Estate planning is a sensitive process, but it is never too early to begin thinking about your end-of-life wishes. I am a lawyer who has been helping clients through the process of comprehensive estate planning for more than 30 years. Contact me at my offices in Lynnwood, Washington, to get on the right track.
Taking Care of Your Assets
You have worked hard to build the assets that will pass to your heirs when you die. Now take care to ensure that your wishes are carried out effectively. A comprehensive Washington estate plan will generally include some or all of the following documents:
A will is a vital component of every estate plan. It names a personal representative (also known as an executor) to ensure that your estate is given those you intend to receive it. It also can provide important direction as to whom should be appointed guardians for your minor children. Even if you transfer some assets to a trust, you need a will to control any assets in your name at the time of your death, and to advise as to your desires of appointment of a guardian.
A living trust, also known as a revocable trust, takes formal ownership of some or all of your assets during your life If you have an estate located in multiple states, you may want to use a trust to avoid probate. A trust may also increase your control over your assets and have tax benefits.
Powers of attorney give a trusted person the authority to make certain financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. A power of attorney can protect you from people who prey on the elderly. This is a critical document that all should possess.
A community property agreement between spouses can provide that certain property is community property under Washington law so that when one spouse dies, that property will pass to the other spouse without going through probate. This can afford a significant saving.
I have extensive experience helping Washington clients craft appropriate estate plans.
Contact me to discuss what I can do for you.
Protecting Your Health Care Rights
.End-of-life health care decisions are closely tied in with other estate planning matters and usually dealt with at the same time. I can help you make these decisions and wishes clear.
A living will, also known as a physician's health care directive or health care directive sets forth your wishes with regard end of life decisions. For matters not covered by a living will, a health care power of attorney can be used to choose a trusted person to represent you if you become incapacitated.