Many people think that “estate planning” is only for extraordinarily wealthy families, celebrities and the like. Not so. Every family can benefit from having an estate plan of its own, one designed and implemented by an attorney who focuses on this highly specialized area of the law.
Without your own plan, the state of Arizona will control how your assets are distributed after you pass away. The state does not concern itself with making sure your wishes about “who gets what” are honored. It is not interested in minimizing costs or distributing assets in a timely manner. Instead, the state just follows established guidelines for asset distribution.
Another reason you need a plan of your own is to ensure people of your choosing will have the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. Without a customized plan, someone will likely petition the court to gain control over your medical care and hard-earned assets. This could very well be a person you would never have chosen to make important decisions for you. The court processes involved, known as conservatorship and guardianship, are expensive, time-consuming and extremely stressful for your loved ones.
These are but a few examples of the benefits inherent in estate planning. We can design a plan capable of accomplishing a great deal more, depending on your particular needs and goals. For example, your plan could:
- Make sure your minor children will be cared for according to your wishes if tragedy strikes and something happens to you and your spouse
- Ensure you have complete control over your assets while you are alive and after you pass away
- Protect your assets, and your children’s inheritances, against lawsuits, creditors, remarriage and other threats
- Leave what you want to the people you want in the manner you want
- Significantly reduce estate, gift, income and other taxes
- Keep your financial affairs and family information private
- Pass your values, sense of responsibility and work ethic on to heirs
- Leave a lasting legacy
To accomplish goals like these, we’ll work closely with you and any of your existing advisors. Ultimately, we want you to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a well-designed plan in place for the future.
To learn more about estate planning, click here to receive The 5 Most Important Estate Planning Documents guide. Better yet, contact us for a personal meeting with Becky Cholewka to discuss your unique needs and goals.