Estate Planning Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
How to Mitigate Family Disputes in an Estate Plan
Estate planning can seem like an overwhelming topic at first, but if you have a large family, it’s not something you’ll want to ignore. Whether you have a blended family from a second marriage or you own a piece of real estate with your children, it’s important to consider how all of these factors may affect your own estate planning needs. Although it might seem very difficult to manage family financial matters without angering someone, an estate planning lawyer may be able to help you secure assets and transfer them to beneficiaries efficiently.
Make a Will or Trust
One of the first things you should do to minimize family disputes is to create a will or trust for your assets. Without a will or trust in place, the courts become involved to determine how to divide assets between beneficiaries.
If you have specific assets that you want to pass on to specific individuals, one of these official documents can ensure that it happens. Although you might be focusing on more valuable items when you’re creating an estate plan, remember that your beneficiaries might also cherish certain “non-valuable” items for sentimental reasons. Don’t be afraid to speak with a Phoenix, AZ estate planning lawyer about designating beneficiaries for assets that might seem less financially valuable.
Also remember to review your beneficiary designations regularly after documenting them. Your feelings toward a specific individual might change over time, or two family members might begin a quarrel over a certain asset, and you may want to update your will or trust in light of this.
An experienced estate planning lawyer might suggest creating a living trust rather than a will, because living trusts may bypass probate court. If family members fight over who is supposed to receive what, it’s usually because the individual’s will was unclear — and the court might end up dividing the assets in a way that’s different from what the individual actually wanted.
Consider Estate Taxes and Ongoing Maintenance
It’s imperative to keep in mind that that your beneficiaries may have to pay taxes on the assets they inherit. The large majority of estates are exempt from federal estate taxes, but your beneficiaries might still have to pay state-mandated estate taxes. If you’re unclear about how taxes might affect your own estate plans, an estate planning lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona can help you understand how this works.
Additionally, if you leave your beneficiaries large assets or properties in Phoenix, AZ, remember that these might require ongoing maintenance. It’s a good idea to speak with your potential beneficiaries about what they’re comfortable with receiving.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
Managing the estate of a loved one when they have passed away can be an emotionally challenging and stressful experience. It’s all too common for family members to argue over what their loved one’s true intentions were. Creating an estate plan ensures that you can continue to take care of those you love — even after you’re gone.
To schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ families know and trust, contact Kamper Estrada, LLP.