Your estate plan is a living document. If you own property, have children or are married, you should consider creating an estate plan. Then, as your life progresses and conditions change, you should take time to review and update it as needed, or at least every 5-7 years.
Last Will and Testament
Your estate plan will have a number of components, starting out with your Last Will and Testament. Your Last Will and Testament, also known as a simple will is a legal document where you tell the courts, your executor, and your family your final wishes.
If you become incapacitated in some way, a Living Will in your estate plan lets you define what kind of efforts should be made to keep you alive. You'll also hear the term "Advanced Directive for Health Care" - that's Arizona's legal name for a living will.
Your living will lets you answer in advice whether you want doctors to do everything they can to keep you alive, or, if your condition is terminal or vegetative at best, do you want them to withhold treatment. These are personal decisions that you can make now, in advance, and put into a living will. If you don't let your wishes be known with a living will, various members of your family could have differing ideas on the care you receive and it could lead to unneccesary disputes.
Power of Attorney
Granting a “power of attorney” in your estate plan allows someone you trust to make decisions for you if you aren’t capable of making them yourself. The decisions they make are legally binding. You can grant a power of attorney over your financial affairs, for healthcare purposes, and for caring for your minor children.
The law also provides other ways of passing your property to heirs and can be a good choice to include in your estate plan. Trusts are an excellent way to designate what property gets passed to which heir. Trusts also have some tax advantages that make them desirable.
Your initial one-hour consultation concerning your estate plan is free
Arizona Estate Planning Attorney Brian Utsey is available to help you start or modify your estate plan or any portion of it. He can help you decide which options are right for you at this point in your life.
Call Arizona estate planning attorney Brian Utsey. He’ll come to you to begin the process of creating or modifying your estate plan. Call today at 480-538-5024.