4 Common Estate Planning Questions Written By: 4 Common Estate Planning QuestionsDana and Associates, LLC Posted On: 9/14/21 Modified On: 9/14/21 Filed Under: Estate Planning Tagged With: 4 Common Estate Planning Questions Original URL: https://www.danalegalhelp.com/4-common-estate-planning-questions/ Nearly 6 out of every 10 adults in America do not have a Will or any sort of estate plan in place. This primarily stems from the lack of understanding surrounding the topic. Estate planning is essential in protecting your assets and securing a better future for your loved ones. Today, our legal team at Dana and Associates will cover some of the most commonly asked questions about estate planning so you can move forward with confidence. Here are the answers to 4 common estate planning questions: What is Estate Planning? Estate planning is the process of making arrangements for what happens to your estate (your real property and any financial accounts) once you have passed away. Many people utilize Wills, Trusts, and life insurance policies as part of their estate plans. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney is an important part of the process, as they can guide you in making the best decisions for your specific situation. What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust? Wills and Trusts are similar in that they are both estate planning tools used to distribute your assets. The main differences are that Wills are public record, cover any and all assets of the owner, only become effective after death, and typically require probate. Trusts are private, only cover assets specifically placed in the Trust, can distribute assets prior to death, and, if done properly, can avoid probate. You can use these tools as an ‘either/or’ solution or in conjunction with each other. It’s crucial to speak with your estate planning attorney to determine which one is right for you. What Happens If I Die Without a Will? If you die without a Will in place, the probate laws in your state will determine how to distribute your assets. This will include any assets belonging to you that do not have a beneficiary designation. (Assets with a beneficiary designation may include life insurance policies or financial accounts with payable on death or transfer on death designations.) Most people prefer to have a Will so they can control where their assets end up after they pass. Can I Prepare my Estate Plan Without a Lawyer? In most states, residents are legally allowed to prepare their own estate plan. However, we do not recommend this, as the estate planning process can be lengthy and confusing without experience. Working with a licensed estate planning attorney ensures that you have an advocate on your side who will make sure everything is taken care of. An estate planning attorney knows the intricacies of estate planning and probate laws, so they will make sure that your plan is completed properly. Additionally, your attorney can help you decide which estate planning options are right for your unique situation. Estate planning can be more complicated when planning for unmarried partners, blended families, business owners, or if your beneficiaries receive government benefits like disability. Top Estate Planning Attorneys in Arizona Planning your estate can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. At Dana and Associates, our skilled estate planning attorneys will help guide you through the estate planning process to ensure that everything is taken care of. Let us worry about the tough stuff, so you can focus on planning for your loved ones. Dedicated to representing our clients with the highest level of service, Dana and Associates, LLC is one of the top estate law firms in Arizona and California. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our top estate planning attorneys.