Estate Planning

Using Insights From Working In Probate To Offer Estate Planning

One of the secrets to creating effective wills and trusts is understanding how directives are carried out when these documents go into effect. Our experience in helping people probate estates gives us great insights into the best practices for estate planning. We have seen the problems caused by poorly written wills and trusts. This experience allows us to avoid using language that is likely to be challenged or cause problems for your heirs after you are gone.

Building An Estate Plan That Is Right For You

The first step in determining what kind of estate planning documents make sense for you is to have a conversation about your goals, needs and wishes. We’ll ask you questions about your family, your financial situation and your health. Based on what we learn, we will make recommendations concerning wills, trusts, health care planning and arrangements for the care of children and vulnerable adults if you should become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly.

An Overview Of Basic Estate Planning Tools

Your estate plan may be as simple as drawing up a will or could include multiple documents to address a range of property, assets and health care situations. Below is an overview of some of the most common documents involved in estate planning.

Wills: A will outlines how your property and assets will be distributed after you are gone. Wills are generally affordable and relatively simple to set up. The downsides of setting up a will are that all the information about your estate and finances become public knowledge after you’re gone. The estate may need to go through the probate process.

Trusts: A trust serves the same purpose as a will but is a more complicated tool that shields assets from probate and creditors. Not all assets qualify for inclusion in a trust and having both a will and a trust is not uncommon.

Medicare planning: Many people find themselves in need of long-term health care at the end of their lives. To qualify for Medicare benefits to help pay for this care, you cannot have assets or monthly income above a certain level. We can help you set up a plan that allows you to qualify for benefits while still being able to pass your assets on to your heirs.

Declaration of guardianship: If you and your child’s other parent were to become incapacitated and unable to care for your children, a declaration of guardianship allows you to name the person you wish to entrust with the care of your children.

There are other documents not listed above that may also make sense for you. After we have our initial meeting, we will make recommendations and explain the pros and cons of each estate planning document.

For Help Setting Up An Estate Plan, Contact Our Firm

To set up an initial consultation to discuss estate planning, contact Probate Attorneys of Washington by calling 360-362-0857 or filling out our online contact form. We can meet evenings and weekends outside of our office by appointment.