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Kent Estate Administration and Probate Law Blog

Newlyweds should think about their estate plan

The thrill of a wedding is something that gets brides and grooms excited for months in advance of the actual event. A person's wedding is one of the happiest days of their lives and is an event that is anticipated by everyone in the family. But after the wedding there are certain important things that newlyweds should think about and one of those is estate planning.

Although the last thing a newlywed wants to think about is their death but there are certain things newlyweds should do as far as estate planning. First they should update the beneficiary information on their accounts that include 401Ks, life insurance and other retirement accounts.

An estate plan can include nonprofits

When people think about what will happen after they die they typically hope that other people remember them for a long time. No one wants to be forgotten. Establishing an estate plan that includes a legacy of giving, along with passing assets to an heir, can be a wonderful way to ensure a person's name lives on long after the person gone.

Leaving a legacy of giving is a great way to have a person's name live on after the person has passed away. Everyone wants their lives to have an impact and helping others through charitable giving is something that Kent area residents consistently do. If people are thinking about giving to a charity through a charitable trust they may first want to think about what values they find important and choose organizations based on those values. A person would also want to think about whether they want their gift to remain a quiet matter or if they want public recognition.

Do-it-yourself estate planning may not be the best idea

Most Kent area residents know the importance of having an estate plan. Although most people know that estate plans are valuable some may think that they can be expensive. Do-it-yourself estate plans are available but can often lead to confusion.

Most people don't want to think about their death but it will happen to everyone. It is important for everyone to think about what will happen to them and their property when they become incapacitated and their death occurs. An estate plan is the way for people to legally state what their wishes are. An estate plan usually consists of a will, a power of attorney and an advanced health care directive (living will). The will can address how a person's assets are distributed after death. The power of attorney can delegate who will make the decisions regarding finances on the person's behalf, if the person is unable to do so themselves. Finally, the living will has instructions on health care interventions that should be done if the person becomes incapacitated.

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.

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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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