Financial or Sentimental Value Items
More specific legal definitions of an estate can also apply. For example, a probate estate is distributed under the discretion of the probate court, usually to first satisfy debts. A taxable estate refers to property that is subject to estate taxes, which can be quite substantial depending on the value of the estate.
An Arizona estate planning lawyer from our team can help you put together an estate plan that considers taxes and other issues to ensure that your assets go to the people you want without risk of dispute. You don’t want your property to end up in a contested probate, which can whittle away at the value and tie up assets for years.
For example, a living will tells your relatives what you want to happen if you become seriously ill or injured, such as if you want to be kept on artificial life support. A durable power of attorney gives someone the right to make legal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so for yourself.
A trust often serves as the foundational part of an estate plan. When creating a trust, you prepare a trust agreement that lays out very specific instructions on how your assets should be administered and distributed to your loved ones. This agreement often contains instructions on how to manage your assets if you become disabled, as well as how to manage or distribute your assets upon your death. In many cases, careful trust planning can be a useful tool in obtaining protection from creditors and unnecessary taxes.
Having the right documents in place will ensure that your final wishes are honored and that your assets go to the people you want. Without the right estate plan, your assets could become tied up in legal disputes or people you don’t want making decisions for you could wind up in charge.