Despite acknowledging the benefits of estate planning, more than half of all Americans do not have an estate plan in place. The good news is that there is no time like the present to get started. A well thought out estate plan can accomplish a number of important goals, including creating a framework for the division of your estate assets upon your death, protecting you and your family in the event of your incapacity, and ensuring that your loved ones are provided for when you are gone. Given the importance of your estate plan, choosing the right estate planning attorney to help you create that plan should be given considerable thought and care. At Morris Hall PLLC, we understand how important your estate plan is to you as well as how difficult it can be to try and choose the right attorney to help you with your plan. We work toward developing a lifelong relationship with each of our Flagstaff, Arizona clients because that ongoing relationship ensures that the changing needs and goals of each client will be incorporated into their estate plan.
Located in Coconino County, Arizona, the City of Flagstaff serves as the county seat. The city covers about 64 square miles and is home to just over 70,000 people as of the 2010 Census. The origin of the name “Flagstaff” remains somewhat of a mystery; however, one popular tale has surveyors, prospectors, and investors travelling through the area in the mid- to late-19th century and stripping a pine tree to fly an American flag, causing the surrounding area to be known as Flagstaff.
The first permanent European settlers didn’t put down roots in Flagstaff until 1876 when Thomas F. McMillan built a cabin at the base of Mars Hill on the west side of town. During the 1880s, Flagstaff began to grow, opening its first post office and attracting the railroad industry. The early economy was based on timber, sheep, and cattle. By 1886, Flagstaff was the largest city on the railroad line between Albuquerque and the west coast of the United States. The city grew rapidly, primarily attributable to its location along the east–west transcontinental railroad line in the United States. By the 1890s, Flagstaff found itself located along one of the busiest railroad corridors in the U.S., with 80–100 trains travelling through the city every day, destined for Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. The Railroad Addition Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
In 1894, Massachusetts astronomer Percival Lowell hired A. E. Douglass to scout an ideal site for a new observatory. Impressed by Flagstaff's elevation, Douglas named it as an ideal location for the now famous Lowell Observatory. In 1930, Pluto was discovered using one of the observatory's telescopes and in 1955 the U.S. Naval Observatory joined the growing astronomical presence by establishing the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station where Pluto's satellite, Charon, was discovered in 1978.
Although Flagstaff continued to grow and prosper throughout the early days of the 20th century, it wasn’t officially incorporated until 1928. As was common throughout the country, Flagstaff’s inner city began to decline during the 1970s and 1980s as businesses started to move from the city center. In 1987, however, the city drafted a new master plan, also known as the Growth Management Guide 2000, which would transform downtown Flagstaff from a shopping and trade center into a regional center for finance, office use, and government. The city built a new city hall, library, and the Coconino County Administrative Building in the downtown district. During the 1990s, the downtown area underwent a revitalization, many of the city sidewalks were repaved with decorative brick facing, and a different mix of shops and restaurants opened up to take advantage of the area's historical appeal. On October 24, 2001, Flagstaff was recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as the world's first "International Dark-Sky City.
Morris Hall PLLC in the Flagstaff, Arizona Community
At the Flagstaff, Arizona estate planning firm of Morris Hall PLLC, we are dedicated to meeting the estate planning needs of our friends and neighbors throughout the area. Because we understand the benefit of creating lifelong relationships with our estate planning clients, we believe in working one on one with each client in an effort to build that lasting partnership. As your life evolves, we are committed to ensuring that your estate plan evolves along with it.
Because your estate plan is never really finished, building a lifelong relationship with your estate planning attorney is important. The estate plan you create when you are young, single, and just starting out in your career will likely be rather simplistic. Your primary goal will likely be to ensure that you do not leave behind an intestate estate in the event of your death. That simplistic plan, however, will grow as your family and your estate grow. Marriage, for example, will likely trigger the need to include a spouse as a beneficiary and/or fiduciary within your estate plan. Parenthood calls for changes that will ensure your minor child’s inheritance is protected if something happens to you. Incapacity planning will also take on a heightened importance once you have a family to consider as will planning for the future with retirement planning. As your estate grows in both complexity and value, you should consider adding probate and tax avoidance as well as asset protection strategies to your overall estate plan. By middle age, you should also be thinking about long-term care planning which may include Medicaid planning. You will also need to ensure that your existing retirement plan works in harmony with your estate plan to further protect your growing estate. If you have strong wishes with regard to end of life care, a living Will and/or additional advance directives should also be part of your estate plan. Funeral and burial planning should also be included in your estate plan if you want to ensure that your wishes are honored after you are gone. Your unique needs, such as special needs planning, business succession planning, or pet planning will also be incorporated into your estate plan to create a customized estate plan that achieves all of your estate planning goals. At the Flagstaff, Arizona law firm of Morris Hall PLLC, we plan to be with you throughout the course of your lifetime to ensure that your estate plan reflects your needs and desires.
If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, or wish to get started on your plan today, contact an experienced Flagstaff, Arizona estate planning attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.