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Estate planning can serve a variety of purposes

It is human nature to put off important tasks at times. In reality, life is unpredictable, and it is often more prudent to have a plan in place for how to take care of one's needs in the event one becomes incapacitated or dies unexpectedly. Arizona residents who are unsure of how to begin estate planning may benefit from learning more about the basics behind this essential task.

Not having plans in place means that the state's default inheritance laws will apply. This could thwart one's wishes concerning how intended heirs will be cared for after one is deceased. Default laws can also consume a significant portion of an estate by means of fees and taxes. Furthermore, if one does not have any plans regarding a health care guardian, the state can determine what medical care will be provided and will appoint a guardian over what decisions to make, including possible end-of-life choices.

Not having plans can also result in the state appointing a guardian over financial decisions if one is declared incompetent. In addition, if there are no wills or trusts established, once an estate goes through the probate process, heirs may not inherit in the fashion that one had hoped. Loved ones could also lose their financial security, especially those who may be in need of safeguards due to their own disabilities. 

Almost everyone could benefit from estate planning, as there are a wide range of applications for these types of arrangements. Whether one has extensive assets or property, there are many reasons to ensure that heirs are provided for and that one's wishes will be carried out in the manner chosen, including who will care for minor children in the event of an unforeseen situation. Arizona residents may obtain their own peace of mind by seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney who can help draft the plans that will best meet one's needs.

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