by Richard Keyt and Richard C. Keyt, Arizona estate planning attorneys

Your Most Valuable AssetIn these troubled times you need documents that deal with critically important life and death issues such as: (1) who can make medical decisions for you if you cannot communicate with your doctor, (2) pulling the plug if you are brain dead and in a terminal condition and machines are keeping you alive, (3) naming the person or people who will inherit your property if you were to die, (4) naming a trusted person who will have the power to manage your financial affairs if you become mentally incapacitated, and (5) telling the court who you want to raise your minor children and manage their assets if both parents were to die.

As Arizona estate planning attorneys we urge people to take protective action before it is too late.  We aren’t the only ones who stress the importance of signing estate planning documents.  We’ve collected a lot of articles written in the coronavirus era  and published online by national publications.  See what other people are saying about estate plan documents in these unusual times.

People have a natural inclination to procrastinate, but now is not the time to procrastinate.  If something happens to you it is your loved ones who will suffer.  Protect yourself and your loved ones by buying the estate plan of documents listed below that fits your need.


Our Two Estate Plans

Our two estate plans described in detail below give you the option to pick the plan that is best for you.  Our estate plans are:

  • Silver Estate Plan: $1,997 for a single person and $2,497 for a couple.  This plan does not include a revocable living trust. To purchase the Silver estate plan complete our Silver Estate Plan questionnaire.
  • Gold Estate Plan: $2,997 for a single person and $3,497 for a couple.  This plan includes a revocable living trust that provides that the assets in your trust pass automatically on your death (or on the death of both spouses if you are married) to an irrevocable beneficiary controlled asset protected trust created for each of your heirs and their descendants.  Your heirs inherited assets in their trusts will be protected for life from their creditors, ex-spouses and bankruptcy courts.  Each heir's trust is also a "dynasty trust" that creates a trust for your heirs children on the heir's death. See "A Smart Option for Transferring Wealth Through Generations: The Dynasty Trust." If you bought our Gold LLC you get a $500 discount off the price of this estate plan.  To purchase the Gold estate plan complete our Gold Estate Plan questionnaire.

See the Table that Shows the Contents of Each Estate Plan

To close this table click on the – symbol above this line.

Service We ProvideSilver BundleGold Bundle
1. Unlimited phone calls with an Arizona estate planning attorneyYesYes
2. Healthcare Power of AttorneyYesYes
3. Living WillYesYes
4. Declaration of Appointment of Guardian for Minor Children if You Die or Become IncapacitatedYesYes
5. Financial Power of Attorney Appointing Somebody to Manage Your Financial Affairs if You Become IncapacitatedYesYes
6. HIPAA Authorization for Your Healthcare Agent to Get Information About You from Your DoctorsYesYes
7. You Digitally Sign All of Your Documents During a Video ConferenceYesYes
8. You Get Digital PDF Copies of All of Your Signed DocumentsYesYes
9. No Charge to Make Changes to Your Documents Within 90 Days After SigningYesYes
10. Last Will & Testament that Names Your Heirs Who Will Inherit Your PropertyYesYes
11. Beneficiary Deed to Transfer Your Home to Your Heirs without the Need for a ProbateYesYes
12. Personal Property Memorandum to Make Gifts of Personal Items to Specific People if You DieYesYes
13. Estate Planning Portfolio: We give you a high quality portfolio that contains all of your estate plan documents organized behind tabsYesYes
14. Revocable Living Trust that Transfers Assets to Your Loved Ones without a Probate & Can Give Heirs Lifetime Asset ProtectionNoYes
15. Certification of Trust that You Give to Anybody Who Asks for a Copy of Your Trust AgreementNoYes
16. Asset List: The purpose of this very important document is to notify the trustee(s) of your trust of the nature and location of all of your valuable assets. Ask yourself this question: “If I were to die or if me and my wife were to die suddenly would my loved ones know what I or we own and where to find it.NoYes
17. Funding Your Trust from A to Z. A detailed explanation of how to transfer different types of assets to your trustNoYes
18. Assignment of Personal Property that transfers your personal property to your trustNoYes
19. 5 Year Membership in DocuBank that holds your healthcare documents in its docubank so doctors can access these documents 24/7NoYes
20. Post Mortem Wishes used to tell your family what you want to happen if you were to dieNoYes

Silver Estate Plan Contents (no Trust)

Our Silver estate plan is $1,997 for one person and $2,497 for a couple.  This estate plan is for people who have important or valuable assets and they want to make sure that the assets are inherited by the person or people they want to inherit rather than the people who will inherit under the law of the decedent’s state of residence at the time of death.

All Arizona residents should read our article called “Who Inherits Assets of an Arizona Resident Who Dies without a Will?” and take our online quiz called “Who Inherits Property of an Arizona Resident Who Dies without a Will?” to learn who will inherit your assets or your loved one’s assets.

The custom Will we prepare for you insures that your assets will be inherited by the people you want to inherit rather than somebody else.

Unlimited phone calls with Arizona estate planning attorneys Richard C. Keyt (480-664-7472 or [email protected]) or his father Richard Keyt (480-664-7478 or [email protected]) to answer questions about your estate planning documents and make any desired changes before you sign your estate plan documents.

You need a Last Will & Testament that specifies who will inherit your property after your death.  If you do not have a Will or a Trust the law of your state of residence at the time of your death determines who inherits your property.  Your residence state’s inheritance law may give your assets to the wrong people, which is why you need a Will or a Trust.

This is a special deed that transfers your Arizona home to your loved ones on your death (if you are single) or on the death of the second spouse (if you are a married couple).  This deed causes the title to change automatically on your death or the death of the second spouse if you are married and own your home as community property with right of survivorship without the need for an expensive and time-consuming probate.  We record this deed with the county recorder of the county in which the real estate is located.

If you have any children under age 18 YOU MUST HAVE THIS DOCUMENT.  This is the document by which you tell the Superior Court who you want to raise your minor children and manage their assets if both parents of the minor child were to die.  Each parent should sign this document because without instructions from the parents a court will not have any guidance on who to appoint to raise the minor children and manage their inheritance.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give someone the authority to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.  It is also called a health care proxy, a medical power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for health care.

Everybody needs this document because it names the people you authorize to make decisions about your medical care if you cannot.  If you need medical treatment, but are incapacitated and cannot communicate with the doctor, who will decide on your treatment?  If the doctor wants to know should he or she perform the risky surgery and one family member says yes and another says no the doctor may require the family to go to court and spend thousands of dollars and waste precious time to get a court order that says operate or do not operate.

This was a constant problem experienced by Terry Schaivo’s family.  This key estate plan document can save your family from fighting over your healthcare and thousands of dollars in attorneys fees and court costs.  If you have a Healthcare Power of Attorney your doctor will follow the instructions of the person you name first in the document, but if that person is not available the doctor will go to the second person you name in the Healthcare Power of Attorney.

This important document is your instructions to doctors and hospitals that if you are brain dead and in a terminal condition they are to pull the plug.  Terry Schaivo’s family suffered at the end of Terry’s life because Terry’s ex-husband wanted the doctors to turn off the machines that were keeping Terry alive years after the accident that injured her brain.  Terry’s parents did not want the doctors to terminate life support.

Terry Schaivo is a perfect example of why everybody needs a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will.  Terry did not have either document and her family paid the price emotionally and with money that could have been better spent on something other than lawyers.  Wikipedia says “In all, the Schiavo case involved 14 appeals and numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts; five suits in federal district court; Florida legislation struck down by the Supreme Court of Florida; a subpoena by a congressional committee to qualify Schiavo for witness protection; federal legislation (the Palm Sunday Compromise); and four denials of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the United States.”  Do your family a big favor and adopt both of these important estate plan documents so nobody has to burn money going to court to get an order dealing with your medical care or authoring the doctors to pull the plug.

If you are in a coma, incapacitated or suffer mental impairment who will pay your bills and write checks on your bank account? Your Financial Power of Attorney authorizes one or more people you select to handle your financial affairs if you were to become incapacitated.  If you do not have a signed Financial Power of Attorney your family will have to spend thousands of dollars to get a court order that appoints somebody as your conservator who will have the legal right and power to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs.

A federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (aka HIPAA) prohibits healthcare providers from disclosing medical information about you except to authorized persons. This document authorizes your healthcare providers to give information about your health and medical condition and treatment to the people you name as your healthcare decision makers in your Healthcare Power of Attorney

This is a document that is authorized by your Will.  The Personal Property Memorandum allows you to make gifts of certain tangible personal property without modifying your Will or seeing an attorney.  For example, your Will might say that if you die you give everything to your spouse or children, but you could alter that plan by completing and signing a Personal Property Memorandum that states that when you die you want your Timex watch to your sibling and your piano to go to your best friend.  Gifts made in the PPM take precedence over your asset distribution plan in your Will.  We give you this document in hard copy form and as an Adobe pdf file so you can revise the PPM whenever you want to change your gift plan.

We do not charge any legal fees for any changes you want to make to your documents within the first three months after you sign your documents . We want you to be able to review everything you sign at your leisure so you can be sure everything is correct. If, within the first three months after you sign your documents, you want to change any document, let us know and we will revise the document as necessary at no additional cost to you.

After you and the witnesses digitally sign all of your documents we will send an email message to you that contains Adobe pdf files that contain all of your signed and witnessed documents.

We give you a high quality 3 ring binder/portfolio that contains all of your signed estate plan documents organized behind tabs.

Gold Estate Plan Contents (includes a Trust)

Our Gold estate plan is $2,997 for one person & $3,497 for a couple. It includes all of the services provided with our Bronze estate plan.  The Gold estate plan is for people who want to leave assets to their children and loved ones in a life-time beneficiary controlled asset protected trust.

People always ask us how do I get asset protection.  Our answer is that the best asset protection method/device is an irrevocable trust (meaning a trust that cannot be amended) created by a a person such as a parent that contains assets the trustmaker(s) gives to the trust and that names the child, children or loved one(s) as the beneficiary.

The trust we draft for the Gold estate plan is a revocable trust (meaning it can be amended or terminated by you, the trustmaker) has the following benefits:

  • The trust becomes irrevocable on the death or incapacity of the trustmaker(s).
  • On the death of the trustmaker(s) the language in the trust creates a separate stand alone trust for every beneficiary selected by the trustmaker(s).
  • The assets inherited by each beneficiary of a separate trust are asset protected for the life of the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s descents.
  • The assets in the trust avoid probate and go directly to the heirs stated in the trust.
  • If a beneficiary is a special needs person that beneficiary’s trust will be a special needs trust and the assets in the trust will not cause the beneficiary to lose any government benefits.
  • If the beneficiary gets sued a creditor cannot reach the assets in the trust held for the beneficiary.
  • If a beneficiary gets married and divorced the assets in the trust held for the beneficiary cannot be reached by the ex-spouse.
  • If a beneficiary files for bankruptcy the court and the beneficiary’s creditors cannot reach the assets held in the trust for the beneficiary.

This is the foundation of your estate plan.  It allows assets owned by the trust to avoid probate and contains your plan for who inherits your property and when they get it after your death.  See the discussion of RLT’s that follows this list.  This trust can provide life-time asset protection for your spouse and loved ones so that their inheritance cannot be touched by their creditors or by an ex-spouse if a child gets divorced or by a bankruptcy court if a surviving spouse or a child files for bankruptcy.

The heart of you estate plan is the revocable Living Trust (RLT). We believe that almost everyone with substantial assets should have an RLT.  The primary reasons people create an RLT are:

a.  To provide for the management of their property if they become incapacitated.

b.  To avoid the delays, costs and lack of confidentiality of a probate that is necessary when assets remain titled in the name of the deceased.  To learn more about Arizona probate law read the article written by Arizona probate attorneys Richard Keyt and his son Richard C. Keyt called “What is an Arizona Probate & When Is It Required?

c.  To keep their financial affairs confidential (probate court documents are open to the public).

d.  To provide for the disposition of their assets after death to their family and loved ones either: (i) outright, (ii) over a period of time or (iii) for the life of one or more beneficiaries. The latter choice is best for maximum asset protection for the beneficiary.

e.  To protect the inherited assets from the heir’s creditors, ex-spouses and predators.  A life-time beneficiary controlled asset protection trust is the best asset protection device a parent can create for children and grandchildren or that any person can create for loved ones. For example, if the Trust is properly drafted and assets are held in Trust and not distributed unnecessarily to a beneficiary, the beneficiary’s creditors (including a bankruptcy court) and predators (ex-spouses, con-men and con-women) can never get the assets. If you have children or loved ones that you want to protect and if they may inherit a lot of money or property, asset protection may be the most important reason to create an RLT.

From time to time a third party may ask to see your trust.  Because your trust contains confidential information about your family you should not give the trust to anybody unless giving it is absolutely necessary.  The Certification of Trust is is a document that you give to any third party that asks for a copy of your trust.  Instead of giving the bank, title insurance company, lender or other party a copy of your trust agreement give them the Certification of Trust and they will be happy.

The purpose of this very important document is to notify the trustee(s) of your trust of the nature and location of all of your valuable assets.  Ask yourself this question:  “If I were to die or if me and my wife were to die suddenly would my loved ones know what I own or what we own and where to find my/our assets?”  If your loved ones do not know about the existence or location of your valuable assets they may never find and take possession of the unknown or lost assets.

This document is a detailed explanation on how to transfer different types of assets to your trust.  Remember:  You want your trust to own your assets so the family does not have to spend time and money doing a probate.  After you sign your trust your job in the next few months will be to transfer all of our assets to your trust.  You don’t need a lawyer to transfer most types of assets except real estate.  You should always hire a real estate lawyer in the state where the real estate is located to prepare a deed that transfer title to the land to the trust.  To hire us to transfer Arizona real property to a trust complete and submit our online Special Warranty Deed Preparation Questionnaire.

This document assigns / transfers to your trust all of your personal property such as jewelry, art, equipment, furniture,  clothing, guns and musical instruments.  It does not assign personal property that has a title such as a motor vehicle or a boat.

Instant Access to Vital Documents
The DocuBank Emergency Card helps to ensure that your medical wishes are known and respected when it counts.  DocuBank SAFE allows you to upload and store those documents that you want quick, convenient, access to online.  Keeping documents within reach.  Around the clock, around the world.  

The Emergency Card
Access is key in an emergency situation.  When you store your healthcare directives (living will, health care power of attorney) with DocuBank, you receive a personalized DocuBank Emergency Card that makes all of your emergency information and critical healthcare documents available in two convenient ways:  

By Phone: By calling 1-800-DOCUBANK, hospitals have your information immediately faxed to them.

By Computer: By clicking the Hospital Button or going to, hospital staff can view and print documents immediately.

Medical Alerts
The DocuBank card lists important medical conditions and allergy information so that they are immediately available at the hospital. The name and contact information of one emergency contact also appears on the face of the card. A complete list of your current medications and a highlight of your medical story can also accessed when your card is used.

DocuBank SAFE:
DocuBank SAFE is a complimentary part of every DocuBank membership. Once your DocuBank membership is active you can log in to establish your encrypted SAFE password and begin uploading documents immediately from your personal computer.  COMPLETE memberships include 2 GB of SAFE storage FREE.   

Sharing Access
DocuBank COMPLETE includes the creation of SAFEShare Users for friends and family so they can view only those files members elect to share.  SAFEShare Users will receive an introduction email providing the information they need to log in to their personal SAFEShare DocuBank account.

Establishing Your Exit Strategy
Answering the question – what happens to my information when I die?  COMPLETE DocuBank memberships include the selection of a Digital Executor.  A Digital Executor is granted SAFEShare access to the account while the member is alive, and is granted the ability to assume full access to the account upon the legally verified proof of death.

Organization is Key
SAFE storage is set up into categories so you can keep your files organized.  You may also find that your providing professional has already uploaded files to your SAFE on your behalf.  If so, you will also be able to allow your provider to view files you upload by clicking the “share with provider” button when you upload a file.  Only those files you select will be viewable by your provider.  

There are many benefits to every DocuBank membership:

Family Notification Service
DocuBank offers a Family Notification Service. Members can send a personalized email to friends and family members letting them know that they have joined the DocuBank service and that their health care wishes are available 24/7/365 in an emergency. COMPLETE members can also have alerts sent to contacts when their card is used.

Communicating Healthcare Wishes
DocuBank can help members communicate their wishes verbally too. We know that conversations about death and dying are difficult. That’s why we offer some suggestions and guidelines on how to broach this subject with loved ones. Available in our Member Services section, we provide important conversation topics along with helpful links.

Wallet Stickers
The DocuBank Emergency card arrives within 4-6 weeks of enrollment and comes with alert stickers to be placed on the members’ driver’s license. These alert stickers tell hospital and emergency staff that they can obtain your healthcare directives using your DocuBank wallet card.

Additional Cards
Members can print additional cards for friends and family members at any time. Additional paper copies of the card also arrive along with the plastic emergency card.

This is an optional 12 page document that you can use to plan your funeral or memorial  service and tell your family what you want to happen if you were to die.  You can tell your family that you want or do not want to be cremated, that you have a burial plot, you want or do not want a memorial service or a funeral, who you want to be your pall bearers, music and/or scriptures you want in your funeral service and any thing else you want your family to know.

People who bought a Gold LLC from us get a $500 discount off the price of the Gold estate plan.  To purchase the Gold Estate Plan complete our Gold Estate Plan questionnaire.

Stop Procrastinating: Protect Your Family Before It is Too Late


If you have procrastinated up to now and do not have a documents to protect your loved ones and if you do not take the next step now and purchase one of our two estate plans, the sad reality is that you will most likely continue to procrastinate for many years to come and probably will die without protecting your family. That’s ok if you want the State of Arizona to decide who inherits your property and if you don’t care about the problems and expense your family may suffer if you die without planning ahead.

Isn’t your family your most valuable asset? Don’t you want your family to have the protection that a good estate plan can provide? If the cost is preventing you from making an appointment, compare the cost of an estate plan against money you have spent on things for yourself such as a flat screen TV, furniture, swimming pool, computer system, hi-fi system, car or SUV, boat, country club membership, jewelry, art and other “toys” or expensive items. Don’t spend more on “stuff” than you do to protect your family if something happens to you.

Warning for Arizona Residents

The State of Arizona has a law that determines who inherits the assets of people who die without a will or a trust.  This law may cause your assets to be inherited by the wrong person or people.  To learn who will inherit your assets if you lack a will or trust see my article called Who Inherits Your Property If You Die without a Will or a Trust and take my short online quiz called Who Inherits Your Property.  If the wrong person or people would inherit your assets the solution is for you to hire us to prepare a will or a trust that leaves your assets to the person or people you want to inherit the assets.

Steps to Hire the Keyts to Prepare Your Estate Plan

1.  See the contents and prices of our two estate plans and decide if you want a silver or a gold estate plan.  A revocable living trust is only included in our gold estate plan.  The primary reason people buy a revocable living trust is they want to create beneficiary controlled asset protected trusts for each of their loved ones so the inherited assets can never be reached by the loved one’s creditors, ex-spouses or a bankruptcy court.

2. Make an appointment with one of Keyts using their online calendar for your free estate planning consultation.  You can meet in our office, via phone or by a Zoom video conference.  The meetings typically last 45 – 90 minutes.  We are located at 7373 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Suite 135 in Scottsdale.  We are one mile south of Shea Blvd., and one block east of Scottsdale road.

3. Complete our silver estate plan questionnaire or our gold estate plan questionnaire. When you submit the questionnaire our system will send an email message to you and to us that contains all the information in the questionnaire.

4. Conduct your free estate plan consultation.

5. Come to our office to sign your documents in front of two witnesses and a notary.

Total time from start to signed documents is one to two weeks.

FYI:  Arizona residents should learn Who Gets My Property If I Die Without A Will Or Trust?