Many people assume that only wealthy people need to have estate plans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone, regardless of income, should have basic documents in place to ensure that specific items of property go to the right people. These documents may include a will or trust, as well as powers of attorney. Without these things, your loved ones may find out — too late — that Arizona law will not respect your final wishes.

At Sanchez Law Group, we can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that protects your interests and those of your family. We have extensive experience in estate planning and probate, and we advise and represent individuals and families throughout the Yuma area.

To arrange your initial consultation, please call  928-782-3110 or contact us online. We can help!

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What Is Probate?

When a person dies, that person's estate goes through a process called "probate" to verify the validity of the will, if there is one. The person who is in charge of carrying out the will is called the executor, and the executor must take an inventory of all assets, identify and locate the heirs and beneficiaries, and then distribute the assets accordingly.

One problem with probate is that it can take a long time. In Arizona, the probate process typically lasts six months to a year. Another problem is that probate can be costly to the family. However, with the proper estate documents in place, you can avoid most of the probate process. Our attorneys can help you do that.

Financial And Medical Decisions During Your Lifetime

Wills and trusts dictate what happens to your assets after you pass away, but what about while you are still alive? In many cases, people become unable to make their own financial and medical decisions due to illness, injury or dementia. It is important to designate someone who can make those decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. We can assist your family with two main options:

  • Powers of Attorney for Financial and Medical Decisions
    By giving someone power of attorney, you allow that person to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. The authority granted by you can be broad or limited, depending on what your goals are. You can establish financial power of attorney or medical power of attorney — or both. Financial power of attorney gives a trusted person the power to make financial decisions on your behalf, and medical power of attorney gives a trusted person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. Power of attorney can only be established while you are still competent. If you are incapacitated before establishing powers of attorney, a conservatorship may be necessary.

  • Conservatorships
    If your loved one experiences mental or physical decline and has not made provisions for someone else to make financial decisions, you can seek to establish a conservatorship. A court will appoint a specially trained attorney — called a "conservator"— to manage the person's assets while the person is still living. A conservatorship is not typically necessary if power of attorney has already been assigned.

Passing Wealth To The Next Generation

To ensure that your property goes to the people and organizations that you choose, you need to document your wishes in a will or trust. For most people, a will is sufficient. However, sometimes creating trust is the better option. There are many different kinds of trusts, and you can choose one that is designed to meet your specific goals.

Experienced Lawyers, Ready To Assist You

If you have questions about estate planning or the probate process, please contact the experienced legal team at Sanchez Law Group. You can reach us by email or by calling our office in Yuma at 928-782-3110. We look forward to hearing from you.