How an attorney may help in estate planning

| Oct 9, 2020 | Wills, Trusts, And Estate Planning

Some people in Arizona who are considering creating an estate plan might wonder whether they need to consult an attorney if they can download the documents online. However, there is more value to working with a professional on an estate plan than simply having the documents. Talking with an attorney can help a person understand the various options and plan for them.

Complications with a spouse

As an example, a person might want to leave all assets to a spouse. They might assume this only requires a simple will. However, this does not take a number of other possibilities into account. For example, some assets, such as insurance and retirement policies, are passed by beneficiary designation. If these forms are not updated, these assets could pass to an unintended heir, such as an ex-spouse. An attorney might help a person think through these possibilities and update the necessary documents.

Complications with children

There could also be issues for a person who wants to leave assets for children. If the children are minors, a guardian should be appointed with a plan for managing the assets until the children are old enough. Parents may also want to consider what to do if they are concerned that a child may be irresponsible with money or might have creditors who would seize inherited assets. An attorney might also be helpful with these situations. There may be additional considerations if a person owns a business, particularly if their children are unlikely to run the business after a person’s death.

While you may have a fairly straightforward estate and might not need complicated documents, working with an attorney may help you feel as though you have thoroughly addressed all possibilities. An attorney might also help you review your will and other estate planning documents to see if they need updating. Changes in families, such as births, divorces, deaths or marriages as well as changes in laws could mean it is time to revise the estate plan.

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