There are many reasons that bring people just like you in to meet with their estate planning attorney. A few aren’t sure why they are sitting down to create an estate plan – they just know they need one. But most have a reason (or a few reasons) that led them in to the office.

Avoiding Probate
Reducing Estate Taxes
Minimizing Mess
Creating Beneficiary Protection
Protecting Assets from Creditors

If you’ve been considering putting an estate plan in place, but you haven’t been able to make up your mind to set aside the time to do it, make sure you understand the five reasons why you need an estate plan above before you put it off for even one more day.

The most common reason people seek out a discussion with an estate planning attorney is a desire to avoid probate. Most have never even had to deal with it before, but they know one thing for sure. And that is that they want to avoid it no matter what the cost! The fear of probate comes from widely circulated probate horror stories. Some were covered in the media. Others were shared by neighbors or friends. Some made the rounds at the office. Regardless of where the fear came from, the majority of people see the possibility of avoiding probate as a top-notch reason for creating an estate plan.

Another common reason is to reduce estate taxes. Everyone hates the thought of losing their estate to the payment of state or federal estate taxes or state inheritance taxes. It’s an excellent motivation for many who haven’t put an estate plan together yet. With just the most basic estate planning, most married couples can reduce or eliminate their estate taxes completely through the use of AB Trusts or ABC Trusts incorporated into their wills or their revocable living trusts. And this is only one of several advanced estate planning techniques that can be used (by both married couples and individuals) to decrease or eliminate estate or inheritance taxes.

Other clients seek out their estate planning attorney to minimize the mess they might leave behind. Many do so after they have seen a close friend or associate go through a difficult time made significantly worse because of the lack of an appropriate estate plan. When there is not an estate plan in place at the time of passing, it leaves loved ones wasting time and money. A solid estate plan can go a long way towards avoiding any family fights and costly probate court proceedings.

A good estate plan can be designed to protect beneficiaries from themselves; whether they are a minor not yet capable of making decisions that could have long-term repercussions or an adult who needs to be protected from poor decision-making. Protection can also be offered to assets through a good estate plan. Asset protection planning can literally save an estate if a lawsuit comes into play in the future.

If you still have questions about why you need an estate plan or if you are ready to talk about creating an estate plan, please get in touch with one of the Arizona estate planning attorneys at Sheridan Law Firm, PLLC.

Information Not Legal Advice. This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.