While the number of Americans with medical directives such as Living Wills continues to rise, it is estimated that as many as 55% of Americans die without a will or estate plan.

What happens if you die without an estate plan in Arizona?

Dying without an estate plan or even a simple will is also known as intestate and it means your estate will have to be settled in court. Not only does this take time, it can cost your family money. While this money may be able to be taken from the estate upon settlement, it is an expense that can be avoided.

What is included in your estate?

Your estate includes real estate, possessions, money, minor children, adult dependents, and pets. When you die without an estate plan or will, the court decides how your assets are divided and who gets custody of minor children and adult dependents.

Dependents may, in some cases, be wards of the court, placed in foster care, until settlement. There are times when a court will work with a family to let dependents stay with suitable caretakers until the estate is settled.

Why is it important to have an estate plan in Arizona?

Having an estate plan means your assets and dependents are taken care of as you would want them to be. Without an estate plan, the court will decide based on factors that may not be in line with what you would want.

An estate plan gives you the opportunity to not only name who gets your assets in the event of your death, it gives your family peace of mind knowing exactly what you wanted.

Whether your possessions or dependents, nothing is guaranteed or done according to your wishes unless you have a will and estate plan in place. For more information about this and other family law issues, contact the Stuart and Blackwell team today.