appoint specific people in a specific order to serve as guardian for your children. Just as importantly, you can avoid the wrong people from serving as guardian. If you die without a Will, the court may take it upon itself to appoint a guardian for any minor children you may have.

You Decide Who Benefits from Your Assets. A Will lets you determine who receives what from your estate. It also helps to avoid family fights about your money and belongings.

. . . and Who Doesn’t Benefit from Your Assets. It is as important to say who will NOT receive any assets or distributions from your estate. This helps deter any estranged relatives from contesting your Will and making claims to your estate.

You Can Make Gifts and Donations. For those who wish to give back, an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts can outline a charitable gift or donation in your Will to help ensure that your legacy of philanthropy lives on.

You Minimize Estate Taxes. As assets are distributed from your estate to family, friends, and charity, the value of your estate diminishes. This is a good thing! It means your estate will have to pay less in taxes.

You Minimize Legal Frustration During an Emotional Time. The loss of a loved one is hard enough, and when funeral bills and lawyer fees start piling up, it can make things more stressful than necessary. Creating a Will today saves your family from dealing with legal and financial issues during their time of grief.

What is in a Will?

An experienced estate planning Phoenix, AZ is proud to rely on should include the following, at a minimum, in an estate plan:

Last Will and Testament

Your Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows you to clearly communicate your end of life wishes for your assets and for your family members. A complete Last Will and Testament should clearly outline the following:

  • The Executor or Personal Representative: the people you appoint to carry out the provisions of your Will upon your death.
  • The Beneficiaries: the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions for How and When to distribute the Assets
  • Guardians for Minor Children: the people you wish to legally care for your minor children if you became incapacitated or pass away

Financial Power of Attorney

Any competent estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ depends on will probably include a Financial Power of Attorney. This document allows you to appoint a representative to manage your finances should be unable to do so for yourself.  

Healthcare Directives

    • Healthcare Power of Attorney: this document allows you to appoint a representative to make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so for yourself.
    • Living Will: in this document, you can specifically outline any healthcare services you wish to receive, or perhaps more importantly, those you DO NOT wish to receive.
    • HIPPA Authorization: this document allows you to name an individual who can have access to your medical information so that your health care provider or insurance company have no reservations about sharing your protected medical information with them.

If you have a lot of assets, an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ confides in may suggest you create a Living Trust. A Living Trust is an entity created during the Grantor’s life time to hold and manage assets. There are many advantages in creating a trust, including avoiding probate.

How Do I Make Will?

Since estate planning is not on the minds of most people day to day, it is best to hire a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. The names of lawyers in your state who have passed the bar exam is public information, so with a bit of research you can confirm that the person creating your estate plan is a bar certified lawyer.

While there certainly are other options for creating an estate plan without a lawyer, like DIY forms you can purchase from websites, no standard template can substitute for an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer.

You work hard for your money and for your family, creating a Will allows you to make sure both are properly cared for after your death. If you’ve been thinking about creating a Will, contact Kamper Estrada, LLP, an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ is proud to rely on, for a free initial consultation.