We offer many important legal services here at the Merchant Law Firm, but we consider estate planning to be among the most important. Without estate planning, the laws of the state of Arizona will dictate what happens to your estate after you pass away. Since you never made your final wishes known, the probate courts will follow the letter of the law. Estate planning is also important in helping to make your life easier and put your mind at ease with important decisions that you might not be capable of making.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of making sure that your rights are protected while you are still alive and your final wishes are honored after you have passed away. It is a program that uses various legal mechanisms to protect your assets, protect your family, and make sure your voice is heard even if you become incapacitated.
At the Merchant Law Firm, we have years of experience in estate planning that we bring to the table for every client. We do not use templates to put together your estate because your needs are different from anyone else’s. Our legal team sits down with you to discuss what is important to you and creates a plan that mirrors exactly how you want your estate to be handled.
There are two misconceptions about estate planning that tend to cause problems for a lot of people. The first is that estate planning is something that you do later in life as you prepare for your golden years. Estate planning is something you do as soon as possible and then revisit once a year with your estate planning attorney to make any necessary updates.
The other common misconception is that only people with significant financial means need to worry about estate planning. If you own property and have financial savings you want to pass down to your family, then you need to get involved in estate planning as quickly as possible. Anyone who wants to protect what they have acquired over the years and make sure that their assets are properly distributed after they have passed on needs estate planning.
The first big step in estate planning is understanding what it can do for you and why you need it. You should never assume that your assets will be distributed the way you want them to be. State laws are very straightforward, and they do not allow for any kind of emotional leeway.
What Does Estate Planning Do?
Estate planning makes sure that all of your final wishes are expressed to the Arizona probate court to make sure that your estate is handled the way you would like it handled. Estate planning:
Gives the probate court a plan to follow if you and your spouse both meet an unexpected end that your dependent children and elderly family members are cared for according to your wishes.
Protects your assets and keeps them under your control while you are alive, and provides for their distribution according to your wishes after you have passed away.
Allows you to pass on your beliefs, pride in your accomplishments, and your sense of responsibility to your future generations.
Helps reduce the tax burden on your beneficiaries.
Maintains your desired level of privacy for your financial affairs, even after you have passed on.
Puts a shield around your beneficiaries’ distributions that keeps those distributions intact.
Allows you to use your assets to leave a lasting legacy for your family and society as a whole.
If it sounds like estate planning is a critical process for every Floridian to get involved in, that is because it is. In one custom program, our proficient legal team will help you to preserve your legacy, take care of your family, and make sure that everything you found important remains a part of your family’s future.
Setting up an estate takes time, so you should be prepared to sacrifice some of your personal time to get this very important plan put together. Before you meet with one of our knowledgeable estate planners, you need to put together all of your bank statements, property deeds, investments, and all of your other financial information to be included in the process.
After you have all of the important paperwork together, then you need to sit down and write out your goals for your estate. If you have a special needs child or elderly family member that you care for, you have to outline how you want that care continued after you have passed away. If you want to set up a charitable foundation or give an endowment to your alma mater, then you need to put that all in writing so you can review it with your legal team.
You will bring all of your information to that first meeting with our Merchant Law Firm professionals, and then we sit down and listen to every detail that concerns you. We discuss your options with you, and then we start outlining an initial plan that we feel suits your needs. Then we have more meetings to refine the plan and then finally get a final estate planning document that you agree with. As far as the Merchant Law Firm lawyers are concerned, your estate planning is not done until you are satisfied.
Your case evaluation is FREE, and you will owe NO attorney fees unless we SUCCEED in helping you obtain compensation. We will even help you find a doctor that will WAIT for payment.
Whether you are in the hospital or at home, we can come to you.
Estate Planning Tools
We utilize every legal and accounting tool we have to put together the most comprehensive estate plan for your situation.
Your will is the legal outline of all of your final wishes. This is the document the probate court uses to find out your choice for your estate administrator, how you want your assets distributed, and any special requests you have as part of your last wishes. A will, when prepared attentively, is a compelling document that can protect your family and extend your legacy.
Power Of Attorney
If you ever become incapacitated, then there will need to be someone who speaks for you on important legal matters. You can hope that the Arizona probate court assigns you the representative you want, or you can create a power of attorney with our team and tell the probate court who you want making these important decisions.
Health Care Proxy
If you get into an accident or develop a medical condition that makes you unable to speak for yourself, then the probate court will go to work to quickly assign someone to speak for you on important medical matters. But if you take the time to fill out and file a health care proxy as part of your estate planning, then you will have peace of mind knowing that someone you trust is going to make those medical decisions for you.
Estate planning is something every Arizona resident needs to feel confident in their future. At the Merchant Law Firm, our asset protection lawyers are diligent at estate planning and we want to put our legal team to work right away in creating an estate plan that fulfills all of your needs. Do not wait for something unexpected to happen in your life. Instead, contact our seasoned team today to make that crucial appointment to establish your own estate plan.
The Merchant Law Firm is here to handle your estate planning needs. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your particular needs and goals. 602-254-6010.