03 Aug Estate Planning For Professionals
“I’m a busy professional! I don’t have time to sit and make an estate plan!” We have heard this from time to time at Phelps LaClair. As a second generation estate planning law firm, our profession is designing bulletproof estate plans that preserve your wealth so you can pass it on to the next generations. We serve the Phoenix Valley with offices in Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale. As estate planning professionals helping other busy professionals, we can tell you, with all due respect, you DO need to take the time to make an estate plan. Here is how you can do that:
Making a Plan
The thought of creating an estate plan can be intimidating. You are not sure what it involves, what to include, or how to go about it. This is where an experienced estate planning law firm comes in. To help you get started thinking in the right direction, here are some of the most important things you want to include in your estate planning:
Who do you want to get your stuff when you pass away? If you are married, it is most likely your spouse and your children. Your will should list your assets (possessions, real estate, bank and investment accounts) and who you want to receive them. If you want specific items to go to certain people, you need to list those as well.
You will need to name a person or persons to execute the terms of your will or trust should you die or become incapacitated. A trustee can be a friend or family member, or even a corporate entity. The bottom line is: they must be willing, able and available. These persons will have the same authority as you presently have to deal with your personal and financial affairs. They will act on behalf of your named beneficiaries to distribute your assets, and will be accountable to the courts in closing your estate.
If you have minor children, you will need to name a guardian who will take care of them when you are no longer able to do so. Naming a guardian is an important decision. Orphaned children without a guardian may be placed in a foster home, or may have a guardian appointed by the court. A guardian that you name will undoubtedly be someone you trust to raise your children as you would. Many people often choose a close relative.
If you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself, you need to specify how you want to be taken of. This is why you need a living will. What kind of care and to what extremes do you wish to receive? Some people do not want to be resuscitated, others do. What should happen to your body if you pass away? Along with these instructions, you will want to name someone who will advocate and confer on your behalf with medical personnel. This person is called a healthcare proxy.
Estate Planning Options
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to estate planning. But there are a great number of options available to include in an estate plan. There are various trusts that will save your heirs money. They will protect both your heirs and assets from unforeseen future events, and will avoid probate. There are trusts for taking care of special needs children, or long-term care for yourself. You even have options for taking care of your beloved pets.
Give us a Call
With all the options that are available, you will be best served by a professional estate planning law firm. We have helped thousands of Arizona families in our forty years of estate planning. We have the experience to help you, no matter what your circumstances or profession. Call today for a free, no obligation consultation. Phelps LaClair: estate planning professionals helping busy professionals.