Moore Law Firm

Moore Law Firm

9949 W. Bell Road
Suite 201
Sun City, AZ 85351
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Sun City Estate Planning Blog

Lack of a basic will can have a profound impact

Wills are usually the most basic form of estate planning. They can be relatively simple in nature and easy to create for Sun City residents. Yet, a 2017 survey found that 58 percent of Americans have not created any estate planning documents. This is a staggering number, especially considering the grim reality that the assets of many of these individuals may be passed down in a way that is counter to the deceased individuals' wishes. This can cause significant financial hardship for those who may have been an intended heir but was not accounted for in an estate plan.

Just look at the case of one woman who may now lose her housing because her stepfather failed to create a basic will. There, the woman's stepfather and her mother purchased the home in 1980 for $23,000. The residence was abandoned at the time. After multiple renovations, the home is now valued at over $1 million. Without a will, though, the home has passed to some of the stepfather's estranged relatives who live in Barbados. This is even after the woman served as her father's caretaker up until his death.

Addressing a business in an estate plan

Generally speaking, the more assets an individual has the more detailed his or her estate plan needs to be. The same holds true when there are multiple heirs in play. While most people focus on divvying up their personal property, familial home, and bank and retirement accounts, others need to consider matters such as what to do with a business. If this matter isn't appropriately addressed, a business can be susceptible to poor ownership and management.

This is why succession planning can sometimes prove beneficial during the estate planning process. Through succession planning, an individual can name who will take over a business in the event of death, thereby ensuring that the business continues to run smoothly. Engaging in this practice forces an individual to carefully consider who is best to take ownership of a business through careful analysis of skills and talents.

Fashion icon may have created pet trust for beloved cat's benefit

Pets can become an integral part of our families. Millions of Americans treat these animals like their own children, pampering them and providing them with the utmost care. While humans have a longer life expectancy than most pets, oftentimes owners pass away before their beloved pets. So, in these circumstances, who is left to care for the deceased individual's animal?

This can be a scary consideration for those who would want their pets to be properly cared for in their absence. This is why the utilization of a pet trust may prove beneficial. This estate planning tool places assets into a trust to be managed by a trustee. A custodian is often named for the pet, too, and assets from the trust are distributed to the custodian for the benefit of the pet. Although this may sound like a strange setup to some, to others it provides a viable way to ensure their favorite pets are cared for as desired far into the future.

Estate planning is important for everyone

Estate planning is often seen as a way to dictate how assets will be distributed to one's family upon death. This can sometimes be a pretty straightforward process, especially when assets are to be divided amongst a spouse and children. Since this is the prevailing view of those who think about estate planning, many individuals without spouse and/or children often determine that estate planning won't benefit them. But these individuals are wrong.

To start, everyone should start an estate plan if for no other reason than to ensure that important financial and health care decisions will be made by a trusted person in the event of incapacitation. Therefore, Arizona residents should think about creating powers of attorney and health care proxies that meet their needs and put their minds at ease.

3 dangers of DIY wills

It is vital for people to create estate plans when still in the right state of mind to do so. They need to ensure all their assets and belongings go to the proper parties, or else significant confusion could arise upon the person's death. 

This confusion can also occur when a person decides to create a DIY will. Numerous online services now exist that promise to create the perfect estate plan for you, but you are better off avoiding such services. Many problems can come up if you try to save a few bucks by making your own will. 

Placing a home in a revocable or irrevocable trust

There are many issues to consider when estate planning. This is especially true to those who have a significant number of assets. For these individuals, merely identifying and valuing all those assets can be a headache. Of course, not everyone has vast amounts of wealth to leave to loved ones, but even those of modest means can benefit from estate planning.

Just look at most people's most valued asset: the familial home. Determining how to leave a residence to an heir can be challenging and costly. This is why it may be beneficial to consider either purchasing the residence in trust or later placing the home in a trust. By utilizing a revocable trust, a homeowner can continue to benefit from use of the home and place conditions on how named beneficiaries can use the residence once it is passed on to them. Since this type of trust is revocable, named beneficiaries can be changed at any time.

Media mogul found competent enough to change estate plan

Effective estate planning is crucial to avoid probate litigation. Those who have ambiguous or vague plans can see their estates' financial health deteriorate significantly while litigation is drawn out. Such legal action can also lead to familial strife that can last a lifetime. This is why it is important to engage in effective estate planning and make sure that any changes to an estate plan are clearly valid.

Media mogul Sumner Redstone recently found himself in the position of having to prove the validity of his estate plan after he amended his trust to write out his former companion. According to reports, the former companion initiated the litigation after she was removed from Redstone's health care directive and kicked out of his mansion. She claimed that Redstone lacked the mental capacity necessary to make those changes. A court found that Redstone was competent enough to amend his trust, and the former companion was also ordered to repay millions in gifts that she had received.

Modern families require modern estate planning approaches

The definition of family has certainly broaden over the last 50 years. Back then, most families were comprised of married men and women who had children and who stayed in their marriages until death. In the modern world, though, there is no "normal" family. In fact, only a third of all marriages conform to the traditional definition of married heterosexuals with children. These modern familial units can be comprised of unmarried couples, stepchildren, adopted children, and even children conceived through artificial means. While the world around us has changed considerably over time, estate planning law has not, which means it is on you to ensure that your estate plan is customized to fit your unique situation. Failing to do so could mean that your loved ones may miss out on inheriting the assets you want them to have.

To develop a satisfactory estate plan, it is worth considering a number of questions. To start, you need to think about who you want to inherit your assets. Then, you need to determine how much of your estate you want each of those individuals to obtain after your death. You might then want to consider when you want those beneficiaries to take control of those assets, since you can restrict that through the use of an estate planning vehicle like a trust.

Reconsidering an estate plan after divorce

Getting divorced is no easy matter. While it can leave some individuals feeling emotionally devastated, others may be excited to start a new chapter in their lives. Regardless of which side of the spectrum on which a new divorcee falls, the stark reality is that change will occur, touching nearly every aspect of life. This includes estate planning. Those who fail to take another look at their estate plan after divorce may be setting their estate, and their loved ones, up for trouble.

There are many estate planning considerations that must be addressed following a divorce. For example, individuals may want to think about who is named in their health care proxy. This document, which names an individual to make important health care-related decisions in the event that the creator of the document becomes incapacitated, may leave an ex-spouse in charge of one's health if not changed. For most newly divorced individuals, having an ex-spouse responsible for those decisions is less than idea. This line of reasoning holds true for powers of attorney, too.

3 reasons to include long-term care in your estate plan

If you are young, you probably do not think much about either retirement or the final years of your life. As you reach middle age, though, your outlook is likely to change. If you have not thought about long-term care, you may be missing the boat. 

A growing number of adults are opting to add long-term care planning to their overall estate plans. That is, no longer do estate plans solely address the distribution of property and other assets. Instead, diligent planners often decide to include medical directives, funeral wishes and long-term care insurance in their estate plans. Here are three reasons you may want to address your long-term care in your plan. 

Client Testimonials

I got the family trust updated.
I was very pleased with the expertise and professionalism exhibited by your staff in serving my needs.

I needed to review my Will, recommended by my son.
Mr. Farrer’s expertise helped me realize that a Trust would better serve my needs.
The staff and Mr. Farrer were very professional and friendly (not cold). Thank you. Very comfortable atmosphere.

Our legal documents were outdated due to time and circumstances.
The staff at Moore Law Firm worked with us to develop a trust and other legal documents which meet our current as well as our future needs.
The staff at moore law firm were so professional, knowledgable and friendly to work with. They worked beyond to accomodate our needs. Thank you all.

Moore Law Firm
9949 W. Bell Road
Suite 201
Sun City, AZ 85351

Phone: 623-207-9153
Phone: 623-207-9153
Fax: 623-977-7237
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