So many people think they do not need an estate plan or a Will because they are not rich. Well this simply isn’t true. Everyone can benefit from a detailed estate plan. Here are just a few of the many reasons everyone should consult an estate planning attorney, regardless of wealth.
Arguably, one of the most important documents you can create is a Durable Power of Attorney. This document appoints someone(s) to manage your financial and medical affairs if you become mentally incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself. Think in instances of sever dementia or brain injury from a car accident. If you didn’t have someone appointed to take care of your affairs, you could end up in a very costly and time consuming Guardianship to have the court appoint someone to manage your assets and health care decision on your behalf with court supervision.
Protecting the future for your loved ones:
Guardian Appointment – If you don’t appoint someone it could be up to the courts to decide who takes custody of your children in they are under age 18.
Minor Inheritance – Without providing a Trust for children under 18, their assets will likely be placed into a blocked account, controlled by the courts or given to whomever the court decides to manage for your child, with no checks or balances.
When you die in Washington State without a Will, the state laws will dictate what happens to your property. If you are married with minor children, then most of your assets will likely go to your spouse. If your spouse remarries, then there is no guarantee that your children will be protected financially down the line.
Dealing with non-probate assets:
Even if the state statutes divide your property how you wish, are you aware of what your non-probate assets will be treated? Many times they operate outside of the state law. Things like how your home is titled, your life insurance beneficiary, and bank account owners can circumvent the laws and it is important to make sure those items are going exactly where you want them to go.
Showing you care:
Death is already hard enough on family and friends. Why make it more difficult by leaving loved ones confused and alone in how your estate should be settled. Let them know your wishes and plans concisely so they have one less thing to worry about. Setting up a detailed estate plan and checklist for survivors can be one of the most appreciated inheritances you leave your loved ones.
To find out more about estate planning, and to talk with experienced estate planning attorneys in the Seattle area, contact Dimension Law Group today.
Renton Office: 234 SW 43rd St, Suite MA, Renton, WA 98057
Seattle Office: 1546 NW 56th Street, Seattle, WA 98107
Disclaimer: No information in this post is considered legal advice or constitutes an attorney client relationship. The content provided here is for informational purposes only.