Jennifer C. Rydberg, Attorney at Law
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Kent Estate Administration and Probate Law Blog

There may be consequences for not having an estate plan

Most Kent area residents know how important estate planning is to preserving their wealth for future generations and ensuring their desires are met. But, it is also important to know what the consequences may be if an estate plan is not created, including needing to go through probate.

One consequence of not having an estate plan is that family members may have to go to court to access their loved one's bank accounts, if they die or become incapacitated. If a person unexpectedly becomes ill and unable to make their own decisions, it may be hard for a family member to step up without having access to their funds.

Why would an estate go through probate?

Kent area residents who are working on their estate plans often wonder about probate and wills. Probate is something that people want to avoid, but there are good reasons for an estate to go through probate.

Many times, probate is needed because of the assets a person leaves behind. These assets often require a license or registration, such as a house, car, investments and other property.

What is a personal representative for estate administration?

Most Kent area residents understand the importance of estate planning. These matters should not wait and are critically important. Part of an estate plan is appointing a personal representative. A personal representative helps with estate administration and carrying out the deceased's wishes.

When a family is going through the estate planning process, it is often recommended that they choose a personal representative. A personal representative has many important roles.

Significant portion of Prince's estate will be lost to taxes

Many Kent area residents are concerned about what will happen to their estate after they pass away. A person amasses their wealth over decades, and it is important for them to make sure it passes to their heirs with a minimum of issues. But, for those who do not plan ahead by creating a will and other estate planning documents, a significant portion of an estate can be lost to taxes.

Because Prince did not have a will when he died, nearly half of his estate will be lost to taxes. The estate needs to pay the estate tax payment shortly, which is estimated to be a payment of $100 million dollars. There are many reasons why the estate loses so much to taxes, but the main reason is poor planning.

It is best not to procrastinate when it comes to estate matters

Not many Kent residents derive pleasure from thinking about their inevitable death. This is not a particularly popular topic among families but it is very important. Those who make plans regarding their estate planning ahead of time can give their families the gift of peace of mind.

When a family works out estate planning details prior to their death they are giving their heirs an amazing gift. The death of a spouse is something not many people want to think about, but when it happens the other spouse can be left not knowing what to do. In order to be prepared for the event before it occurs, both spouses should know what all of the assets are. These assets include life insurance, retirement plans, and who is listed as beneficiaries. A power of attorney for both medical care and financial matters should be established for each spouse.

Helping you draft a will that meets your goals and needs

Thinking about the future is not always easy for residents in Washington. It can even be more challenging to think about what will happen after your death. However, estate planning is often an essential step, and a will is a vital tool when it comes to directing the distribution of your property and assets after your death.

Whether you are young or old, healthy or ill, it is never too early to consider the benefits a will could offer an individual or a couple. At Jennifer C. Rydberg, Attorney at Law, our experienced legal team is devoted to helping Kent and Seattle area residents initiate the often difficult process of planning for you or a family member's death.

Start the new year by getting legal affairs organized

Many people in the Kent area know how important estate planning is and many have even created one. This is a wonderful way to make sure an estate is passed to the next generation with few problems. But it is also important to make sure an estate plan is organized.

When a person passes away, often the family has no idea how many bank accounts, retirement accounts and financial accounts the deceased may have. They may have an idea that their loved one had a bank account and owned some property, but the details may not be clear. This can make it complicated, frustrating the family left behind. An amazing gift to loved ones can be an organized start to the new year.

Young families should find estate plans important

Having a baby is one of the best events a family can experience together. Kent area residents extensively plan for the upcoming new arrival through baby showers, nursery planning and attending birthing classes. But one important preparation is often missed by new parents and that is creating an estate plan for a vulnerable child.

Although no one wants to consider the unimaginable, an estate plan is critical in making sure children are protected. An estate plan usually includes several documents and can include what happens to a person's assets upon their death and what happens to their children.

Blended families need an estate plan

Almost all families in the Kent area can benefit from estate planning. Estate plans are important in making sure a family's assets are distributed appropriately and that the person's wishes are followed after their death. An estate plan can be especially important for a blended family.

Blended families are common among the Kent area. When a couple gets married again, they often have their own children they bring to the marriage. This makes beneficiary designations important. A person should update their beneficiary designations so that they are up-to-date with their current family arrangement and wishes.

The end of the year is a good time for charitable giving

Many Kent area residents are generous to local and national nonprofit organizations. Charitable giving can be an important part of estate planning as well. As 2016 draws to a close, charitable giving should be on the minds of many.

Charitable giving is often an integral part of estate planning. In addition, those who are looking for end-of-year tax advantages often look at charitable giving. Not just monetary donations are deductible. Clothing, household items, cars and other similar items can all be charitable donations.

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