- Estate Planning Attorney in Gilbert -

At Phelps LaClair, we often hear the question: “Who needs an estate plan?” Our answer is always: “Everyone”! Regardless of your marital status, whether you have children, or the size of your net worth — an estate plan protects you, your family and your hard-earned legacy.

Estate Planning in Gilbert

As estate planning attorneys, we’ve sat with thousands of individuals and couples who ask themselves, “Why didn’t we do this years ago?” From our humble perspective, estate planning is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that your financial and health care wishes will be honored after your death as well as during times of disability—and to make sure your loved ones will be provided for in your absence.

Living Trust in Gilbert

Should you have a living trust or a will? A living trust is one of the most common estate-planning tools we’ve been using at Phelps LaClair for the past 40 years. The reason being that in Arizona, if you own assets worth more than $75,000 (or $100,000 for real estate), the state’s probate court system can impose itself on you.

Unlike a will, living trusts are not supervised by a probate court, which means your loved ones can carry out your wishes without the frustration of court costs, mandatory waiting periods, public notices to creditors and frivolous contests from disgruntled heirs.

Elder Law

The purpose of elder law in Gilbert, AZ is to handle the wide array of legal matters of older or disabled populations. At Phelps LaClair, we focus on two areas of elder law: long-term care planning (LTC) and Medicaid planning.

If you’ve hit your 50s or 60s, you may have begun to consider what you will do in the instance that you or your spouse become ill or physically impaired. But did you know that in Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding areas, the annual cost of nursing home care during 2019 was $6,327 per month for a semi-private room and $9,338 per month for your own room? That’s $76,000 to $112,000 per year!

And what about Medicare? Won’t that help offset the cost of LTC? What many people fail to realize is that Medicare will not cover the cost of long-term care, whether at home or in an assisted living or nursing facility. Paying for long-term care is a personal responsibility that is wiping out the life savings and estates of millions of ill-prepared, middle-class retirees across the country.

Probate Lawyers

As we mentioned above, if the assets held in the name of the deceased exceed $75,000 in value (or $100,000 for real estate), probate is usually necessary unless you’ve made the proper plans to avoid it.

What does probate entail? Probate involves going through the court process of administering a person’s estate, including filing the proper legal documents and notices, locating and valuing assets, paying debts and distributing property to heirs. Failing to do this promptly and properly can result in personal liability to the executor of the estate.

At Phelps LaClair, your experienced probate lawyers in Gilbert, we’ve been involved in administering hundreds of estates. With knowledge of the pressure placed on an executor or trustee, we can help navigate you through every aspect of administering an estate after the death of a loved one.