What to consider when creating an estate plan

Any property left in your Arizona estate may be subject to probate. A quality estate plan may allow you to hold assets outside your estate or otherwise allow your property to avoid probate. Estate planning may also help ensure that your kids are taken care of after you pass or that your affairs are managed if you become incapacitated.

Should I opt for a will or a trust?

Perhaps the most crucial question you need to ask yourself is if your estate plan would benefit more from a will or a trust. A will is generally easier and less expensive to create. However, it doesn’t take effect until after you die. Therefore, it offers few advantages if you become incapacitated for any reason. It’s worth noting that a power of attorney document may offer some of the benefits of a trust at a lower cost.

Who should inherit my assets?

The structure of your estate plan will partially depend on who your beneficiaries are. If you plan to leave assets to a young child or grandchild, it may be best to put them into a trust. This is because minors cannot own property in their name, and a trust will be able to manage those assets per your wishes until a child or grandchild reaches the age of majority.

If you opt for a will, it’s a good idea to update it after the birth of a child to ensure that they are included in your estate plan. Otherwise, you leave your estate vulnerable to legal challenges from individuals who may have a right to at least a portion of your property.

Creating a thorough estate plan may help promptly settle your affairs. It may also help to ensure that your will, trust or other plan documents will be upheld by a judge if they are challenged by a surviving family member.