A valid Last Will and Testament will help to expedite the probate process and ensure that your last wishes are honored. You know your family's situation best, and your plan, especially if established with help from an experienced lawyer, is likely to lead to a better result for your heirs than a court-ordered distribution. A Will also allows you to appoint a conservator and guardian for your surviving minor children, if necessary.
You can also use your Last Will and Testament to create a trust that will persist after your passing. Trusts are often used to provide support for minor children and grandchildren, for example. An estate planning attorney can advise you as to whether creating a trust should be part of your estate plan.
What a will cannot do
It's important to note that not all of your property is governed by your Will. Some property will intrinsically pass to certain others regardless of what your Last Will and Testament says, such as community property, property held in joint tenancy with others, and life insurance benefits that are payable to named beneficiaries. You need to keep in mind what will happen to these other assets when determining the plan for the assets that are controlled by your Will.
Arizona law sets certain protections for surviving spouses and minor children. It's not possible to entirely disinherit your spouse or minor children, although you can disinherit your adult children if you so choose. However, if your estate plan creates the perception of unfair treatment toward one or more of your family members, the Will may be challenged in court. That's one reason why you need to work with an experienced attorney to follow all of the formalities involved in creating an ironclad Will.
Our Arizona attorneys know the power of a plan
Whether you have a very clear idea of how you would like your assets to be distributed or aren't sure how to create a plan, we want you to contact us right away. Consulting an experienced attorney is critical. We'll work with you to understand your family's situation and create a Last Will and Testament that honors your wishes and takes care of your loved ones' needs.
Our goal is to help you avoid a future crisis and make sure your family and your interests are protected. Call 480-378-9000 today to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney about your Will.