Estate Planning: Why You Need It

Estate planning is a scary term.  Most of us do not have an “estate.”  Most of us have our house, our cars, our retirement, and some bills.  When we die, our loved ones will usually take very little anyway so why spend the money with an “estate plan.”

The best way to describe “your estate” is that it takes the place of you after you pass.  Currently you own your house, your car, and your retirement funds.  Once you pass, the property cannot still be owned by you. At that time your estate is created and the property is owned by the estate.

Which all sounds well and good: the estate takes ownership.  However, the difficult part is to determine who can act for the estate and what can be done with the estate.  Who can sell the property? Who can transfer the property to others?  What bills have to be paid?

What is An Estate Plan?

Having a solid estate plan takes care of this for you.  An estate plan can help the property transfer to your family, friends, charities, quickly.  Proper estate planning can save on taxes, can save or eliminate the need for probate, can ensure your family is provided for immediately upon your passing.

To properly prepare your estate you will want to create various legal documents.  These documents include a will, a durable power of attorney, a trust for minors (or young adults), a beneficiary deed, a living will, a health care power of attorney, and payable on death accounts.

A will directs your personal representative to (see probate) to act according to your wishes.

A durable power of attorney grants a person to act on your behalf when you cannot act.  For example if you were hospitalized and could not write checks to pay your mortgage, or pay your taxes, the durable power of attorney grants another person the right to pay those bills for you from your accounts.

The beneficiary deed is a writing filed with the County Recorder stating that when you pass your home will pass to the designated person without having to go through probate – saving  you and your family thousands of dollars and many months.

Finally, having financial accounts deemed “payable on death” or “POD”, again, has your financial accounts transferred immediately without the need of probate.  Your family will not have to worry about your funeral costs as the family will be able to access the accounts immediately.

The remaining estate planning tools (living will, health care power of attorney, and trusts) will be discussed in another blog.

A basic will kit offered by DeLozier Law includes all of the documents you will need for your estate planning:  will, durable power of attorney, beneficiary deed, living will, and a health care power of attorney.

As always, if you have any questions never hesitate to call:  602-464-9666.

 

For one of Scottsdale’s best attorneys, and an attorney you can feel comfortable with, contact G. David DeLozier, P.C., law firm; phone 602-464-9666; website:www.gddpc.com; email: david@delozierlaw.com.

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