Too often, people do not think about the importance of estate planning and Arizona residents might hear the word estate and think that they don’t have enough to qualify as an “estate”. However, everyone has an estate of some type. It doesn’t just refer to people who have mansions, cars, boats, and investment properties. You do not need to be wealthy to have an estate, but you will still want to have some type of estate plan in place.
It will help to make things easier for your family in the event of your death. An estate plan will contain a wide range of legal documents that can help to ensure your wishes are met when it comes to things like your health and your assets.
Why You Need an Estate Plan
The estate plan will help to protect your assets for your family and any other heirs that will be interesting items. Having a will can help to make the disbursement faster and easier after death, and it will ensure that your preferences are carried out when you die. It provides you with a way to determine what happens with your assets. You can name who gets the property and items. Ultimately, it gives you and your family peace of mind.
What Is In an Estate Plan?
Although estate plans can differ in size and complexity, you will find that they tend to have some things in common. You will need to have a will. This is a document that will determine who receives your assets, as well as who will be the guardian of your children if you die before they are adults. You will also choose an executor for your will, who will oversee the estate after your death and make sure your wishes are carried out.
There will also be a power of attorney that will determine who can make financial decisions if you can’t do it. They will also be in charge of paying bills, making legal and business decisions, and managing your investments if you can’t. A health care power of attorney will make medical decisions for you.
Having a living will is important, too. This is not the same as a standard will. In this case, it will include your end-of-life preferences. You might also need a trust that will control how and when the assets are distributed.
Getting Everything in Order to Make Estate Planning Easier
You have to think about a lot of different parts of your life and potential death when you are planning your estate. For many people, estate planning can feel uncomfortable because you are thinking about your death. However, it is one of the most important things you can do for your family. Locals, if you went through a divorce and had to split assets, your family attorney should be able to consider this when assist with your estate planning in Arizona.
As you are getting ready to make your plans, start thinking about what you want to happen with your assets and your health care. Here is a list of things that you should think about now, so you can make your financial planning easier.
What Are Your Health Care Preferences?
You should start thinking about the type of health care you would want to receive if you are no longer able to make coherent decisions for yourself. If you are incapacitated, who do you want to take care of the medical decisions? Do you prefer traditional treatment or do you only want homeopathic treatments? What is your view on using breathing machines to prolong your life?
You will naturally have your own views on how you want your medical care to be handled when you are not able to do it on your own. It’s important to make these wishes clear and to have a durable health care power of attorney that will make sure those wishes are carried through.
What Are Your Financial Preferences?
In addition to your health care, you also have to think about your finances and what happens if you are not capable of making decisions. Whether it is through an accident, dementia, etc. you need to designate someone as a financial agent that can make decisions on your behalf. Just as you get a durable power of attorney for your health care, you will want to have one set up for your finances. This person will have access to your bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, insurance, income tax returns, etc. when you are incapacitated, so be sure to choose someone you trust.
List Your Assets and Name the Beneficiaries
When you are planning your estate, you also have to think about all of the assets that you own, both large and small. What do you want to happen to them? Who should inherit your classic car? Who should get the house? What happens with collections and other items you own. You should make a list of your assets and talk with the potential beneficiaries. Make sure that they are willing and able to receive what you want to give them. For example, just because you want to give your house to your child doesn’t mean they can afford it. This could cause them financial problems, which is the last thing you want.
Once you know the beneficiaries that will be receiving the items, you will then designate the assets to them.
File Documents and Keep Copies Safe
Once you have started planning your estate and have filed your various documents, you will want to keep them safe. Store them in a safe and secure location where they are away from other parties that should not have access to them. Often, it is a good idea to keep the documents at an attorney’s office.
Get Help with Estate Planning
You have a lot to think about when it comes to estate planning in Arizona. It can be difficult to handle it all on your own, and you do not want to rely on the DIY options on the web since you could make a mistake that causes problems later. Instead, you should start thinking about the basics of estate planning, and then get in touch with an attorney. To help make matters easier and more affordable, you can work with the certified legal document preparers from Modern Law.
You can get help with your will for $999, powers of attorney for $99, beneficiary deeds for $250, and more. Get the help you need with your documents and make sure they are filed properly. Get in touch with the professionals on estate planning in Arizona today.
Resources: Estate and legacy planning