Why Estate Planning is Necessary
Importance of Estate Planning
Estate planning is necessary if you want to protect your loved ones from experiencing unnecessary expenses and complications if you were to die or become incapacitated. The reason many people do not plan their end-of-life choices is because they believe it is too complicated and costly to do so. Therefore, let’s address these two reasons.
1) Estate planning eliminates the complications and conflict that can result when individuals become incapacitated or die. The goal of Arizona Estate & Trust Law is to eliminate complications and confusion by helping clients set up an estate plan based on their particular family situation.
2) A comprehensive estate plan prepared by Arizona Estate & Trust Law is not inexpensive. However, not having an estate plan can be very expensive as the following examples will illustrate.
Example One – Envision being unable to manage your financial affairs because of your incompetency or incapacity. Your family would most likely have to hire an attorney to prepare the necessary paperwork for filing with a court to have someone appointed to handle your financial affairs. This could easily cost many thousands of dollars, and your finances would become a matter of public record. These expenses can be avoided with advance planning.
Example Two – Consider what would happen if you were dying or in an irreversible comatose state and unable to tell your medical providers that you did not want to be kept alive by extraordinary measures. Without a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney stating your desire not to be kept alive by artificial means, your ongoing medical bills and your family’s having to hire an attorney to force a termination of your treatment would be terribly expensive. Again, these expenses can be avoided with advance planning.
Example Three – Have you ever considered what would happen if you die while your children were still minors? Who would look after their personal needs and their financial well-beings until they reached adulthood? Would a court have to appoint a guardian and conservator for them? Would the person or persons appointed by the court be the same persons you would have chosen? A properly drafted Will can avoid these potentially costly problems for considerably less money than would be spent on a contested court proceeding.
Example Four – Do you know who would receive your assets if you die without a Will or a trust specifying who is to receive your assets? Because Arizona inheritance laws provide a “pecking order” for who receives your assets if you die without a Will or trust, your assets might be distributed to individuals you never would have chosen to receive your assets.