Life planning is for everybody

By January 31, 2011Probate

One of the more common misconceptions about estate planning is that it is best reserved for those with sizeable estates.  Similarly, there are many who operate under the assumption that estate planning is only appropriate where there are many family members and friends to divide the estate among.  Both of these assumptions are false, however, and estate planning – or better yet, life planning – is something that everybody should consider with a qualified Arizona probate lawyer.

With a comprehensive life plan, it is possible for people to prepare for many of life’s uncertainties.  Powers of attorney provide a means for people to assign important decisionmaking authority to an agent in the event that they lose capacity to make decisions personally.  Similarly, advance directives allow for people to spell out their health care wishes before they actually need medical care.  Further, a comprehensive life plan includes a will and/or a trust that provides instructions on how to carry out an individual’s wishes once he or she is deceased.

Despite the clear advantages to life planning, many people with a relatively small amount of assets or with few people to leave their assets to, believe that such planning is unnecessary.  However, it is sometimes especially important for these individuals to prepare for life’s uncertainties.  For instance, if an individual without family nearby suffers a medical emergency, medical personnel will be without direction on how to fulfill his or her health care wishes unless there are advance directives in place.  Likewise, this individual would be without financial oversight unless he or she had powers of attorney.

Simple planning documents can help people avert a host of problems, and potentially save a significant amount of resources in the long run.  An Arizona probate lawyer who understands AZ probate law can sit down with people and help them accomplish their life planning goals.  Every plan should be tailor made with the Arizona Probate Code in mind so that people can divide and devise their assets exactly how they want.