Tag Archives: probate

Ready to give away your lives’ work?

estate planning professionalPerhaps, but when you do; who do you want to get it? If you fail to have a will created, then there is no telling where your property and money will end up. Putting off your estate planning until it is too late may be the biggest mistake you could ever make. As a matter of fact, the State of New York may inherit 40 Million dollars from a recently deceased real estate developer that failed to create a will.

When someone passes away without a will, their property can be divided at the discretion of the state. This is known as dying intestate. I don’t know about you, but the thought having all my dearest possessions rifled through and divided up without having any say so is hard to accept. If you share my sentiment, then you will likely agree that estate planning is very important.

That being said, I want to stress that failing to have your will prepared by a licensed and experienced attorney could be as bad as not having a will or trust. After you pass, your will we be used to determine where and how to distribute your assets. This process is known as probate, which means “the proving of a will”. If your will is not legally sound, then some or all of your wishes may not be honored. Hiring an attorney with estate planning expertise will safeguard against this.

Now that you know why a will is a must have, here are a few things you should be sure to include in yours.

  1. Burial Directions

    Determining how you want your final arrangements handled is not something that most of us look forward to. Adding clear directions to this portion of your will makes it easier for your family members to make sure your final wishes are granted.

  2. Asset Distribution

    When people think of a will, asset distribution is what they commonly think of. As the name implies this section will allow you to dictate how your assets are distributed, but certain items such as joint property cannot be covered in this section.

  3. Restrictions and Stipulations

    This is where you will be glad you have hired an estate planning attorney. Depending on which state you live in, there will be several rules, regulations, and guidelines that dictate the specifics of how certain property is handled. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this section.


Ultimately, no matter how many or few assets you may have, estate planning is necessary. The best way to be sure it to hire a licensed attorney to help you make or review your current will.


Is Estate Planning for Everyone or Just the Wealthy?

estate planningEstate planning can be defined as the act of managing and arranging for the re-assignment and disposal of one’s assets in the event of their passing or incapacitation. This is often mistakenly thought of as a service only needed by the wealthy or those with a lot of assets; the truth of the matter is everyone needs to plan. The act of planning includes covering legal documents such as wills and trusts.

Avoid DIY Kits!

One of the biggest issues I have ran across recently is people using DIY estate planning services. While these can range from somewhat helpful services to completely inaccurate data, I would like to caution you about purchasing and using these types of kits, which often include nothing more than an E-book download and a few template forms. Although it may seem to be the economical choice, only a licensed and qualified attorney will truly know the ins and outs of state laws and estate planning procedures.

Once you have passed away and the probate court is assigning your assets, each document could come under scrutiny. If you hired a licensed attorney, you can rest assured that your documents will hold up. Is the few dollars you could save on a DIY kit really worth all the arguments that could be caused in settling your last wishes? Most likely the answer is no!

Selecting an Estate Planning Attorney to Assist You

When you are looking for an attorney to help with your estate planning, here are a few questions to ask.

  • Do you have experience in Estate Planning?
  • How often do you work with wills and trusts?
  • How many years have you been practicing as an Attorney?

After asking those simple questions, you should have a pretty good idea of how experienced your potential attorney is in the field. There are of course several other factors that must be considered, and ultimately you should go with your gut feeling.

Estate Planning is not something that anyone looks forward too, the consequences of not planning are far worse though. Hire a qualified attorney and make sure your estate is planned properly.


Finding a Family Law Attorney in Arizona