Jennifer C. Rydberg, Attorney at Law
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November 2017 Archives

Under what circumstances is a trust revocable?

People in Washington who take steps in trust planning might not be entirely certain of the law when it comes to a "revocable" trust or an "irrevocable" trust. For those who are making their estate plans based on the trust and its status as revocable or irrevocable, it is imperative to understand what the law says about these matters. A trust must explicitly state that it is revocable. If it does not, then it cannot be revoked or amended.

Are wills really that important?

Washington State residents who are unsure as to whether they should have a will must be aware of the variety of issues that will come up and affect their loved ones and heirs should they not take the necessary steps for estate protection by crafting a will. Even those who do not have significant assets should have one. It is important to know the value of a will.

How are omitted spouses dealt with in wills?

When a Washington State resident crafts a will, it is done under the applicable circumstances at the time. If, for example, the person was unmarried, then the future spouse might not be listed in the document. Life changes will inevitably occur and people sometimes fail to change their wills quickly enough to reflect those changes. One example is if there is an omitted spouse or omitted domestic partner. The law has a way of handling such a circumstance should it come up and people who are left behind after the testator has died should be aware of it.

What if I need to craft a special needs trust?

For Washington families with a disabled loved one, there are often concerns as to what might happen to that person if no one from the family is left to either care for them or to ensure they are getting the care they need. This is when it might be wise to consider a special needs trust. Because the government and other entities are not obligated to provide anything more than baseline care to a disabled person, the family can put funds in a trust to prepare for the future of a disabled person. Done correctly, this can also allow that person to get other benefits he or she is entitled to.

Estate tax limit will rise in 2018

Many Washington State residents who are thinking about their estate plan will not be under the impression that the current debate regarding the estate tax will influence them and their heirs. They will frequently believe that the total value of their assets will not reach the level at which heirs will be taxed. In many cases, that is true. But in some, it is not. Keeping track of the amount that the Internal Revenue Service will exempt on an inheritance is important, especially with the current political climate centered around repealing the federal estate tax.

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