Everyone needs an estate plan – whether you’re married, single, have children or not. Sadly, many people don’t complete their estate plan because they think it is only for the wealthy. Not so! Did you know Arizona’s probate court system can impose itself on any estate worth more than $75,000? Our clients come from all walks of life, ranging from modest estates to the very wealthy. Regardless of your net worth, you need an estate plan designed and budgeted to meet your goals, however simple or complex.
Estate planning is one of the most important steps you can take to make sure that your financial and health care wishes are honored during a time of disability and after your death, and to make sure your loved ones will be provided for in your absence. A well-designed estate plan will address:
Who Will Receive Your Property When You Die? You want your lifetime’s hard-earned assets to pass to the right people, in the right way and at the right time. If you don’t make these decisions in advance, Arizona’s Probate Court will do it for you. You also want to make it difficult for the wrong people (like in-law spouses, creditors or greedy relatives) to fight over or contest your estate.
Who Will Be In Charge Upon Your Death or Disability? You want to make sure that your financial, personal and medical affairs will be properly handled by the people you choose when you become too ill or disabled to act for yourself and when you pass away.
Preservation of Your Estate: You want the maximum amount of your hard-earned assets to pass to who you want, with the least amount going to pay for court fees, attorneys’ fees, income taxes and death taxes. You may also want to protect your assets from divorce, lawsuits, creditors and bankruptcy during your lifetime, as well as for your loved ones after they inherit your assets.
The comment we most often hear clients say as they leave our office is “Why didn’t we do this years ago? It feels so good knowing everything is in order!” And it should feel good. By creating a well-thought out estate plan, you have performed one of the kindest acts for your family and for yourself. You have spared your loved ones immeasurable amounts of inconvenience, unwanted publicity, time and expense. It truly is an act of love! Procrastination is the #1 killer of estate planning. Much better to get it done now and enjoy the peace of mind of having your affairs in order instead of putting it off and worrying about it for years.
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