Estate planning is a process that allows an individual to prepare for the management and distribution of their assets in the event of their incapacitation or death. Whether in the form of wills, trusts, or advance directives, estate planning can help make sure your wishes are carried out, providing direction and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.  

Despite the significance of proper estate planning, a surprising number of adults across the U.S. have not created any form of estate plan. According to recent surveys, over 60% of American adults do not have a will. Failing to establish an estate plan can impact your family and the distribution of your assets, which highlights the importance of working with an experienced estate planning attorney. 

At my firm, Robert J. Weber, P.C., I am dedicated to helping you create an effective estate plan that can help you prepare for unforeseen illnesses, incapacitating injuries, and estate administration in the event of your death. Located in Chandler, Arizona, I proudly serve clients throughout The East Valley, Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, and Pinal County. 



What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a legal process that is designed to ensure you have a plan in place for your assets and responsibilities in the event of your incapacitation or death. The items that go into an estate plan vary based on the size and value of your estate.

These can commonly incorporate drafting a will, setting up trusts, designating powers of attorney, and establishing healthcare directives that will provide direction for how your wishes should be honored and how your assets should be distributed to your beneficiaries: 

  • Wills: A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. It can also include other important information, such as appointing guardians for minor children or naming an executor to oversee asset distribution. Arizona recognizes both standard wills and holographic wills, which are handwritten and signed by the testator, but not witnessed.  

  • Trusts: Trusts are revocable or irrevocable agreements that can help manage and distribute your assets during your lifetime and after your passing. These can include living trusts, which take effect during the grantor's lifetime, or testamentary trusts, which are created through a will. Trusts are particularly useful for avoiding probate, managing taxes, and protecting your assets for your beneficiaries. 

  • Powers of Attorney: A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a specified individual the authority to make important decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This can include making financial decisions or healthcare choices. 

  • Healthcare Directives: Also known as a living will or medical power of attorney, a healthcare directive outlines your wishes for medical treatment and healthcare decisions if you are unable to make them yourself. These can include directions regarding medicines, life support, or surgery.  

The Arizona Probate Code outlines the requirements for wills to be considered valid. The person creating the will (known as the testator) must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind (i.e., free from coercion or duress).

The will must be in writing and signed by the testator, or by another person in the testator's presence and at their direction. Additionally, it must be witnessed by at least two individuals who saw the testator sign the will or heard the testator acknowledge the signature. 

As an experienced attorney, I can help you create an estate plan tailored to you and your estate to make sure your personal and financial affairs are handled according to your wishes. 

What Is Intestacy?

If you die without a will in Arizona, you are said to have died "intestate." This situation triggers the state's intestacy laws, where the courts determine the distribution of your assets.

Arizona's intestacy laws follow a set hierarchy based on typical family structures, prioritizing any spouses, children, and other close relatives in the distribution process. However, without a will, the distribution of your estate may not align with your wishes. 

By drafting a secure will, you make sure your assets are distributed according to your specific desires. I can help you draft a will that not only aligns with Arizona's legal requirements but also reflects your personal wishes and safeguards your legacy. 

What Is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process in which a deceased person's estate is properly distributed to their designated beneficiaries and any debts owed to creditors are paid off.

A probate court will validate the deceased's will (if one exists), identify and inventory the deceased person's property, appraise the property, and distribute the estate to rightful heirs and beneficiaries according to the will or state intestacy law if there is no will.  

Even with a valid will, probate can be a lengthy and potentially costly process. This depends on the size and complexity of the estate, whether the deceased had a well-drafted and comprehensive estate plan, and Arizona's specific probate laws.

In Arizona, the probate process can be simplified if the estate qualifies for "small estate" procedures, which are available for estates below a certain asset threshold. Otherwise, the estate may undergo a more complex and time-consuming probate process.

However, certain estate planning tools, such as directly naming beneficiaries and establishing living trusts, can be used to avoid probate.  

With my experience and knowledge, I can help you employ the necessary estate planning tools to make sure your estate is managed and distributed according to your wishes. 

What Does My Firm Offer?

At Robert J. Weber, P.C., I am dedicated to providing comprehensive estate planning services designed to meet the unique needs of each client. By leveraging a deep understanding of Arizona estate planning laws, I offer a range of services including: 

  • Customized Estate Planning: I will create a tailor-made estate plan that reflects your specific circumstances, needs, and wishes. This includes a detailed discussion of your assets, family dynamics, and long-term objectives. 

  • Will Drafting: I have experience drafting clear, legally binding wills and provide ongoing support for updating your will when your circumstances change. 

  • Trust Formation: From revocable living trusts to special needs trusts, I can help you select and establish the most appropriate trust structures to protect your assets and beneficiaries. 

  • Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Directives: I can help you prepare essential documents that appoint trusted individuals to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated. 

  • Probate and Trust Administration: I offer support with probate or administrating a trust after a loved one has passed. 

Unlike larger firms where clients may feel like just another case number, at Robert J. Weber, P.C., I make sure every client feels heard, valued, and understood. My firm is built on the foundation of personal connections, trust, and respecting every client's unique life story, wishes, and family.


Estate planning is essential to make sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. If you or a loved one is looking to create a will, set up a trust, or update an existing estate plan, reach out to my firm. I will help draft an estate plan that is tailored to your needs, offering direction for the distribution of your estate and peace of mind to you and your family.