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Kent Estate Administration and Probate Law Blog

Estate attorneys help with long-term care planning

As we discussed in last week's blog post, long-term care planning with a living will can be very important when a person faces a health emergency. Kent residents who do not have a living will may want to explore the advantages of having one drafted.

Now that there is a large population reaching an advanced age, living wills are becoming more and more popular. Most people want control over what happens to them if they are no longer able to make health care decisions and a living will is the way to specify health care directives to loved ones. And for those who are younger, a living will can be important if a person is involved in an unexpected accident.

What is a living will and how can it benefit me?

Many Kent residents have a will or trust in place, but what about a living will? A living will is a legal document that details the type of medical care a person wishes to receive should he or she become incapacitated and unable to express his or her wishes. Read on to learn more about this document and the benefits it offers.

Any competent adult can create a living will. The will includes details about the types of medical care the person does and does not want. The directions, however, must be reasonable and enforced by the doctor. The will can also allow for someone to make health care decisions on behalf of the person should there be a situation not outlined in the document.

It is important to help elderly parents with their finances

As the Baby Boomers grow older and older, it is important for their children to help them with their financial matters. As a person grows older, seemingly everyday activities can be harder and harder to navigate. This includes financial matters. Because of that, it is particularly important to make sure that an elderly parent's finances are well-managed. Estate administration is critical for older parents.

If you have older parents, there are four things you should do to help them organize their finances. First, take an inventory of all of their assets including pensions, mutual funds, IRAs, bank accounts and so on. While making an inventory of these assets write down the account numbers, custodians, contact person and online login information. After a parent dies, power of attorney is required in order to access the accounts.

What can be learned from the estate battle of Robin Williams?

When Robin Williams took his own life this past August everyone was in shock. The unexpected death of a beloved movie star and comedian affected many people. But since he died there has been a battle among his heirs over his estate. There are a few things that non-celebrities can learn from this conflict in order to make sure their estate plan doesn't have the same pitfalls.

After he died, a conflict has arisen in Robin Williams's estate over his personal property. His third wife and his children are fighting over who will get his personal belongings including clothing, photographs, books, fossils, bicycles and other items. Although he had an updated will, estate plan and prenuptial agreement he was still unable to avoid the classic family argument over who gets what.

Legal guardianship for Washington young children

Last week, we discussed how important it is for new parents to establish an estate plan to protect their children's interest in the event of their untimely death. This week we are delving deeper into the topic by exploring why it is important to establish a legal guardian for your children.

No one wants to think about their death. But, it is important to consider what will happen to your children if you die tragically. If a child does not have a legal guardian at the time of the parent's death the court will select a court appointed guardian. In order for your wishes to be carried out it is in your best interest to appoint a guardian for your children so what you know your children will be taken care of as you would have liked them to be.

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.

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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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