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Steps to Creating an Estate Plan in Arizona

Posted on : December 13, 2017, By:  Christopher Hildebrand

What are the steps to creating an estate plan in Arizona

You need a Last Will and Testament in Arizona to guarantee that your chosen beneficiaries will get the assets you will leave behind. In your will, you name an agent who will have the power and duty to pay your obligations and disseminate the rest of your assets as indicated in your will. In the event you pass away without a will, your property will go to your survivors based on Arizona laws of intestacy.

You may also want to create a family trust if you are potentially leaving money to a minor. In the trust, you name a trustee who will follow the terms of trust in providing money or other assets to your children. The trustee can be a relative, companion, or an expert. On the off chance that you neglect to set up a trust for your children, a probate court will control the distribution of your assets to your children.

It is essential to comprehend that some of your assets will not go to your survivors through a will or family trust and will not go through probate. For example, if you own a house with a spouse, your spouse may automatically be deemed to have been deeded the home if you hold title as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. If you have a “payable-on-death” designation on your financial accounts, those accounts will automatically be owned by the named beneficiary.

The federal estate tax exemption is now $5.25 million and increases annually. Spouses may combine their exemptions, so married couples can leave or give away $10.5 million without owing any federal estate tax depending on which state you are living in.

Estate planning is not only about taking care of your survivors. A complete estate plan should also ensure that your will regarding your money and your healthcare prevail. Create a durable power of attorney (DPA), in which you name a trusted relative or friend to take charge of your assets when you cannot manage your own affairs. If you do not have a DPA and become debilitated, a relative or friend will have to ask a judge to appoint a conservator to manage your assets and pay your bills.

You should also create a living will and a DPA for to provide directions as to your medical care in the event you become incapacitated. Your lawyer should also draft HIPAA forms to enable doctors to disclose your medical information to your designated agent. Your estate-planning paperwork and financial records ought to be put away in a safe yet accessible place.  An estate planning attorney can provide you with advice and recommendations to ensure your confidential information is kept safe, yet is accessible by a friend or family member in the event it is needed.

Contact our experienced Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys at (480)947-4339 to schedule a consultation.

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