Everyone has an estate—no matter their age or station in life. When you want to ensure your estate is in good hands after you are gone, choosing the right estate planning documents becomes incredibly important. With so much on the line, you may feel like taking matters into your own hands by drafting these documents yourself. Is that the right path to take?
There are numerous complexities when it comes to estate planning. Here at Simmons & Greene, we understand these complexities and can help you navigate them. If you reside in Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Mesa, or anywhere else in Arizona, set up a consultation with us. So, why should you choose an attorney to draft your estate planning documents rather than using a form yourself?
Why Estate Planning Is Important
Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do today to help your family tomorrow. For many Arizona residents, it is not something they ever want to think about. That’s completely understandable. However, if you want to protect what you have worked so hard for— and have it benefit your family after you have passed away—you need to begin planning your estate as soon as possible.
Consider some of the reasons why estate planning is so crucial:
You can choose who inherits different parts of your estate after you are gone
If you have a child, you can name a guardian in the event of your passing
Having an estate plan can reduce taxes on your estate
A properly written estate plan can avoid legal disputes later on
According to Arizona state law, an“ ‘[e]state’ includes the property of the decedent, trust or other person whose affairs are subject to this title as originally constituted and as it exists from time to time during administration.” In essence, no one is exempt from having—and needing to properly manage—an estate. In today’s rapidly changing world, estate planning documents are vital.
Online Forms vs. Hiring an Attorney
It can be tempting to want to take care of these details on your own. When you conduct a quick Google search, you may find some estate planning forms and estate planning templates that allow you to easily fill them out. But drafting an estate plan online has disadvantages—in fact, quite a few of them. Consider the differences between using online forms and using an estate planning attorney:
Online forms are not state-specific. Each state has different requirements regarding estate planning. Hiring an estate planning attorney can help you understand the specific requirements for Arizona.
Modifications are complex. If you fill out your estate planning on a DIY form, and you need to make modifications, it will be very difficult. This process is complex; one small modification can change the entire document. A Phoenix estate planning attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience will know how to make these changes while keeping the integrity of the documents intact.
An attorney can offer guidance. If you decide to draft your estate plan alone, you will have no guidance in the process, whereas an attorney can guide you through the process, inform you of your options, and tailor your estate plan for your specific needs. Additionally, an attorney can offer tax guidance if you need it.
Attorneys can aid in settling disputes. While we all want to avoid estate disputes, they do happen. If you hire an estate planning lawyer, you will have a third party who does not gain from the estate and can vouch for it in court. You would not have this if you draft your estate plan through templates found on Google.
Your estate plan documents will be safe. When you use an attorney, they will keep a copy of your estate plan. If you use online estate planning forms, you don’t have this same kind of assurance.
The advantages of hiring a seasoned attorney to draft your estate planning documents cannot be overstated. If you want your estate planning documents to be handled with care, consider hiring an attorney.
Estate Planning Experience
You Can Trust
Estate planning can feel overwhelming. Hiring an estate planning lawyer can alleviate stress— especially when you choose the right one. Here at Simmons & Greene, we believe in creating an inviting environment where our clients feel comfortable. Our experience is a testament to our dedication to the art of estate planning and to families throughout Phoenix and all of Arizona. Reach out to Simmons & Greene today.