Scottsdale Legal Blog

Resting in peace means keeping the peace over your possessions

Leaving a will is partly to make it clear who gets your things. By doing so, you would hope that you won't be splitting heirs — that is causing a rift between your loved ones if they have to decide how to share your belongings.

When you're fashioning your will, it might be a good idea to stipulate to whom you would like your individual personal possessions to go. After all, cutting Granny's handmade quilt in two would not bode well for anyone. Perhaps a discussion with your family members may prove helpful when making these decisions.

3 reasons your estate plan may not need a trust

As you work to create your estate plan, you may wonder whether you need to utilize certain planning options. Because each plan created needs to suit the particular wishes of an individual, what works for other people may not apply to your situation. A close assessment of your estate and personal details could help you decide how to design the best plan for your circumstances.

One planning tool in particular that may have you curious is a trust. You may have heard about the various benefits this tool offers -- such as avoiding probate -- but just because a planning option has benefits does not mean that you have a need for those benefits.

Speedy probate? Don't hold your breath

While probate often seems like a dirty word in the estate-planning world, it is an important and necessary process for many estates. It is a way to ensure that the deceased person's final wishes are understood and carried out as closely as possible. This is more likely to happen when a will or other estate plan is in place, and such carefully prepared documents often hasten -- or even bypass -- the process of probate.

Nevertheless, an Arizona court must carefully inventory and value the assets, verify the heirs and pay any creditors who have claims on the estate. This can be complicated or relatively simple, and each estate is different. This is why it may be nearly impossible to say exactly how long probate might take. However, if you are currently waiting out probate for an estate from which you will receive an inheritance, you should know that there are certain factors that can prolong the process.

Do you have legal grounds to contest a loved one's will?

The death of a loved one can affect each Arizona resident differently. You may like to look back on your loved one's life with fondness of the loving times you shared together, or you may feel an overwhelming sense of grief that makes it difficult for you to face the situation. Because reactions to death can bring about a variety of feelings, each person may handle their losses in their own ways.

If your loved one created a will, you may have great interest in moving through the probate process quickly in order to settle his or her affairs. However, the possibility exists that you could find issue with the document that has you feeling concerned. In some cases, the problems may prove significant enough to contest the will. Of course, in order to do so, you must have grounds to take such legal action.

Probate can act as a bittersweet process for loved ones

Distributing a loved one's assets after his or her death can come as a bittersweet moment. You will certainly miss your family member immensely, but knowing that you and other individuals may obtain meaningful assets as a reminder of the special person may bring you some comfort. Of course, before any individuals can obtain assets from the remaining estate as dictated in a will, the probate process must finish.

If your loved one named you executor of his or her estate, you will face the most responsibilities when handling the probate process. You will essentially take charge in ensuring that the appropriate parties have necessary information and that heirs receive the correct items. Due to having such tasks to attend to, you will certainly want to understand the probate process.

Do you need a health care power of attorney?

It can be difficult to think about the health care needs that you may face in the future, but it is useful for both you and your family to make the effort to have certain protections in place. By having the appropriate legal documents drafted, you can outline your wishes in case you are incapacitated or unable to make important medical decisions for yourself.

Through a health care power of attorney, you can better control what may happen to you by formalizing your desires for medical interventions, life saving measures and more. These could be important and essential additions to any existing estate plan. 

Do you have legal standing to contest a will?

The passing of a loved one can cause much grief to anyone, and you may hope to find some comfort in learning what his or her last wishes may have contained. In many cases, when a deceased family member leaves behind a will or other document relating to an estate plan, surviving family gain a content feeling when their loved one has bequeathed funds or a treasured piece of property to them.

Unfortunately, you could find yourself facing serious concerns if you believe that the details contained in your family member's estate plan reflect intentions that do not hold true to what your loved one wanted. You may feel at a loss if a completely unexpected individual gains a considerable portion of the estate with no true reason for gaining such an inheritance. In such a case, you may wonder if you have the ability to contest the will.

Do you need a trust?

When it comes to creating a full estate plan, one of your questions is likely whether or not you need a trust. The answer is often yes, and that may surprise you.

Many people think of trusts as something for only the very wealthy, but the truth is even those with a more moderate net worth should consider having a trust. If you own real estate and other assets, it’s even more important to consider a trust.

Creating a special needs trust

When it comes to parenting, planning for your kids’ future is an important part of your life. If you’re a parent of a special needs child, how you plan may look a little different, especially when it comes to finances.

One option for helping your child get an inheritance is to set up a special needs trust. There are several things you need to know about these trusts.

Mary T. Hone Screwed Me

My goal as an attorney is to always represent my clients' best interests. When a case goes to court, one side wins and one side loses. That's what today's post is about. What does that have to do with "Mary T. Hone screwed me?"

Well, someone is driving around town in a truck displaying these words. I guess I'll take the free advertising.

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The Law Offices of Mary T. Hone, PLLC
10505 N. 69th Street, Suite 1400
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

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