Jennifer C. Rydberg, Attorney at Law
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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

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.

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.

Business succession planning is critical for Washington residents

Business owners in the Kent area have worked hard to grow and maintain their business. Business owners are proud of what they have accomplished, but if they haven't planned for what will happen in the future, everything can unravel after they die.

What does the probate process look like in Washington?

The word "probate: usually invokes horror stories from Washington residents. But, the truth is probate is not as bad as some would lead you to believe. For this reason, knowing the probate process may be helpful to ease the fears in families.

Living trusts

Most Kent area residents have heard the term living trusts but may have questions regarding what they are and who can benefit from them. Estate planning encompasses many different types of documents and solutions for every family. Estate planning is there to help protect a family's assets, their families and their futures.

What is estate administration?

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.

What happens to personal property when a tenant lives alone?

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.

What happens to an IRA after its owner dies?

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?

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