Many people believe that estate planning is only for the extraordinarily wealthy. However, virtually every family can benefit from an estate plan. One reason for this is that without your own plan, the state of Arizona will control how your assets are distributed after you pass away. The state is not concerned about making sure your wishes are carried out regarding who receives your assets. Nor is the state interested in minimizing settlement costs or streamlining the process of when your heirs receive their assets.
A second reason to have an estate plan of your own is to ensure that you are able to control who can make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Without a properly designed plan in place, someone might very well petition the court to obtain control over your assets and medical care. Unfortunately, this could be a person you would not want to make decisions like these on your behalf.
In addition, if you have young children, an estate plan can ensure that you can decide in advance who will take care them of them if something happens to you and your spouse. Otherwise, the court will name a guardian for your children, and once again, this could be someone you would never have chosen yourself to bear this responsibility.