Pages Navigation Menu

5 Estate Planning Tips: Arizona Estate Planning Checklist

Five Estate Planning Tips

 

Here are a few tips to think about while preparing your Arizona estate planning checklist.

  • Understand your estate’s goals and values. Make sure your estate planning attorney is familiar with what the missions of your trusts are, and what your goals are as a family, whether it’s to provide for the next generation, fund a new business or dream, or simply to avoid giving up as much as possible. When your estate planner attorney knows where you are coming from and where you want to go, they can get you there more effectively.
  • Make a smart choice for successor trustees. When it comes to estate planning, the common and understandable thought is that you “don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”  After all….we are talking about your family dynamics.  That is admirable but that is sometimes not a good reason to select a particular trustee. When you preparing your estate plan, you are doing a nice thing and providing for future gifts for people to receive. However, selecting the successor trustee to step into your shoes is an important decision to achieve your goals.

So, pick someone who will do the best job in your opinion instead of worrying if your decision will hurt someone else’s feelings. Remember: You are being generous. No one has the right to be upset with you concerning your decisions of whom to step into your shoes or what you choose to do with your assets.

 

  • If you have a financial adviser, let them know you have done your estate plan. Your financial adviser should know who is responsible for what and what everyone in the family’s interests are. This way, duties are assigned appropriately, and family members are only taking on as much as they can handle.

 

  • Sometimes it makes sense to discuss issues as a group. When everyone knows what is happening and there is transparency in your transactions, it’s less likely that jealousy or accusations of secrecy or ulterior motives will occur. Talk about major decisions and changes as a group, and make sure everyone understands and is on board.

 

  • Make Sure you follow through….i.e. Dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s”. Drafting your estate plan takes a little bit of leg work to make sure you get everything completed. Make sure your bank and financial accounts are owned by your trust or have payable on death provisions to avoid probate. Make sure your real estate and vehicle titles are transferred into your trust. Double check the beneficiaries for your life insurance and retirement accounts to make sure the money goes to the intended people.  It’s not hard.  But, you need to follow through on your estate planning checklist and your estate planning documents.

Over the past 24 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson, PLLC has helped more than 900 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.