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Kent Estate Administration and Probate Law Blog

Anthony Bourdain's case has lessons for estate planning

The recent passing of famous chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain has once again put estate planning in the news. Kent area residents know that planning ahead for tragic events can help a family when they are dealing with grief. Anthony Bourdain's legacy is unique and his story offers interesting estate planning tidbits that someone who is thinking about their estate and setting up a trust may find helpful.

Long term care planning and healthcare directives

Although thinking about what would happen if you suffer from a medical crisis may be difficult, it is important to have plans in place in case the unthinkable happens. Medical care advance directives can help a family understand what their loved one would want and can help make this stressful time easier.

Cryptocurrency and estate planning

Kent area residents who think estate planning is just for old people and creating a will, think again. Estate planning has evolved into much more and is constantly adapting with new matters that need to be protected. Cryptocurrency is a newer type of currency that has advantages for many different types of people and is critical to include in an estate plan.

Business owners need to consider business succession planning

There are many small business owners in the Kent area. These are important businesses for the Washington economy, creating jobs and offering valuable resources for residents. Business owners have worked hard to grow their business into a successful endeavor. Most business owners want their business to remain for several generations to come and a successful business succession plan can make all the difference when it comes to estate administration.

Planning for the care of your pets

Many families in the Kent area own a pet. Pets are valuable members of our families and we treat them as such. If a pet owner becomes incapacitated or dies before their pet, the pets can be left in limbo. Planning ahead for this situation can be important for estate administration.

No one really wants to think about what will happen when they die. It's not a pleasant topic of conversation. But, planning ahead for this occasion is important and can be reassuring for families that there is a plan in place. There are certain strategies a person can use to care for their pets in case something happens. A person can leave money to a trusted friend to ensure the pet is taken care of.

Four basic items contained in an estate plan

Many Kent area residents have taken the time to create an estate plan. An estate plan is critical to help a family specify where their assets should go, designate guardians and powers of attorney. For those who haven't created an estate plan yet, there are four basic items that should usually be included in every basic estate plan.

Everyone should probably have a basic estate plan completed for their family's needs. A basic estate plan usually consists of four items. The first is a revocable living trust. This is a document that covers who inherits what and ensures an estate will not need to go through probate. The creator of the trust can change it or revoke it at any time. The second document is a will. This would cover any assets that are not included in the trust, as well as any assets that are not jointly owned. The third element a person should consider is a power of attorney. This is a person designated to manage a person's property if they become incapacitated in some way. The final element a family should consider is a medical directive. This is a document that specifies who should be in charge of a person's medical decisions if they become incapacitated and can also spell out what medical interventions they want done to them.

How can estate planning protect a pet?

Many people in Washington have a cat, dog, bird or other animal companion. Having a pet can bring much joy to a person's life, as our pets provide us with companionship, comfort and unconditional love. With this in mind, as a person ages, they may have concerns about what will happen if their pet outlives them.

Legally, pets are considered to be an asset. So, while a pet may be a beloved family member, a person cannot simply leave money to their pet in their will. However, there are estate planning options for pet owners who wish to ensure that their pet is cared for should they become incapacitated or pass away.

Why are people scared of estate planning?

Many Kent residents have taken the time to create their estate plan. They understand how important it is to plan for not only the transfer of their assets, but their health care, guardianships and property should they become incapacitated. But, many people are scared of estate planning and what it may mean.

There are several reasons why a person would not want to create an estate plan. One is that they're afraid of facing the fact that one day they will die. This is not a pleasant topic, so it is understandable that thinking about one's mortality is not something people rush into. Another reason why someone fears creating an estate plan is that they think they will have to give up control. Most people want to control their assets until they're no longer able to, which is an approach estate planning can help a person with.

Planning for unexpected life events

No matter how well Kent area residents plan for the unexpected, they can still run into issues. Thinking about what would happen if a person unexpectedly dies or becomes incapacitated is not a pleasant topic of conversation. But, when a family does not plan ahead, it can turn into a serious matter.

A proper basic estate plan is invaluable when an emergency arises. If a person develops a medical or mental disability it can be a serious situation in which a person's medical needs and financial needs may not be met. If there is a properly drafted power of attorney, that person can step in immediately to help. Or, if a person has a trust, a person's financial matters will be handled. A health care power of attorney is also important to make sure a person's medical needs are being handled according to their wishes.

What is the difference between a will and a living will?

Thinking about the future can be both an inspiring and fearful. One has hopes for the future, but at the same time, individuals are often faced with more serious thoughts about the future, such as what will happen after his or her passing. Drafting an estate plan might be an important step to take, but it is one that is vital. It can include necessary documents that spell out your wishes regarding who gets what and your end of life wishes.

What is the difference between a will and a living will? A will is a legal document that specifies how the property and assets of an individual will be distributed after his or her death. A living will, which is also known as an advance healthcare directive that contains the instructions regarding medical treatment in the event he or she becomes incapacitated. Both of these documents are binding; however, the purpose of them varies drastically.

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