Estate planning provides for the disposition or distribution of assets (e.g., homes, cars, savings, property, etc.) upon death or during life. Estate planning is necessary to ensure your accumulated wealth passes on to the individuals or organizations you choose and to minimize the effect of federal or state taxes on your estate.
Estate planning also includes drafting a durable power of attorney, a
health care power of attorney and a living will to address personal, healthcare, and estate issues during your lifetime.
Planning to avoid estate tax and probate is a focus of our office.
A Revocable Living Trust
is a document that allows you to hold and manage your assets while you
are alive and competent. It also provides for someone to manage your
assets should you become incapacitated or die. The Revocable Living
Trust avoids probate, the court procedure that occurs at the time of
death. Having someone to manage your financial affairs if you are
incapacitated avoids a court procedure called a conservatorship.
Assets in a Trust receive full step
up in basis for community property at the time of the death of a spouse, allowing the
surviving spouse to sell assets with less income tax. With a Trust, a
married couple can pass twice the amount to their children without
estate tax (tax at death). If you have real estate in more than one
state, a Trust can eliminate probates in all states.
Other types of Trusts may include
Life Insurance Trusts, Special Needs Trust and Charitable Remainder Trusts.
The Law Office of Kay Richter is experienced in all facets of Trusts and their relationship to estate planning. We evaluate your particular situation and help you establish the proper documents to see that your wishes are carried out while minimizing taxes and avoiding probate, if possible,
saving you and your loved ones time and money.
A Last Will and Testament (or "Will") names individuals or organizations who should receive
your assets when you die. A Will also names a Personal Representative--the person responsible for handling the administration of the estate which includes payment of all taxes, debts and distribution to those entitled to share in the estate. Failure to have
a Will means the law of the state of Arizona will determine who receives your assets.
At The Law Office of Kay Richter, we tailor your
Last Will and Testament to address your individual circumstances and help you
avoid potential problems or troublesome issues. We do this consistent with an asset review, including how your assets are titled and how you designate beneficiaries.
For larger estates we emphasize saving federal estate taxes. With all clients, we use our experience to
ensure your will achieves your wishes and makes estate administration easier for your loved ones.
The Law Office of Kay Richter is committed to meeting the legal needs of the elderly and their families in Tucson, AZ and the southern Arizona area.
Our elder law services can help people who are trying to pay for nursing home costs or qualify for Medicaid-funded
long term care program (ALTCS), have a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease or another form of dementia, have recently lost a loved one and need to probate an estate, or want to create or execute estate planning documents (Will,
Power of Attorney, Living Will/Healthcare Power of Attorney and Trusts).
Arizona Long Term Care
Long Term Care becomes important for
individuals with a degenerative condition such as MS, stroke, etc., a
prolonged illness such as cancer, or a cognitive disorder such as
Alzheimer’s. Long Term Care may include medical care but often provides assistance with daily living activities or supervision of someone who is cognitively impaired.
Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)
is the governmental program that funds long term care in Arizona such
as nursing homes, some assisted living homes and centers and limited
home health care. Qualifying for this program can be complex.
Today Long Term Care insurance covers a broad range of services including nursing home care, assisted living facilities and adult day care. Like any insurance product, Long Term Care insurance allows the insured to pay an affordable premium to protect
against an unaffordable catastrophic event.