April 2024 – Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Wealthy!

Estate Planning Isn't Just For The Wealthy!

Everyone, regardless of their financial status, should have these essential Estate Planning documents and here is why.

Creating an Estate Plan isn’t as bad as you might think (and it’s certainly not as bad as going through probate).

Typically we can get the entire Estate Plan done in just a few meetings (phone, Zoom or in person) and one formal signing appointment.

Yes, we are going to have to discuss topics that may be uncomfortable, but these are topics that are not frequently discussed and they are extremely important for everyone, not just the wealthy as so many people think.

We can assure you, the absolute best gift you can give to your loved ones is the gift of peace of mind that comes when you create your Estate Plan and have everything set out formally, in writing, so they know the steps they need to follow to fulfill your final wishes and desires.

What is an Estate Plan and Why Should I Get one?

An estate plan determines how your assets are distributed as well as guide your loved ones in handling your financial and medical affairs in the event of injury, illness, or demise. Below are the types of documents you can build when creating your Estate Plan.

  • Last Will and Testament: A document that communicates your final wishes pertaining to your desire for a religious funeral service or celebration of life, your wishes for burial, cremation or the new eco-friendly option, who would be named as Guardian and/or Conservator for any minor children, your personal property designations for heirlooms and specific items to be distributed to a particular individual, who will take care of your pets or find them a furever loving home and naming your personal representative, should a probate be required. Every Estate Plan must have a Last Will and Testament, it is a critical document.
  • Revocable Trust: A Trust is designed to own your property during your lifetime and, if properly funded, it can help avoid probate when you pass. A Trust will typically allow for the private administration of your Estate and can save your estate thousands of dollars avoiding the probate process. A Trust will also allow for the transfer of money to younger people over time, rather than a one-time lump sum distribution that occurs via a traditional Last Will and Testament and probate process. Giving too much money to a young person too soon can have unintended negative results.
  • Pourover Will: A document that works in partnership with a Revocable Trust. A Pourover Will is similar to a Last Will and Testament in that it addresses all of the topics mentioned above and also typically states that if any asset is inadvertently omitted from being owned by the Trust, the asset will “pour over” into the Trust so that the distribution section of the Trust is properly fulfilled pursuant to your instructions.
  • Medical Power of Attorney: A critical document in your Estate Plan that designates who you want to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable.
  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney: A critical document in your Estate Plan that designates who you want to make financial decisions and manage your financial affairs in the event you become unable. Like the Medical Power of Attorney, the Financial Power of Attorney can no longer be used once a person has passed.
  • Quit Claim Deed: A document that is used to legally transfer real property, located in Arizona, to your Revocable Trust.
  • Beneficiary Deed: A document that is used to legally transfer real property, located in Arizona, to the individuals you name in the Beneficiary Deed, upon your death. This is another great tool to avoid the time and expense of probate.
  • Motor Vehicle Beneficiary Designation: A document that is used to legally transfer title to your vehicle, boat and/or RV upon your passing. Again, you own the vehicle during your lifetime, this document simply states who is to receive it upon your passing, without ever having to go through probate.

Click the links below to read our recent articles on estate planning.

How Is Estate Planning Handled When A Divorce Occurs?

How Is Estate Planning Handled When A Divorce Occurs?

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Estate Planning Strategies During Divorce: Preserving Your Wealth

Estate Planning Strategies During Divorce: Preserving Your Wealth

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House Bill 2081, also known as ‘Grandpa in the Garden’ Bill, was recently signed by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, which allows Arizona residents a unique way to dispose of their bodies after death. This new bill provides an eco-friendly way to decompose one's body into soil to fertilize plants through a process of human composting. You can be one with the Earth! To learn more about the bill, visit the link below.

Grandpa in the Garden Bill


Estate Planning Attorney Spotlight

Michelle J. Perkins, Esq.

Michelle J. Perkins, Esq.Attorney Michelle J. Perkins practices primarily in the area of complex, high net-worth divorce cases. She is AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. She recently received the Superb Attorney Rating from Avvo.

Attorney Michelle Perkins is well known for her practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and family law for over 29 years. She is AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. She recently received the Superb Attorney Rating from AVVO.

Biography of Attorney Michelle J. Perkins


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