Willman Law Firm provides counsel and advice in preparing the appropriate estate planning documentation for any circumstance. The importance of having an estate plan in place cannot be overstated. It provides you peace of mind that your family and loved ones will be cared for, that your assets will go where you want them to go upon your death and that any possibility of disputes regarding your estate will be minimized.
Regardless of the extent of your assets, an estate plan will avoid having your assets go where state law directs as opposed to where you want them to go. Your individual circumstance may call for a Last Will and Testament or a Trust. When we meet with you, we will discuss your particular situation and help you decide what type of estate plan is best for you. In addition to planning for how your assets will be distributed upon your death, a properly structured estate plan will include Powers of Attorney to allow the person of your choice to make decisions on your behalf regarding your finances, your health care and your mental health care, should you ever be unable to make or communicate those decisions yourself. Having Powers of Attorney in place can avoid the very expensive court process of having a guardian or conservator appointed for you should you become incapacitated.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I prepare my own handwritten Will?
Yes. Arizona law provides for a handwritten or holographic will to be a valid will. Because a simple will can be prepared by an attorney quite inexpensively, it is strongly recommended that you have an attorney prepare your will. The attorney will discuss issues you may not be aware of and ensure that the will is valid.
2. If I create a Revocable Living Trust, can I control the assets in the Trust?
Yes. Generally the person or persons creating the trust (the Settlors) name themselves as trustees of the trust and therefore have complete control over what happens with the assets and income of the trust.
3. Can a Trust be used to save on Estate Taxes?
Yes. A married couple can create a credit shelter or A-B Trust, which will increase the amount of money they can pass to their family and friends without incurring estate taxes.
4. Why would I want to create a Financial Power of Attorney?
Through a Power of Attorney you can appoint a person to handle your financial affairs should you be unable to do so yourself. If you do not have a Power of Attorney and you are unable to handle your own financial affairs, the Court may appoint someone to handle your financial affairs on your behalf. The person the Court appoints may not be the person you would select.
5. What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?
A Health Care Power of Attorney is a document that appoints a person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions or are unable to communicate. Through a Health Care Power of Attorney you can appoint a person of your choice to act on your behalf when you are not able to do so.
6. What is a Beneficiary Deed?
A beneficiary deed is a document by which you can assign your real property (home, vacant land, etc.) to a person or to several people and the property will go immediately to those persons without the necessity of probate. Any mortgages or other debts on the property will go with the property to the named beneficiaries.