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Category Archives: Estate Planning

How Community Property Is Distributed in Estate Probate

In Arizona, property acquired by either spouse during a marriage is presumed to belong to both spouses equally. This “community property” doctrine can affect not only how assets are divided during a divorce but also how they are distributed upon the death of one of the spouses. Assets that are considered separate property are not […]

How to Write a Will That’s Contest-Proof

The purpose of a will is to transfer your assets upon your death to the people or entities you want to receive them. But how effectively this is accomplished depends in large part on carefully expressing your intentions and instructions in these documents, as well as making sure they comply with applicable state law. In […]

A Checklist for Your First Meeting With an Arizona Estate Planning Attorney

You’ve decided to write a will and to take other steps to provide for future management and distribution of your assets. You also want to plan for your long-term health care, including the possibility of becoming permanently incapacitated. All of this is can be part of the discussion during your first consultation with the Arizona […]

How to Structure an Arizona Will to Prevent Lapses in Bequests

In drafting your will, it is important to guard against the possibility that the bequests you make might lapse due to unforeseen circumstances. A lapse occurs when a named beneficiary dies before you or when a beneficiary is unable or unwilling to accept the bequest. You’ll want to be sure to make provisions to prevent […]

Cautions to Observe in Using Powers of Attorney in Estate Planning

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows one person to authorize another to act in their behalf in specified circumstances. There are several different types of POAs and the scope of authority granted can vary. While a POA can be a fundamental part of a comprehensive estate plan one must be […]

Should You Have Both a Living Trust and a Will?

Two of the most common estate planning devices are the last will and testament and the living trust. Both documents are meant to ensure that the decedent’s wealth is distributed in accordance with his or her wishes. However, there are differences between the two, and they can in fact work together. The most notable characteristics […]

How Does Arizona’s Community Property Law Affect Your Estate Planning?

People make wills with the intent of controlling who will be beneficiaries of their estates and how much each beneficiary will receive. However, there are state laws that can take precedence over certain provisions of a will. Arizona’s community property law in particular can have a major impact on how estate assets are distributed. Understanding […]

Problems That Can Come Up During Probate of an Estate

Probate is the court process that controls distribution of the assets owned by an individual who has passed away. Although the probate process is often straightforward, particularly for simple estates, problems can arise for numerous reasons. One type of difficulty in probate cases concerns time and distance. The reality of our modern world is that […]

Key Steps in Creating an Estate Plan

Making out a will and other estate planning documents may seem intimidating. The process reminds us of our own mortality. Good estate plans, however, are not merely about disposing of your property after death but also about protecting you and your property in case of a serious disability. Even if you don’t have significant assets, […]

How Long Does Probate Take in Arizona?

Despite what you see in movies, after someone dies, distributing their assets isn’t a matter of the heirs gathering for a lawyer’s formal reading of the will. Estates often have to go through a court process known as probate. Depending on the size and complexity of an estate, probate can take months and even years. […]