Estate Planning

Your estate consists of everything you own: your home, car, bank accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions, and more. No matter how modest or significant, everyone can benefit from estate planning to control how your assets get distributed to the people or charities you care the most about upon your passing.

We’ll help create a new comprehensive plan with solutions that best fit your goals, or by evaluating your current plan to ensure it’s still on track with your needs.

Creating a plan in advance to control your estate is essential – but can fail if you do not have proper documents in place. Certain documents are crucial during your lifetime to provide decisions should you become incapacitated. Other documents can help carry out your final wishes – and most likely, you would like this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.

Some of the most common estate planning solutions we prepare are:

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust creates an entity to manage an estate, which allows the creator (trustor) to keep control of the assets in the trust while they are alive and decide the proper distribution of assets upon their death.

Every trust is unique and can accomplish different objectives. Different types of trusts can help avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, maintain the privacy of your estate, or establish long-term property management.

Last Will & Testament

A Last Will & Testament is a document that provides all of the essential details of who will inherit your assets, when and how they will inherit it, and who is in charge of settling your affairs. Additionally, if you have minor children, this will also cover who will serve as a guardian to your children until they become adults.

Power of Attorney

A Power-of-Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint an individual or organization as an agent to handle your financial, healthcare, and mental healthcare affairs should you be incapacitated or unable to do so.

Living Will

A Living Will communicates your wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments. This document is important as it informs your family and health care providers about such medical procedures in the event you are unable to speak for yourself.

Do I need a Will or a Trust?

The fact is, the more complex your estate, the more you need a proper estate plan in place. While not everyone needs a revocable living trust, they become better options as your estate grows.

A living trust and a will can accomplish similar objectives, such as distributing your estate upon your passing. The main difference is that a will cannot own assets, while a trust can. The person managing a trust (trustee) can control assets and direct the estate during and after the lifetime of the creator.

Ideally, if you are creating a trust, you will also have a will as there are some types of assets that cannot be owned by the trust. If for whatever reason, an asset did not get transferred into a trust, the will can act as a backup to distribute your estate.

If you’re wondering whether a living trust is appropriate for you, or if you already have one but have thought about revising it to ensure it’s complete, contact us and we’d be happy to review your existing plan.

Will your Estate Plan work when you need it?

At GCPA, our goal is to help you protect a legacy you’ve spent your lifetime building. Don’t leave it all to chance by not providing a clear path to assure your assets make it to your loved ones, not only by avoiding probate but also to minimize your tax liability as well. Our professionals have been assisting our clients for over 25 years throughout Arizona to build a proper plan with the use of estate planning documents.

GCPA's Five Steps to Estate Planning

  1. Set your goals: Take the time to think about and talk through your legacy goals; be sure to put all of your thoughts in writing.
  2. Identify challenges and obstacles: The earlier you can identify potential barriers, the more comfortable they will be to manage.
  3. Develop a strategy: A common starting point is preparing your estate planning documents.
  4. Communicate the strategy: You must have a conversation with those involved with your plan because putting it off will likely only cause dissent and turmoil after you’re gone.
  5.  Review regularly: Your life could change drastically between you have established your plan and the time it’s implemented, so make sure your plan still aligns with your goals and needs from time to time.

Speak to our Estate Planning Team

Contact us for a complimentary estate planning assessment. Whether it’s to start from scratch or review your documents, there will be no cost, and we will make the appropriate suggestions with your goals in mind.

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