Jul 23 2015
Estate planning is one of those important things you know you need to do but don’t really want to think about. After all, not many people are pleased to think about their own death. Yet if you don’t, you leave your family or your business at risk by not stipulating how they will be cared for after you are gone.Working with an Arizona estate planning lawyer can help you navigate the process and make it a bit easier, but here are a few important things to know to help you get started thinking about the process:
You will not live forever, no matter how much you may want to. Don’t put off your estate planning because you think, “I have plenty of time! I don’t need to think about that right now.” Anything can happen. You could get into a serious car accident today that either kills you or puts you in a vegetative state. A blood clot could move up your leg and cause a heart attack or aneurysm. These are things that can happen no matter how old you are and no matter how good you think your health is.
The earlier you start working with an estate planning lawyer, the better.
A Little Goes a Long Way
Even if you aren’t prepared to put together a complex estate plan that sets up trusts and other holdings, you can still protect your assets with some simple changes. For example, you can name some beneficiaries on accounts like your life insurance or your 401(k). When you die, these funds will automatically go to the person you name. Identifying a beneficiary only takes a few minutes.
You can also set up a simple will either by writing down your wishes on paper yourself and having it notarized or by working with an attorney (preferred). Your will need not be complicated. It can simply say that you want all of your assets left to your wife and children or another beneficiary of your choosing.
Focus on Your Wishes
Some people get caught up in how to divide the financial value of their assets. They focus on dollar amounts and whether they seem fair.
Instead of focusing on the amounts you will leave each beneficiary, focus on your wishes. For example, you may wish that your children go to college or that your great aunt is able to live in her own home as long as possible. Based on those wishes, you would figure out how much to leave each based on the estimated cost of tuition and board and the estimated cost of a home health care worker and living expenses.
Talk about What You Want
Estate plans can be challenged after you are gone, wrapping up your assets in probate and draining your estate of funds. You can avoid this by simply talking to your loved ones now about what you want. Don’t make your will a secret that they don’t hear about until your death, leading to conflict.
By talking about your wishes now, you can resolve any disputes and reduce the likelihood of your estate going into probate. After all, when everyone knows what you want, your family or friends will have little grounds to create an argument later that they deserve more than was left to them.
Find an Estate Planner You Can Trust
The right Mesa estate planning lawyer can guide you through the estate planning process easily, helping you to understand all the issues that are relevant to your case. Your lawyer is your expert advocate, helping you to create an iron-clad estate plan while also reducing the stress involved.
The Buntrock Law Group in Arizona is ready to help you with all your estate planning needs, whether you need only a simple will or you want to set up a complex plan for protecting your business and ensuring its longevity. Our lawyers have been helping Arizona residents put together solid estate plans for many years, and we are able to minimize the risk of disputes after you are gone. Call us today to start the estate planning process and to get peace of mind.
2158 N. Gilbert Road, Suite 119
Mesa, AZ 85203
Phone: (480) 664-7728