Nobody wants to think about what happens when they are no longer alive. It feels, well, a little morbid. Yet, it’s important for the people you love and care for that you think about your affairs.
So, what should you be doing to have your estate in order? What estate planning is needed if you’re an Arizona resident?
Read on to learn more about the estate planning process so you can be prepared.
What Is Estate Planning?
Let’s start with a basic understanding of estate planning. When a person does estate planning, they create and prepare what will happen with their assets, belongings, and loved ones when they die or are incapacitated.
There are four basic areas to consider as you approach estate planning:
- Last Will and Testament
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney (with Mental Health authority)
- Living Will
To make sure all of your paperwork gets done legally, you’ll want to arrange to meet with an estate planning attorney. They can help guide you through the process of what to consider, what decisions to make, and how to make sure it’s written legally and will be accepted by the probate court.
As you prepare your estate plan, you’ll also need to name people to have your Power of Attorney and beneficiaries for the estate.
Arizona Estate Planning
To learn more about estate planning, you need to understand the laws in Arizona for estate planning. Title 14 is the group of statutes that govern Arizona for estate planning. It includes:
- Protective Pleadings
Title 14 includes specific sections on intestate succession, the probate of wills and trusts, and the handling of the affairs of a person with a disability.
Would it surprise you to learn that 68% of Americans don’t have a will? If you live in Arizona and don’t have a will, your estate will default into what’s called intestate succession. Intestate succession is a way for the courts in Arizona to become the default and allows them to distribute your property if you don’t have a will.
Estate Planning Checklist
If you’re ready to meet with an estate planning lawyer to prepare your estate, what things should you consider?
Consider your possessions and assets. Do you own all of your possessions outright, or do you still owe money? You’ll want to include your intentions for handling all of your assets. How do you want them distributed? Do you want them to stay in a trust?
If you have dependents whose care you’re responsible for, you’ll want to make your intentions clear for them. For example, who will care for them? What money will be left for their care, and who will be responsible for it?
It’s important to make your wishes clear for long-term care as you age.
Get Help With Your Estate Planning
It’s important to take the time to do your estate planning, so you know your affairs will get taken care of according to your wishes. You can also make sure your dependents and loved ones are protected with careful estate planning.
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