Frequently Asked Questions
Nope. I just need to know categories, such as 401K, bank accounts, etc. There is no reason for me to pry into your finances. However, you should have a list of all of your assets and credit cards in one place so if something happens to you, your loved ones have a place to start.
Nope. This is one of the biggest estate planning myths out there. No offense, but the state is not terribly interested in your stuff. By law, the state has to make major diligent efforts to get your money and your stuff to relatives if you don’t have written estate planning documents in place. The Stated doesn’t even really want your money when you die. Here in Arizona, we don’t have death or inheritance tax. It is a very cheap state to die in. In fact, the costs for funerals and cremations in Arizona are amongst the lowest in the country.
I can’t tell you how many people come into my office, plop down a huge binder, and say “here it is, I have no clue what’s in it”. It is my job to convert what is in the binder into documents that you understand. I firmly believe that documents in simple English are not only more understandable, but avoid conflicts later.
ABOUT MY PRACTICE
I work together with you so you can get the peace of mind that comes with having your affairs in order. I have helped over 1500 clients like you.
Walk you through what you need to do when your disabled child turns 18, including guardianship and creating a Special Needs Trust. I am with you the whole way.
Help you sort through all of the issues that arise when dealing with money and blended families.
Talk through difficult family situations in a gentle and compassionate way.
Create or update all of the estate planning documents you could possibly need.
Help you handle the legal issues that arise with the death of a loved one.
To work together as a team to get your wishes down on paper.
All conversations and legal documents will be in plain and simple English.
My help in trying to keep the costs of my services affordable for you. I am willing to accept less payment in exchange for watching out for your bottom line.
My availability to answer questions after your documents are completed, without charging you for picking up the phone.
To get rid of that nagging worry that you need to get these documents done.
THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS
The first and most important step is to overcome your fear, procrastination, and discomfort and call, text or email me for an appointment.
The appointment will be laid back, on time, and not rushed. Plan to spend about an hour or so together.
We will talk about all kinds of things—your family, your beliefs, and your wishes, all in a safe and confidential environment.
Your total time commitment for putting together documents is around 5 hours.
Documents can be done and signed in a few days, a few weeks or a few months. It is up to you. I am on your time frame.
Prepare by not worrying about the appointment.
You do not need to put anything together before you come to my office. I do not need to know account numbers, balances, addresses, Social Security numbers or dates of birth.
My only suggestion is that if we have an early morning appointment, you may want to bring your own coffee, unless you love instant decaf!
ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING
If you put together a Will, you will name an executor to be in charge of everything when you die. In Arizona, an executor is called a Personal Representative.
Yes. A Last Will says who gets what when you die. A Living Will says to pull the plug. A Pour Over Will goes along with a Revocable Living Trust.
A Revocable Living Trust says who gets what when you die, but does it in a way that gives you a lot of control and avoids probate.
It means writing a Will or a Trust for when you die, Powers of Attorney for when you are out of it and a Living Will to pull the plug.
Yes. There is a Power of Attorney that handles your finances; a Power of Attorney for your health, and a Power of Attorney for psychiatric hospitalization.
When you prepare a Will, you include the names of people who can raise your children. Ideally, you can list more than 1 option. These folks are called guardians.
Yes, but the money will be put in a restricted account until a child turns 18. A court order is needed to release money for any purpose.
Usually, probate is a court procedure that names an executor, or boss, of someone’s estate. Certain steps are required. When all of the estate is distributed, the probate ends.