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.
For married couples in the state of Washington there are many estate planning options. One option available for married couples and domestic partners is a community property agreement.
The death of a loved one can be an emotional time. Many people going through the estate planning process in Washington know about probate. Probate is the court process that supervises the transfer of money and property, identification of heirs and payment of debts when someone dies. Probate can be a significant cost for an estate and there are ways, through careful planning, that probate can be avoided or significantly reduced.
Preparing for the future it common for Washington State residents and those across the nation. Whether it is for the short-term or the long-term, taking steps to protect the future and finances of an individual and their family is important. When a will is constructed during a person's lifetime, the details of the document could unexpectedly created issues during the estate administration. The probate process could be complicated if estate planning is not done properly, so it is crucial an individual carefully and adequately drafts the document.
One thing many Kent residents tend to avoid thinking about is death. After some of the recent malevolent tragedies to plague our nation, one can rarely know when to expect death. Since the topic is so morose, many people tend to avoid thinking about what will happen to their loved ones upon their demise. When it comes to estate planning, numerous individuals have left their family and loved ones to the cumbersome process of probate court to determine how their assets and property will be divided.
Effective comprehensive estate planning generally requires the advice and services of a licensed attorney with the experience to recognize the benefits or problems that may arise around individual circumstances. Fortunately, addressing the legal aspects of estate planning need not be overly stressful or expensive. The more difficult challenges in formulating an estate plan tend to be choices that need to be made on a purely personal basis. One of those difficult choices can be the selection of who to nominate as the executor of your estate.
As area families prepare for holiday get-togethers, it may be a good time for every Kent resident to think about giving the gift of advance consideration to matters that loved ones will need to deal with after your death. The relatively easy task of tidying up some personal details can help simplify estate administration and reduce the complexity of probate proceedings.
Many Kent business owners may hope and expect that ownership and operation of the family business will be passed on to children after retirement or in the event of death. While in some cases business interests will pass smoothly to children under default probate laws, a number of different factors can lead to unexpected and undesirable results. Business owners who take the time to establish a solid succession plan can enjoy greater certainty about the future of their businesses and potentially take advantage of opportunities to reduce inheritance tax liabilities at the same time.
Images of Superstorm Sandy's battering of New York and other east coast regions last month may have touched the hearts of many Kent residents. Amidst the scenes of flooding and lost homes, one of the stories that may have been overlooked involved the tough choices many residents had to face when it came to the fate of their pets.
As Kent readers may know from previous discussions, estate planning for same-sex couples in Washington requires considerations above and beyond those necessary to effectuate the wishes of opposite-sex couples. The suggestion that everyone consider implementing a simple and effective estate plan regardless of wealth holds even more truth for same-sex partners. Fortunately, even though state law does not afford same-sex partners the same default benefits that it grants to opposite-sex couples, an experienced estate planning professional can help with a few easy steps that can go a long way toward ensuring the well being of same-sex families.