Everyone should have an updated will, as well as a health care directive and powers of attorney. This is especially true if you have children or a spouse with whom you are financially interdependent. It is also important to review your will whenever there is a change in your family:
The important thing to remember about designing a will, a trust or a power of attorney is that it should reflect your wishes as well as the needs of family members who are dependent on you. Talk to a lawyer to determine which documents you should prepare and how to plan for your consultation to plan the content of your will and trusts.
A will can include other instructions besides how your money and other material assets will pass on to your designated beneficiaries. Your will can state your wishes about who you would wish to be guardian of your children in the event of your death while they are minors. It can spell out your wishes regarding a funeral and burial.
A living will is another term for a health care directive that states your wishes in the event that you are incapacitated or on life support. Your health care directive can specify under what circumstances you would want to be resuscitated, and under what circumstances you would want to be taken off life support and allowed to die naturally if you were very seriously ill or injured.
Trusts may allow you to protect assets from estate taxes. A special needs trust can protect assets for a disabled child (minor or adult).
A general power of attorney would allow a designated personal representative to make decisions for you, pay bills from your bank account and generally sign any documents which you would sign if you were able to make your own decisions.
At the law offices of Lasiter & Jackson, we are known for our listening and informative approach to helping clients with wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We are careful to ensure that your wishes are clear and that your testamentary documents do not conflict with any other legal directives that you may have, such as a real estate title, a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement.
At Lasiter & Jackson, we provide understanding and compassion for the delicate issues associated with divorce and family law. Contact our law office in Phoenix to discuss estate planning with an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney.