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Kent Estate Administration and Probate Law Blog

New parents should think about an estate plan

For new parents in the Kent area, estate planning is probably the last thing on their minds. But now that their lives include another person, this is a great time to think about planning for the future as unexpected tragedies can happen at any time.

When a new baby arrives, parents often don't think about their own demise. But everyone will die at some point and now that the family includes a child it is important to make sure all affairs are in order. And yet statistics say that up to 60 percent of Americans die without an estate plan.

What is a power of attorney?

With all the recent media coverage surrounding end of life and other important legal decisions the term "power of attorney" has frequently come up. But what does power of attorney mean?

Power of attorney is a legal document where an individual acting as the "principal" appoints someone else, the "agent," to provide the agent with legal authority to act for the principal in a certain way. The appointed agent can do any legal act that they are designated to perform and usually it involves medical decisions and financial decisions. The agent usually acts for the principal when the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions.

Have you thought about your pets in your estate plan?

For many Kent area residents, pets are an important part of the family. Dogs and cats are the most common companion animals, but many people also have birds, turtles and other reptiles. Many times these animals can outlive their owners, and when that happens it is important to have a plan for where these pets will go. A will can be a good place to put in a plan for what should happen to beloved family pets after an owner passes away.

As everyone knows, a person can pass away at any time. Because of the uncertainty of life, it is important for everyone to have a plan in place for the distribution of property, care of children and care of pets as well. Without a plan, the placement of pets can be challenging for the remaining family members. Not everyone wants to take the pe,t and without a plan, there can be a lot of guilt or ocnfusion.

How can you incorporate faith and values into your estate plan?

Kent-area residents know how important it is to support their favorite charities and to give to others. For many people it is important to continue this giving into their estate administration. Many people wonder how they can incorporate important faith and values into an estate plan?

For many people giving away money to favorite charities or religious organizations is an important part of their estate plan. One way to incorporate faith and values you find to be important into your estate plan is to leave a dollar amount or percentage of the estate to specific charities. Or you can establish a trust to provide income to charities for a long time.

New estate tax issues in 2015

Estate planning in the Kent area frequently involves tax implications of the estate administration. Each year tax laws surrounding estates change. 2015 will be no exception.

Estate taxes are the subject of much controversy among many people. It is important for people to know what estate tax rules may affect them. With 2015 quickly approaching, there are a few estate tax changes that may be of interest to people.

Holidays good time to talk about estate planning

Many Kent area residents will be getting together with family this holiday season. Holidays are a great time to discuss estate planning with relatives, including those whom we haven't seen in years.

Although the thought of bringing up the topic of estate planning during the holidays may not sound like an unpleasant task, it is very important. The holidays offer a unique situation where often times the entire family is together in one place. Parents may be hesitant to discuss estate planning with their children because they don't want to hurt their feelings or cause conflict among siblings. In order to have it go as smoothly as possible parents should be prepared to explain their choices and answer any questions.

Estate planning tips for women business owners

The number of women who own their own business has dramatically increased in recent years. More and more women are graduating from business school, law school and other professional schools, landing them with the opportunity to own and manage their own business. Businesswomen in the Kent area should also make sure that their estate planning tools are up-to-date.

There are some estate planning tips for businesswomen. One is to make sure you have a team of professionals helping with your financial and business objectives. A team would consist of an estate planning attorney, accountant, financial advisor and an investment manager.

Estate planning for singles

Although many people may think that the majority of Americans are married, the truth is that for women over the age of 65, more than 53 percent were not married and 26 percent of men were single. These statistics show that there are millions of single Americans who may need to think about what will happen to their assets when they die. Estate administration for singles is important in making sure that the assets are passed down to their intended heirs.

When a single person dies without a will or trust their assets are usually passed down through bloodlines. Children would be first, followed by parents if they're still alive, then siblings, distant relatives and finally to the state if no living relatives have been found. If a person has other people in mind to receive their assets, like a friend or a charity, they need to create a will and a revocable living trust stating their intentions.

Funding a revocable trust

Many Seattle area residents use a revocable trust as part of their estate plan. Revocable trusts transfer assets from individuals into a "trust'" where they simplify a person's assets.

Once a revocable trust is set up it is important for them to be funded in order to receive a revocable trust's maximum benefit. Assets that a person has should be transferred to the fund. An asset by asset review should be completed so that all assets are accounted for and to determine which assets should be transferred to the trust. Investments should be changed so that the trust's name is listed as the owner. Anything that is titled should be re-titled in the name of the trust.

Naming a guardian is important

As many Seattle residents know, our lives can be unpredictable. One minute you're playing with your kids, the next minute you become incapacitated because of a freak accident. When a person becomes incapacitated they often need to have a guardianship appointed.

When a person suddenly becomes incapacitated the courts will appoint a guardian. This guardian can be the legal authority of the incapacitated person's personal finances, medical preferences, and providing personal care. These are all very important tasks.

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Jennifer C. Rydberg | Attorney at Law

Jennifer C. Rydberg
8407 S. 259th Street, Suite 203
Kent, WA 98030
Phone: 425-235-5535
Toll Free: 866-213-7556
Fax: 253-852-0400
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