Creating an estate plan is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Estate planning isn’t just about what will happen to your assets after you die – it’s also about providing for your loved ones, protecting their financial security, and help ensure that your wishes are carried out when you’re gone. 


Creating an estate plan that considers all of these factors is essential. Before you get started, here are nine things you should know.


What Is Estate Planning?


Estate planning is creating a comprehensive plan for organizing and managing your finances and property so that they pass to the right people upon your death or incapacity. This includes creating wills, trusts, and other testamentary instruments. Your estate plan should also include details on handling financial and medical decisions if you become incapacitated.


Why Is Estate Planning Important?


Estate planning is vital because it helps ensure that your wishes are carried out upon your death or incapacity. An estate plan will also ensure that your family will be provided financially. Likewise, an estate plan can minimize taxes and probate costs. 


Without an estate plan in place, the courts will ultimately decide who gets what – which may not align with your wishes or the best interests of your loved ones.


Should You Write A Will Or Create A Trust?


The answer to this question depends on your circumstances. A will is a document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed upon death. It can also include instructions for the guardianship of minor children and who should handle the distribution of assets. 


Trusts are more complicated legal arrangements, but they offer advantages if you own real estate or other substantial financial holdings, have minor children, or want control over how assets are managed after your death. 


Wills are more straightforward and easier to set up, but they only go into effect after you die. Trusts can be established while you’re alive, provide inheritance protection for your beneficiaries, and allow you to manage the distribution of assets while you are still alive.


Will Your Assets Undergo Probate?


In most cases, assets owned solely by you and not held in a trust will likely be subject to probate. Probate is the court process of transferring ownership of your assets after death. It can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s essential to plan to minimize or avoid probate. 


There are estate planning tools such as living trusts, joint ownership of assets, and “payable on death” accounts that can help minimize or avoid it.


What Is An Estate Planning Attorney?


An estate planning attorney is a lawyer who specializes in helping you create an estate plan that meets your needs and reflects your wishes. An estate planning attorney can advise on wills, trusts, probate laws, estate taxes, asset protection, and guardianship of minors. 


Consult with an experienced estate planning attorney in Chandler AZ to ensure your plan is tailored to meet your and your family’s specific needs.


Do You Need An Estate Plan If You Don’t Have Many Assets?


Yes! Even if you don’t have many assets, creating an estate plan is still essential. Life is unpredictable – what may seem like a few assets today may be more significant in the future. Plus, estate planning isn’t just about money and assets – it’s also about providing for your loved ones and ensuring that your wishes are honored even after death.


Do You Need To Update Your Will?


Yes, it’s essential to review and update your estate plan documents periodically. Your life circumstances may change over time – you might get married, have children, or acquire a business or real estate. 


You should also review your will annually to ensure it reflects your wishes and is up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations. An estate planning lawyer in Chandler AZ can help you review, update, and modify your documents as needed.


Are There Any Other Estate Planning Documents You Should Have In Place?


Yes! Depending on your circumstances, other estate planning documents may be helpful. For example, an advanced healthcare directive lets you name someone to make medical decisions in case you cannot do so yourself. This document can be created in addition to a power of attorney. 


Other documents may include living wills, which outline instructions for end-of-life medical care, and HIPAA releases, which provide access to your health information. Your estate planning lawyer can help create the proper documents for you and your family.


Creating an estate plan is an important step that should not be taken lightly. It’s essential to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney in Chandler AZ, who can explain the various legal tools available and help ensure your assets are managed according to your wishes. With proper planning, you can rest assured that all aspects of your estate will be taken care of after you’re gone.


Keystone Law Firm


Keystone Law Firm has provided legal advice and estate planning services to clients in Chandler AZ, for years. Their experienced estate planning attorneys can help you create a comprehensive plan that meets your individual needs and protects your assets. Contact them today to get started.


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Keystone Law Firm
2701 W. Queen Creek Rd. #3
Chandler, AZ 85248
(480) 418-8448