An untimely death can be a nightmare for the family of the deceased if there is no definitive last will and testament with designated financial assignment of assets. While many situations in Arizona will merely result in a spouse taking control of all assets after the fact, other cases may not be so simple when ownership and beneficiary assignment are in question. The best method of ensuring this does not happen or that the estate goes through an extended probate period is designating all beneficiaries in advance with a designated asset distribution plan.
It is important to list beneficiaries on all financial asset accounts when conducting estate planning. This includes all assets that could be left in limbo if they do not pass outside of probate. Creditors and tax collectors will be first in line when this happens, and there are always potential inheritors who would be willing to contest control of the remaining assets.
Establishing a trust is also a sound financial decision for many with extensive assets that need protecting from probate exposure. They can be either revocable or irrevocable, and it is typically best to retain an Arizona estate planning attorney when this is a necessary step. There are legal parameters that must be met, and having an experienced legal professional setting up the trust is an absolute must for most families.
Will-makers should also consider whether the primary inheritor is a minor or an adult when making these decisions. Minor children can inherit wealth, but their guardians would typically be in control of the assets until the child comes of age. An estate planning legal professional could set up the assets in a fund that will not be released until that time or only incrementally released for living expenses until the minor child reaches adulthood or even later.