Areas of Practice
Estate Planning: Wills & trusts
For nearly three decades, estate planning attorneys at Taylor Skinner have helped Arizona clients like you gain peace of mind by ensuring that:
in the event of serious illness or incapacity, your affairs will be properly and effectively managed, and
upon your death, your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes.
As we lead you through the estate planning process, we patiently help you identify your opportunities and objectives, explain your planning options, and properly prepare the right legal documents, tailored to your unique situation and goals.
In devising an estate planning strategy, we will describe the relative merits of the three basic estate planning tools: joint tenancy, a simple will, and a revocable living trust.
We will help you evaluate each of these tools in the context of your situation: your age, marital status and family status; the size and diversity of your estate; your present and future income potential; and your preferences regarding privacy, assumption of risk, and paying now versus paying later.
Your estate plan will reflect all of those factors, and the documents we prepare for you – your will and/or trust, a living will, a durable medical power of attorney, and other appropriate powers of attorney – will provide a comforting legal framework for achieving the goals of your plan.
After your death, a court procedure known as probate occurs. The court will rule on the validity of your will; any claims against your estate will settled; probate-related costs will be paid; and your assets will be distributed to your devisees as instructed in your will.
Probate serves a very useful purpose in protecting the decedent's wishes as set forth in the decedent's will; protecting the rights of creditors of the estate to receive payments to which they are legally entitled; and protecting the inheritance rights of the estate's devisees and heirs.
Taylor Skinner attorneys offer extensive experience in probate. Our probate services include providing guidance to personal representatives in carrying out their duties and, in many cases, performing on behalf of the personal representative many of the actions and reporting responsibilities that the law requires.
GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP
If a relative or close friend can no longer manage their affairs, due to age or incapacity, Taylor Skinner attorneys can help you set up a guardianship or other appropriate legal protection for the benefit of the elderly or incapacitated person.
A guardianship and its close cousin, conservatorship, often become necessary when a person becomes incapacitated. While it is helpful to understand the difference between the two, they are so closely related that they are frequently established in tandem so that the affairs of incapacitated persons – and the persons themselves – can be fully cared for.
Asking the court to declare a person incapacitated, and to make him or her subject to the decisions of another person, is a major step in the lives of all concerned and should not be taken without examining all possible options. Taylor Skinner attorneys can help you gain a full understanding of guardianship and conservatorship, their plusses and minuses, and alternative courses of action.