"TO GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE, TO WHOM YOU WANT, WHEN YOU WANT, AND THE WAY THAT YOU WANT WHILE PASSING ON YOUR WISDOM AND VALUES"
Estate planning is a very important and personal decision for you and your family. At Christopher D. Graham, P.L.L.C., we act as counselor to our clients. This involves much more than document preparation. In fact, the most important functions of your estate planning attorney are listening and educating. Only by listening to your goals, educating you on your options to achieve those goals, and guiding you through the entire process will the ultimate objective of estate planning be achieved: To give what you have, to whom you want, when you want, and the way that you want while passing on your wisdom and values.
In building your quality estate plan, we will sit down with you and listen to your goals. Although there is not a “one-size fits all” estate plan, common goals are:
• Distribution of your hard-earned assets and property to your loved ones in the manner you wish
• Care of your minor children after your death or disability
• Maintaining benefits for those with special needs
• Avoiding probate and minimizing costs in settling your estate after your death
• Providing for your care in the event of disability
• Ensuring that your preferences regarding medical treatment are followed should you become incapacitated
• Supporting your plans for retirement
• Protection against creditors (lawsuits, divorce, predators)
• Minimizing taxes
• Creating a plan for succession of a family-owned business
• Bestowing assets to a favorite charity
On July 1, 2014, I had the honor of volunteering to help with the Lawyers on Call program at the 12 News Studios. Several lawyers like myself answered estate planning and probate questions from the public free of charge. I was tasked with handling the questions that came in on the 12 News Facebook page. See my responses below to questions on last wills and testaments, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, and probate.
If you are unsure about whether a will or a trust is best for you and your family, read through our comparison chart linked below and call us for a complimentary consultation. We will thoroughly discuss your goals with you and help you decide whether a will or a trust will best achieve those goals.
IS A WILL OR A TRUST BEST FOR YOU?
Check me out on Networking Arizona on KFNX 1100 AM: October 8, 2013 Show
With your goals in mind, we will analyze your estate and thoroughly research the best estate plan options to provide for your beneficiaries. We will then educate you on your options to arrive at an estate plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. Your wishes and goals will are most commonly memorialized in the following types of plans:
Last Will and Testament: A last will and testament is the most basic form of estate planning. A will is a written document with instructions for disposing of assets after death. It is also important for you families because it is used to appoint the guardian and conservator for minor children.
Revocable Living Trust: A revocable living trust, also known as a family trust, is a dynamic document where the settlor of the revocable family trust transfers their assets to the trust during their lifetime. This allows for the probate-free transfer after death of the settlor. Additionally, a revocable family trust provides you with many options for distribution after death, including holding assets until a child obtains a certain age or achievement (i.e., graduation from college) or to protect your assets so a child does not lose them to creditors or in a divorce. A Revocable Living Trust also provides for your care in the event of disability
After we prepare the documents necessary for a quality estate plan, we will then take the extra step of assisting you in implementing your estate plan. This last step is critical and what separates our firm from others. Where some firms will send you on your way with paperwork and written instructions, we will work with you to ensure that your estate plan is properly implemented and funded.
The level of service we provide in formulating, drafting, implementing, and maintaining your estate plan offers you piece of mind that when the time comes your estate plan will execute as you intended. Please contact us for a complementary consultation.
For more information, please read our Client Information Packet linked below, or call us to discuss implementing your estate plan.