ARIZONA ESTATE PLANNING MYTHS, DEBUNKED

Affordable ESTTE PLANNING Lawyer Services in ARIZONA

Our Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyers Examine Common Misconceptions About Wills, Trusts, and Other Estate Planning Documents. Read on and get the real story regarding Estate Planning in Arizona.

ESTATE PLANNING IN ARIZONA

Estate planning is the process of creating documents that distribute your assets upon your death, indicate your medical treatment preferences if you ever become unable to do so, and more. A properly planned estate won’t be susceptible to disputes and challenges, and proceeds through probate relatively quickly. Additionally, planning can help your beneficiaries pay as few taxes on your estate as possible. For high quality estate planning services at affordable prices, call or use our online form to schedule your free consultation with My AZ Lawyers today.

Don’t let the word “estate” fool you- estate planning is for anyone who has any type of asset they’d like to pass on when they die. It is also for anyone who has an opinion on whether they’d like to be kept on life support, tube feeding, etc., if they ever end up in a coma or similar medical condition. Whether your net worth is a few hundred dollars or a few million, you can use estate planning to make your wishes clear.

While your last will and testament can be used to indicate who you would like to receive your assets when you pass away, it actually can serve multiple functions. One of them is naming an executor for your estate. The executor will validate your will, create an inventory of your estate, identify your beneficiaries, and complete all the other steps necessary to move your estate through probate. You can also use your will to appoint legal guardians for your children if you pass away before they turn 18.

While your last will and testament can be used to indicate who you would like to receive your assets when you pass away, it actually can serve multiple functions. One of them is naming an executor for your estate. The executor will validate your will, create an inventory of your estate, identify your beneficiaries, and complete all the other steps necessary to move your estate through probate. You can also use your will to appoint legal guardians for your children if you pass away before they turn 18.

First of all, Arizona requires that an estate executor be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Your executor will be responsible for moving your estate through probate, so you will want to choose someone who is organized and responsible. You may choose one of your beneficiaries to be your executor. Unlike some states, Arizona doesn’t restrict convicted felons from serving as estate executors. Arizona will restrict someone from serving an estate executor if they have been “unstable in formal proceedings.” For example, a parent who repeatedly had meltdowns in front of the judge and disobeyed court orders could be precluded from being the executor to your estate. Arizona also doesn’t allow for you to name a foreign or out-of-state corporation as your estate’s executor.

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If you pass away without a will, your estate will be distributed according to your state’s intestacy laws. In Arizona, this usually means your estate will go first to any spouse and descendants you may have. If none of those are available, it will then go to any surviving parents or their descendants. That means that if you are estranged or on bad terms with any relatives, they could still end up benefiting from your estate if you pass away without a will.

Only people legally related to you stand to benefit from intestate succession, so you will need to plan your estate if you want to leave anything to friends, mentors, or anyone else that isn’t a relative. You can also leave money to charitable organizations through your estate plan.

You have the option of revoking your will by destroying it, or creating a new will that indicates it is meant to revoke the original will. You can also change your will by creating a valid codicil. A codicil is a legal document that changes a will without completely replacing it. The method you choose will typically depend on how extensive the changes are that you want to make.

Changing your will, trusts, and other estate planning documents will not change the beneficiaries on your life insurance and other insurance policies. You will need to individually change your policies to reflec