WHY DO YOU NEED ESTATE PLANNING?
by Wayne H. Taylor
The key and central purpose of estate planning is control. The law gives you an opportunity to control who makes the decisions that affect you and your property as well as how your property is managed and distributed for as long as possible—but only if you take advantage of estate planning. If you want your preferences and desires to be respected and enforced when you are no longer able to act or decide, the most likely way of achieving that goal is by hiring a licensed, experienced, and local Arizona estate planning attorney.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning involves thinking about, deciding upon, and creating legally valid documents that will provide for the management of your person and estate in the way you desire upon your incapacity and/or death. A complete estate plan generally includes legal documents that govern health care decisions, caregiving decisions, and property decisions. Effective estate planning usually involves the use of Durable Powers of Attorney and Wills or Trusts.
Do I Own Enough Assets to Need or Benefit from Estate Planning?
Estate planning is not reserved just for millionaires or billionaires, but is available and very useful for everyone—even those with modest estates. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the many benefits to themselves and their loved-ones that can come from estate planning both before and after death—benefits such as making the handling of decision-making issues and assets easier and less expensive, reducing both the risk and cost of disputes over personal care and assets, and, most importantly, providing peace of mind. You alone can choose to take action to secure benefits of estate planning through the use of an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney or to take less than adequate action and lose all the benefits available to you.
Should I Use an Attorney to do Estate Planning?
Yes! Upon your incapacity and death, complex state laws govern consequential matters such as who has control and decision-making authority over you and your assets and how your assets are to be used/distributed, You should seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney in Arizona to assure you have an estate plan that: 1) is valid; 2) clearly and effectively expresses your intent and wishes; 3) contains current protective language; 4) places you in control over the decision-making process that impacts you and the management of your assets; 5) minimizes the effort and cost of probate, if possible and desired.
A quality estate planning attorney will seek to understand your concerns, priorities, assets, and wishes. After listening to you, such attorney will openly and honestly discuss with you various options, including the pros, cons, and the estimated current and future costs of each option.
Ideally, the estate planning attorney will provide you with a comprehensive solution that is customized to the types of assets you hold, your personal and family situation, and your specific needs and concerns.
The bottom line is that with a well-thought-out and executed estate plan, you can make life easier and less stressful for you and those you care for upon your incapacity and death.
What Happens Without Estate Planning?
If you fail to plan or your plan fails for whatever reason, the law of Arizona and most states provide default procedures, including the appointment of a personal representative and the division/distribution of estate assets, which is typically overseen and monitored by a probate court. Court costs, attorney’s fees, and administrative expenses associated with probate can reduce, sometimes significantly, the assets available for distribution to your heirs or others you would prefer to receive such assets.
Done well, estate planning can have a positive impact on your well-being, your relationships, and your memory/legacy.
Isn’t it time to take control? For estate planning you can trust, contact GillespieShields for your Arizona estate planning needs.
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