Estate planning is important for all couples. However, same-sex couples in Washington and throughout the country face unique issues with regards to drafting a will and other estate issues that should be addressed.
After a person dies, a probate court in Washington appoints a legal representative for the person who died and their estate. The representative, or estate administrator, has numerous duties including the collection of all the decedent's assets, the payment of the deceased's creditors and the distribution of the deceased's remaining property and assets to their heirs and other beneficiaries.
For those in Washington who are in the estate planning process, avoiding probate and picking an executor can have an important impact on estate administration. Both issues require serious long-term planning.
While it may seem like those who rent their homes, rather than own their home, do not have much of a reason to consider estate planning, this is not the case. It is important for tenants to make sure their affairs will be handled appropriately after their death. Two years ago, Washington enacted a law that allows a tenant who lives alone in a rented dwelling unit to designate a person to act on their behalf after they die, and to avoid the time and expense associated with probate.
Many people in the Kent area have an IRA that they are using for retirement. These funds accumulate over the years and provide money for a person when they enter retirement. Many times, a person does not use all of their IRA money before they die. So, what happens to the rest of the IRA retirement benefits after its owner dies?
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.
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.
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.
Many Kent area residents donate to charity each year. Charitable donations help with taxes and are a great way to help organizations throughout our community. Charitable donations can also help with estate planning purposes when a person is still alive. Transferring money to a charity is one way for a person to impart their values to their heirs.
When a family member dies, it is an emotional and sad time within a family. These loved ones were precious companions and trusted partners. Although it can be hard to think about financial and other estate planning matters during this time, there are important matters that need to be sorted out.