A few nights ago, my husband and I listened to Mitt Romney's speech after winning the Arizona presidential primary. After Governor Romney promised to repeal the Death Tax, my husband turned to me and asked, "What does that mean for estate planning?" Like my husband, I realize that if the Death Tax were repealed, many people will erroneously conclude that they no longer need an estate plan.
Estate planning is more than planning to avoid or minimize Estate Taxes at both the Federal and State levels. Estate planning is needed to determine who will help you in the event of incapacity and how they will do so. If no planning is in place, the Probate Court will decide for you and your family. You may not agree with whom the Court appoints to be in control of your personal and financial affairs.
Estate planning is also essential in determining who will receive your assets when you die. In this aspect of planning, you state who receives what assets, when they will receive them and how they will receive them. You may choose to leave your assets to your children in unequal shares or leave some of your assets to charity. You can select to delay letting your kids have the money until they reach a certain age. You may choose to only give your beneficiaries the right to the income while restricting the use of principal. These are all decisions you can make, provided that you do estate planning. Without an estate plan in place, again, the Probate Court (by virtue of the statutes) determines to whom, when and how your estate is passed on.
Morris Hall Can Protect You in Today's Litigious Society:
We live in a litigious society, where over 1 million lawsuits are filed every year in America alone. Financial predators are looking for ways to take funds from others and often use litigation as their means to do so. At Morris Hall we provide your assets and your loved ones with important protections that can prevent financial predators from taking advantage of you. We do this through proper and current estate planning techniques. With an MH living trust, we can also protect your property, assets and loved ones from probate, estate taxes, gift taxes, creditors, Medicaid spend-down, conservatorship or guardianship proceedings, ex-spouses and more. A living trust also keeps your asset and beneficiary information private and secure to avoid giving financial predators information to use against you and your family. Without a living trust, this information will be made public. For those living in Arizona, we serve the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, Tucson, Sonoita, Arrowhead, Avondale, Goodyear and Tempe. In New Mexico we serve the areas of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, White Rock, Alamogordo, Truth or Consequences and more. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment with an attorney in your area!
Contributed by MH Phoenix and Mesa attorney Katherine A. O'Connell