Everyone should have an estate plan to provide for his or her loved ones at death. Wills and trusts are vehicles to distribute assets to beneficiaries, and each has different benefits and characteristics. If you do not make your own estate plan, your property will pass to your heirs under Washington’s intestacy rules. A Will or trust is particularly important in the following circumstances:
- To ensure that bequests made to your minor or adult children are held in trust until the appropriate age, which you decide. Also, with a Will you have an opportunity to select the person you want to serve as the Guardian for your minor children.
- To protect a child or loved one with disabilities by leaving a bequest in a Special Needs Trust. This type of trust will allow the beneficiary to preserve eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI and still benefit from the assets in the Special Needs Trust.
- To minimize or avoid estate taxes.
- To protect your current spouse in a second marriage and your children from an earlier marriage.
In this area of practice, our firm can:
- Prepare Wills or revocable trusts
- Prepare durable powers of attorney and health care directives
- Assist with strategies to minimize state and federal estate taxes
- Review beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts to ensure that these assets are integrated into the overall estate plan and to maximize income tax deferral
- Prepare irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), generation skipping transfer (GST) trusts, and other trust arrangements where appropriate
- Prepare vehicles to hold real property including vacation property trusts and Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
- Prepare prenuptial or property status agreements to protect property interests that may be affected by marriage, or may be beneficial for tax reasons
Our attorneys will listen to your planning objectives and help you implement an estate plan customized to meet your specific goals and to protect your family’s financial security.