Many people put off estate planning. They cite many reasons for doing so: “I don’t have time, too many family issues; I’m not sure of exactly what I have to leave for loved ones; I’m not sure how to make everyone happy” etc.
This often leads to situations where a person dies without any estate plan or creates one very near to death. Both of these situations can cause significant problems.
Dying without an estate plan means that the property that is left behind is subject to probate. Probate is a process in which gathering and distribution of a deceased person’s property is administered by court process. This process is often several times more expensive than creating an estate plan that effectively distributes property privately, quickly and efficiently, outside of the court system.
If a person waits until they are on their death bed to create an estate plan a couple of major problems may arise. First, depending on the nature of their last illness, the person may lack capacity to create and sign off on an estate plan. Even if the person has sufficient capacity, the fact that they waited to do so to the end will often induce others to contest the estate plan based on alleged incapacity or undue influence by other persons which the mere fact of waiting until the end is used as support for those allegations. Secondly, the effect of waiting until the end, though better than doing nothing at all, causes hasty decision-making which in the end may not support that person’s final wishes.
At Arizona Mobile Attorneys we specialize in helping our clients devise effective estate plans that help clients leave the legacy they desire in an effective, efficient manner that takes care of their loved ones.
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