Much of our practice is concentrated on working with clients in estate planning issues. In this area of our practice, we have substantial experience in creating customized estate plans and we provide the following legal services for our clients:
- Advance Directives
- Powers of Attorney (Health Care, Mental Health, and Financial)
- Trust Agreements
- Guardianships and Conservatorships
- Probate Administration
The following estate planning tools may be advisable for you to employ as you develop your estate plan:
A trust agreement is a critically important element of an estate plan. A revocable trust may be amended and changed as you desire. A trust may provide for certain tax benefits based on your particular circumstances. A trust provides a number of benefits, including ensuring that assets covered by a trust avoid the probate process, and that your wishes regarding asset disposition are honored according to the terms of the trust once you are deceased.
Last Will and Testament:
A will is a foundational document for an estate plan. Your will memorializes your wishes regarding the disposition of your assets and property upon your death. This disposition will occur based on the actions of your executor or personal representative that you identify. Your will should work in harmony with your other estate planning tools, and a will may have “pour-over” provisions directing assets remaining outside of your trust to transfer to your existing trust when you are deceased. Your will may also detail your preference for a guardian for your child or children should you become deceased prior to your children reaching the age of majority.
Powers of Attorney:
In Arizona, you can memorialize your attorney-in-fact preferences in powers of attorney. This allows a trusted individual to act on your behalf and in your best interest should you lack the requisite capacity to carry out your affairs. Primary powers of attorney include financial, health care, and mental health. Powers of attorney may take effect immediately or have contingencies that must be met before an attorney-in-fact may act on your behalf. Under Arizona law, parents may also temporarily vest their parental authority regarding a child to another individual through a power of attorney.
A living will allows you to memorialize your medical treatment preferences (advance health care directive) should you be unable to articulate those preferences as a result of any number of factors. Livings wills may include end-of-life care decisions and disposition of body issues. This is a highly sensitive document that serves to ensure that your wishes regarding these issues are truly honored.
Under Arizona law, several types of deeds may be used for estate planning purposes. These may include quit claim deeds or beneficiary deeds. Depending on your circumstances, a deed may be of benefit to you in your estate plan.
Please contact us for more information or for a consultation regarding the development and implementation of your estate plan.