Helping you protect the things you value for the people you value most.
Nobody wants to think about estate planning for one simple reason: it is a plan for what happens when you die or become incapacitated. But think about this—do you want to leave your family guessing about your final wishes or what kind of medical care you want should you become disabled? Do you want your assets going to the wrong people? Do you want to pay unnecessary taxes? Most of all, do you really want the courts to decide how and to whom your assets will be distributed?
Let’s assume you do not want any of these things to happen. They are the very reasons why an estate plan is so important. Even if your estate is modest, you still owe it to yourself and those you care about to make sure you have a plan in place. It means you have organized your documents, acted to reduce conflict, stress, and uncertainty, and helped provide for your loved ones’ future. In short, creating an estate plan is an act of love for the people you care about.
Why it is important to work with a qualified Spokane County estate planning attorney.
Just as you would not have an orthopedic surgeon perform a heart procedure, there are good reasons why you should work with an attorney with skill and deep knowledge of estate planning in Washington. Laws change and it is imperative that your attorney has a focus on estate planning and related areas to keep up with both federal and state developments that may have a significant impact on your estate plan. This is especially important in regard to estate taxes. An experienced estate planning attorney can help:
- Make sure you have the best legal instruments for your situation;
- Ensure that your assets are protected;
- Minimize your taxes;
- Periodically modify or update your estate plan to reflect changes in laws or circumstances; and
- Protect your family.
We make sure that you get an estate plan that meets your goals now, and in the future.
An estate plan is comprised of legal documents that spell out instructions for your medical treatment should you become incapacitated, determines how and to whom you wish your assets to go, and ensures privacy. An estate plan generally includes:
- A Will: The most basic instrument in an estate plan, it sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property upon your death.
- A Medical Directive (Living Will): This legally binding document expresses your wishes regarding whether you want or do not want life-sustaining or “heroic” medical care if you become terminally ill or are permanently unconscious.
- Power of Attorney: This gives a person you name the legal authority to act on your behalf. A Durable Power of Attorney gives the person you name the authority to manage your property and/or make health care-related decisions for you should you become incapacitated.
- Trusts: Developing a trust allows you to designate a person (a trustee) who will administer your property or assets for the benefit of your beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts are powerful instruments that allow you to put conditions on the distribution of your assets after your death, may reduce taxes, help avoid probate, and may protect your assets from creditors or lawsuits. There are many types of trusts, and estate planning attorney Katharine Tate can discuss which ones will be of greatest benefit to you.
Get the peace of mind that comes from having a well-crafted estate plan.
To learn more about how we can help you, please call us at (509) 994-1599 or contact us online to set up a time to discuss your needs and options. We serve clients throughout Spokane County and surrounding areas.