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As we celebrate the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a good time to remember how important it is to have a plan for when the luck runs out.  Proper estate planning in Arizona will leave you and your family confident that your assets, investments, and possessions will be handled according to your wishes.  Though talking about an estate plan is not always an easy conversation to have with your family and loved ones, it is essential to give you and your family a level of comfort and security about the future.  Our firm decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a guide to what you need to know about estate planning in Arizona to help you be as prepared as possible.

Create a Will

The first step to proper estate planning is to create a will that is up-to-date with your current assets and possessions.  You will need to choose an personal representative to be the executor of your will, and list the beneficiaries for every asset, investment, and possession.  There are websites that provide free or low-cost standard templates for a will.  This might be a viable option for people without significant personal holdings.  However, people with assets, investments, properties, or businesses should work with an experienced attorney to draft a will suited to their specific needs.  An experienced attorney will also be able to help you explore the many estate planning strategies available to preserve and protect your assets.

Establish a Trust in Arizona

Trusts can be excellent estate planning tools in Arizona for those individuals with significant assets.  It is important to understand that most trusts will require significant time, work, and costs.  Trust administration in Arizona should be left to an experienced attorney to make sure the trust complies with all applicable laws, diligently manages all funds, and makes sure all assets are transferred in a timely manner and as directed in the trust agreement.

Business Succession Planning in Arizona

Business owners will also need to establish an appropriate business succession plan to ensure that,  should happen to them, business operations can continue unimpeded.  Many business owners want to make sure their business is passed on to their children or other family members.  Others want businesses sold at passing.  This decision (and how the decision will be carried out) should not be left to be decided after your passing.  You should make sure you have established what will happen to the business beforehand, and have this plan memorialized in estate planning documents.

Find an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Arizona

Our firm wishes you a happy and lucky St. Patrick’s Day this year!  Just remember that when you’re done celebrating the holiday, there is no time like the present to get all your estate plan in order.  The attorneys at MacQueen & Gottlieb can guide you and your family through the entire estate planning process.  We can draft a new will or assist you in updating an outdated one.  Our firm can help you determine if a trust would enhance your estate planning goals.  Our attorneys can also help business owners put together a complete business succession plan.  Contact us today at 602-533-2840 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.

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