Here is a little something to think about:
The famous artist, Pablo Picasso died in 1973 at the age of 91. He left behind a fortune in assets, including his famous artwork, 5 homes, cash, gold and bonds. His estate was valued at about $250 million. But because Picasso did not have a will, it cost $30 million dollars and took 6 years to settle his estate.
Abraham Lincoln, was a lawyer and our nations’ 16th president. Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. He was savvy enough to have a patent, but he died without a will.
You may not be a famous artist or the next president of the United States, but you still need to have estate planning documents and you really should have your documents prepared by competent trusts and estates counsel.
Here are just two reasons why.
A Trusts and Estates Lawyer Can Save Your Heirs Unnecessary Costs and Headaches.
One of the main reasons you should hire a trusts and estates attorney is to make sure that your legacy goes to your heirs and not to attorney’s fees. If you die without a will, like Pablo Picasso or Abraham Lincoln, you will have absolutely no control over who gets what of your money or your property.
All of the property in your estate (house, furniture, cars, money, etc.) will have to go through the time-consuming and costly process of probate. In the end, it is quite possible that the costs of probate could swallow up most, if not all, of your estate —leaving little or nothing for your heirs.
When you entrust your estate planning needs to competent counsel, you don’t take that risk. You decide how you want your estate to be distributed and to whom.
A Trusts and Estates Attorney Knows State Law.
Another reason why you should hire a trusts and estates lawyer is because estate planning is a complicated area of law. It is governed by state law which is very specific about things like what can and cannot be in a will, what makes a will valid or invalid, how a trust is properly formed, what goes in a medical or financial power of attorney, and so on. State law also governs who can and cannot serve as a personal representative or executor of an estate.
If you get any of these things wrong, your estate documents (i.e., will, trust, power of attorney etc.) could be invalid or ineffective. And by the time anyone finds out about the defect, it is too late. You are gone; and cannot explain what you meant and you cannot fix the error.
All of this is to say that it is best to hire an attorney to prepare your estate planning documents. That way you can be certain that the documents will be legally sound and will carry out your wishes when the time comes.
The best way to be certain that your estate plan documents will be correct, up-to-date, complete, and enforceable, is to meet with competent and experienced estate planning counsel.
We Are Trusts and Estates Attorneys in Arizona.
We Are Estate Planning Attorneys. We have offices in Sedona and we serve Verde Valley as well as all of Arizona. We offer free consultations and we can help you with your estate planning needs. Contact us to set up your free appointment.