Wills

Phoenix Wills Attorney  602-561-8107

Our Firm has been drafting Wills since 1995.  We are very familiar with Arizona laws regarding wills.  One of the basic conceptual problems people have with estate planning is not understanding what it does. Usually estate planning is seen only as drafting a will to say who you want as the Personal Representative (somtimes called an “Administrator,” or “Executor). But estate planning is much more than this.

Estate planning encompasses control, disability, distribution, probate, and tax planning. All of these aspects are of critical importance. These goals are accomplished through the use of the appropriate combination of Wills, Trusts, Powers of attorney, and Medical Directives, carefully tailored to the wishes and needs of the client.

A Will is simply a written directive to beneficiaries and the adminstrator of the will, and will sometimes avoid the dificulty of going though the probate court when distributing property at death,determining who should be the personal representative (sometimes called an “Administrator,” or “Executor”) to manage the assets, and who should be the guardian and/or conservator of minor children. Wills do not avoid probate! They are crafted with an intention to avoid probate. Sometimes wills have to be probated to be given effect.  Usually, they do not provide for incapacity or the care of a minor.

A “Simple Will” is a will that passes the assets to a named individual or individuals and generally contains no tax planning trust provisions or testamentary trusts for minors. The usual, simple will is set up to distribute to the survivor of a person, couple or spouse, after their death, as they want.

A “Complex Will” is a will that contains testamentary trust provisions. A complex will may create a trust at the death of the testator (the person making the will) which may help avoid taxes, provide for a delay in distributions, or other goals that cannot be accomplished with a simple will alone. Most people want a complex will when the differences between the types of wills are explained.

A “Pourover Will” is a will that is used in conjunction with a living trust. It acts as a safety net to ensure that the testator’s wishes as set forth in the trust are carried out, even if the assets are not placed in the trust.  Ideally a pourover will sits dormant and is never used.

Sometimes a beneficiary of a trust does not want anyone to know about the “Pourover Will or Trust.”

While you are not required to have an attorney draft a will for you, we believe you will get a better result with the assistance of an experienced wills and trust attorney.