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Kent Estate Administration and Probate Law Blog

We can help draft Washington healthcare directives

It is inevitable that every Kent area resident will pass away. Although it is not a pleasant thought, the planning for the event can lighten the load for families. No one wants to worry about their children having to plan what happens to them if they can no longer make decisions for themselves. A healthcare directive allows a person to dictate how they want to receive care at the end of their life.

A living will is a way for a person to explain their preference as to what life-saving medical treatment they want at the end of their life, or when they are not able to communicate their wishes because of their illness. A living will, which is also known as a healthcare directive, gives medical providers information about what a person's healthcare wishes. A living will can tell medical providers that a person would like to die naturally, or would like to be kept alive using artificial support and advanced medical techniques. They can also include feeding tubes, resuscitation, organ donation and other medical issues.

Washington business owners can benefit from an estate plan

In the Kent area, there are many family business owners. These business owners are often very busy with the day-to-day operation of their business to even think about what will happen to the business after they pass. Estate planning for family business owners is very important in making sure the business is passed to their heirs, sold or whatever they would want to have happen.

There are many options for what can happen to a business when the owner dies or decides to retire. The business can be put up for sale, or the owner’s spouse or children can take over and continue the business. If the owner of a family business decides he wants to transfer it to another family member, there are many things that should be considered. Often, a transfer of the business is not successful for a number of factors, including the new owners now knowing how to run a business or not having enough cash to pay for the estate tax.

Washington estate planning checklist

Most Kent area residents know the importance of estate plans. But, there is more to an estate plan than a will. There are many different things an estate plan should include, like wills, trusts and health care directives.

It is a good idea for everyone to go through their estate plan and make sure they are thorough and complete. A financial advisor can help a family with their estate plan. An estate plan should include a will, which provides the information as to how your estate should be distributed upon your death. It also designates a guardian for any children you may have.

Even Washington couples without children need a will

When most Kent area residents think of an estate plan, they probably think of a will. Wills are a popular part of a basic estate plan and are used to protect assets. Most couples who do not have kids probably do not think a will is that important. But, everyone should consider having a will, regardless of whether they have children.

A great percentage of women under the age of 44 are childless. According to the U.S. census over 47 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 do not have children. Because there are so many childless couples now, it can make it difficult for these couples to delegate where there assets will go when they die.

Estate planning for young families

The last thing couples with small children want to think about is what will happen when they die. Young families are often extremely busy and also feel somewhat invincible when it comes to their inevitable death. But, we all know of a family that has been struck by tragedy at a young age. An estate plan can include many items including guardianships, trusts and health care directives.

Although estate planning may be the last thing on a young family's mind it is extremely important. One incredibly important part of an estate plan is establishing guardianships. Parents need to protect their children in the event of their death or disability by appointing a trustworthy guardian. If a guardian is not appointed the children could be placed with someone the parent's wouldn't approve of or in the custody of child protection or another court appointed guardian.

3 important parts of estate plans

Most Kent area residents don't want to think about what is going to happen when they die. It's a depressing topic for a lot of people and can create worry and sadness. Of course the inevitable will happen one day and having an estate plan is important. There are three important keys to having a good estate plan for heirs.

The first significant part of an estate plan is to have all important information readily available. Having an organized record that lists out accounts and legal documents is key in making sure heirs can easily find the information. The record should include professional contacts and family contacts, location of the will, living will and other estate documents, insurance information, list of all financial institution information, home and car insurance, credit cards, beneficiaries of accounts and user name and passwords for online accounts.

Talking with relatives regarding their estate plan

Many Kent area residents have aging parents. The baby boomer generation is getting older and with age comes estate planning issues. Children of older parents should have a conversation with their relatives to make sure their estate plan is up-to-date. Estate administration is an important part of a person's life and legacy.

Although it can be awkward for people to have a conversation with their parents about their estate plan it is critical that everything is in order. Having a conversation with parents about how their estate plan looks can be eye-opening for everyone. There are two things that children should find out about their parents estate plan. The first is if they have filled out the important documents. These documents include a will, healthcare directive and a durable financial power of attorney. The second important piece of information is if they have named a person to carry out their wishes. Children should know who that person is for when the time comes to look at the estate.

We diligently work with our clients on estate planning matters

Our last post on the blog discussed some common excuses people give for not engaging in estate planning. Talking yourself out of creating a will can be easy, but that doesn't mean that it's right. By skipping out on this important process you could be leaving your heirs facing significant difficulties in the event of your passing. Property may be tied up in probate, litigation may occur and unintended outcomes may result. Therefore, competent estate planning should be a part of every individual's life.

Yet, you might be afraid to confront the reality of your own mortality. That is completely natural. However, many find the estate planning process to put their mind at ease. No longer do they have to worry about what will happen to their property when they die, and they can rest assured that their loved ones will be taken care of as they intend.

Reasons why people do not have a will

Although most Kent area residents know how important an estate plan is few actually have gone about drafting one. Approximately 60 to 80 percent of adults in the U.S. don't have a will and there are many reasons they give for this. For each excuse a person has for not having a will there is still a reason why estate planning is important.

One excuse is that if they draft an estate plan death will soon follow. Of course everyone will die at some point and a well-crafted and thought out estate plan can ensure that a person's legacy and assets are passed one and they have estate protection.

What is an ethical will?

Kent residents have heard of wills as part of a basic estate plan. These documents give direction as to what should be done with a person's assets the time of the person's death. Although these assets are important parts of a family's legacy for many people there is more to a legacy than money. Estate planning is important for all families to direct asset distribution and to ensure that their values and beliefs are passed to their heirs.

In recent years, ethical wills have increased in popularity. Although these are not legal documents they are wonderful resources to leave to heirs regarding what was important to people and what they want their heirs to remember. They are cherished documents for generations.

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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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