What is Estate Planning in Arizona | An Explanation of Estate Planning
Some people have questions of what is estate planning Arizona. To start, let’s break our discussion into two parts; specifically what is an “estate” and what is the “planning” component to estate planning in Arizona. An estate is simply a legal term for all of the things you own and the debts you acquire. The planning in the phrase “estate planning” simply means your plan on how your estate will be divided upon your death or how the estate will be managed if you suffer a major disability.
If you die without an estate plan in Arizona, the Arizona statutes will apply and your estate will be divided pursuant to a default set of rules in those statutes, which very likely will not match what you would have wanted to see. An estate plan allows you to control how your estate is settled and controls who receives your estate, how much they receive, and when they receive it.
Your estate will likely save a lot of money on attorney fees spent in your family having to deal with the court system to divide your estate. Those costs will be significantly reduced or eliminated with a properly drafted estate plan. So, estate planning is dividing your estate according to your wishes to ensure your loved ones receive what you want them to receive upon your passing.
An estate plan is, therefore, instructions on how to divide your assets, give others legal control to make medical decisions for you if you are disabled, protect inherited money provided to children who may squander the inheritance by providing instruction on how and when they receive their inheritance, and can even provide for guardianship of your children.
As life changes, your estate plan may change as well. Situations such as divorce, changes in family dynamics, and changes in your wealth may all require that you modify your estate plan. You should look at your estate plan as a “life in progress” as changes need to be made.
What is Estate Planning in Arizona | What is in an Arizona Estate Plan
An estate plan may contain an Inter Vivos Family Trust, which is an estate planning document that details how all of your assets and debts are too divided based upon your wishes. The estate planning documents may also include a Last Will and Testament, which may be what is called a Pour Over Will that indicates any assets acquired after the Family Trust is created “pour over” into the Family Trust.
A Living Will, a Durable Medical Power of Attorney, a Durable Mental Health Power of Attorney, and HIPPA releases will also be included in an estate plan in Arizona. These documents allow you to control what medical procedures you do not want to be performed on you and all other medical care decisions are made by the person you name as your medical power of attorney.
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney and, if you own a business, a Business Succession Plan will also be in your estate plan. These documents enable your designated agent to manage your assets and business until such time your Will and Family Trust are settled.
Call one of our experienced Arizona estate planning attorneys today for a free consultation at (480)947-4339 to discuss your estate plan.
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