No one wants to face the fact that they will die, sleep no more, or shuffle off this mortal coil, except Shakespearean characters. But of course, we all will. That is inevitable. The only thing we can control in the end is the legacy we leave to our loved ones. And by legacy, we mean both the tangible and intangible assets.
It is a sad fact of human life that people are often at their worst when times are tough. When a beloved family member passes away, emotions often get the better of us. It is not at all uncommon for family members and friends to fight over assets if the departed passed without a will, also known as dying intestate.
A Phoenix Estate Planning Lawyer can also help you draw up documents that will assign power of attorney and delineate medical directives. If for example, you are incapacitated as the result of an illness or accident, these directives let your loved ones know what your want was done.
Where to begin?
With so many lawyers and people in Phoenix, it should come as no surprise that writing a will is a fairly common legal practice. Most experienced attorneys can draw them up in the afternoon. But before you meet up with a Phoenix estate planning lawyer, it is always a nice concept is to take an inventory of your assets. This will expedite the obviously unpleasant process.
What do you own?
No, you do not have to count every penny. Your list of assets should include the big ones, such as property, stocks, retirement savings, insurance policies, and other investments. If for example, you own a book of rare stamps or a Picasso, they should be included.
How about guardianship and trusts?
These are extremely important and unfortunately ignored subjects that some young parents fail to address. Yes, it is highly unlikely that both parents would be killed in accidents or as the result of illnesses. With that said, it is important to provide for your young children if a tragedy should come to pass.
Trusts aren’t only for the wealthy. These legal mechanisms let you distribute assets under strict conditions. They may also help you reduce gift and estate taxes, which will allow you to leave more to your heirs.
As you might imagine, guardianship is a highly personal issue. To avoid damaging custody battles or other legal disputes, it is imperative that you select a legal guardian and have it documented by your Phoenix estate planning lawyer.
The single most important reason to write a will is that it eliminates confusion about your last wishes. This clarity can help your friends and loved ones grieve healthily and naturally. It will also prevent possible legal disputes and fights over money and unassigned assets. Although it may seem like a lot of work, a good estate planning lawyer handles these cases on an almost daily basis and can complete them in no time.
A reputable Phoenix estate planning law firm will help you draw up your last will as well as documents that deal with power of attorney, guardianship issues, and medical directives.