Creating a will is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your family. A last will and testament is a legal document that dictates the distribution of your assets and property at death. Below are the reasons why you should take the time now to create a will in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Family Can Focus on Grieving
If you die without a will, your family will have to spend time, money, and emotional energy dealing with your estate. Instead of having a document that clearly states your wishes, your family will be subjected to unnecessary anxiety and confusion as they figure out how to distribute your property. Without a clear plan, families often fight over who gets what property and who has what power. These fights can sometimes lead brothers and sisters estranged for years. By taking the time to create a last will and testament, your family will be able to focus on the grieving process after you pass away.
- Decide What Happens to Your Property
A will gives you the power to decide who will get your property when you die. Some people believe that if you die without a will, your family gets to decide what happens to your property. This is incorrect. Instead, Arizona has intestacy laws dictating what will happen. Basically, the state created a default will. What will happen depends on whether or not you have a living spouse, children, parents, and other relatives when you die. For example, if you are married with children from that marriage, your spouse will get everything. However, if you are married with children from outside that marriage, the spouse is only entitled to their share of the community share community and half of the separate property; the children are entitled to the remaining property.
The intestacy laws do not always reflect an individual’s wishes. If you have a blended family, estranged children, or children or parents with special needs, creating a will may be particularly important for you. Additionally, through a will, you can designate specific property, like family heirlooms or real estate, to go to particular people. A will also allows you to leave property to charities and other organizations.
- Name An Executor
When you create a will, you are given the power to name an executor. An executor has many responsibilities, including creating an inventory of all your assets, paying all your debts, filing necessary tax returns, and distributing your assets. You can pick an organized person who you trust to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your affairs are handled correctly. This person can either be a family member or a professional.
If you do not create a will, the court will appoint a personal administrator. This person may differ from who you would have chosen, and fights can break out as family members struggle over who should be selected.
- Name a Guardian For Your Children
If you have minor children, a will is a necessity. In a will, you can designate who will be the guardian of your children if you pass away. This is one of the most important decisions that you can make, and a decision that you do not want to be left up to the courts.
You can also pick who will be the guardian of your minor child’s property. You can choose how the property will be managed on their behalf and when the child will have unrestricted access to it. If you don’t have a will, the court will make these decisions for you and your children.
- You Can Change Your Will
Do not wait to create a will, because you think that your life circumstances and wishes will change over time. A will can be easily updated as you go throughout life. There is no reason to leave yourself unprepared because you believe that your life will change. Nobody knows when they will die, and you should prepare for the unexpected now.
Do I Need An Attorney?
Reaching out to a local attorney is the best option if you want to create a will. There are laws specific to Arizona regarding wills, and having an experienced estate planning attorney draft the last will and testament will ensure that the document will hold up in court. As opposed to a form will that you find online, an attorney can make sure that the will fits your needs perfectly.
Nicole Pavlik is an experienced Phoenix estate planning attorney. If you are interested in creating a will, call Nicole Pavlik Law Firm today at 602-635-6176 for a free consultation.