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22 September, 2012

What Single People Need To Know About Estate Planning

2020-05-22T19:54:42-07:00September 22nd, 2012|Categories: Estate Planning, Planning For Yourself|

Seattle has one of the highest rates of single-person households of any major city in the United States. If you're among this population, there are some important things about estate planning you need to know. Many people make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is necessary only if you have a spouse or children. In reality, estate planning is important for everyone. In addition to passing on your assets after death, estate plans are also vital tools for ensuring that you are protected if an injury or illness leaves you incapacitated. Here are a few ways in which ...


12 May, 2012

Pets and Probate

2020-05-22T19:55:12-07:00May 12th, 2012|Categories: Estate Planning, Pets, Planning For Yourself, Probate|

I am the proud human companion to two wonderful rescue dogs, a Labrador retriever named Kix and a Beagle named Baxter. For many of us, we consider our pets to be part of our family. Yet, oftentimes, pets are not considered when we make our estate plans. In Washington, pets are considered property and in the absence of a document directing their disposition, pets pass to your heirs. This is frequently not the option that pet owners prefer and, with a little bit of planning, you can take steps to ensure that your pet will be taken care of ...


24 March, 2012

What Estate Planning Documents Can Be Used To Carry Out My Wishes After My Death?

2020-05-22T19:55:27-07:00March 24th, 2012|Categories: Estate Planning, Planning For Yourself|

After a person dies, his assets will be distributed based upon beneficiary designations and documents such as a Will or Living Trust. Some married couples may have a Community Property Agreement. Probate of an estate may or may not be necessary. Beneficiary Designations (Or Payable-On-Death, Transfer On Death Designations) Investment accounts, IRAs, 401K accounts, annuities, and life insurance policies typically have beneficiary designations. Accounts are sometimes designated as Payable on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD). These designations take precedence over a Will. It is therefore very important to know what beneficiary designations have been made, and to keep ...


7 January, 2012

What Are The Essential Documents That I Need To Have In Place In Case I Become Incapacitated?

2020-05-22T19:55:41-07:00January 7th, 2012|Categories: End-Of-Life Care Planning, Estate Planning, Planning For Yourself|

All adults should have a Durable General Power of Attorney (sometimes called a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances), a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, (sometimes called a Health Care Proxy) and an Advance Directive to Physicians (or Living Will). Some people should also have a POLST - Physician's Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. Durable General Power Of Attorney This document, sometimes called a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, names a person to handle your financial affairs if you are incapacitated. You are the "principal" and the person you name is the "attorney-in-fact" or "agent." In ...


10 November, 2011

Give Your Loved Ones Important Information about You

2020-05-22T19:55:59-07:00November 10th, 2011|Categories: Estate Planning, Planning For Your Loved Ones, Planning For Yourself|

These days, it seems like everyone I know is interested in genealogy. In a recent post, we talked about creating a letter of instruction giving your loved ones the necessary information needed to handle your affairs. At the same time, why not write down the important information about you and your family that future generations would be interested in? Here is a suggested list, but feel free to add historical or personal information that you think others would want to know about you. My legal name Other names I have been known by Date of birth Social Security Number Place ...


30 May, 2011

Why Everyone Over the Age of Eighteen Needs a Durable Power of Attorney

2020-05-22T19:56:44-07:00May 30th, 2011|Categories: Estate Planning|

Recently, my family experienced firsthand why everyone over the age of eighteen needs a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances. Earlier this year, my twenty-two year old nephew was in a motorcycle accident. He spent about a month in the hospital, unconscious and on a ventilator. My sister, his mother, had asked him to sign a Durable Power of Attorney when he got the motorcycle. Because he had this document in place, she was able to pay his rent and other bills, work with the insurance company, and apply for disability for him while he was in the hospital. Thankfully, ...


27 November, 2010

Give Your Loved Ones the Information They Need

2020-05-22T19:57:24-07:00November 27th, 2010|Categories: End-Of-Life Care Planning, Estate Planning|

It seems that we get letters and solicitations everyday encouraging us to go "paperless." These letters are often from banks, credit card companies, and housing lenders. In the past, when a person passed away their loved ones would simply check their mail to find out what financial investments were out there or what bills were owed. As more of us choose to receive our monthly statements via email, it becomes that much more imperative to include a letter of instruction with your estate planning documents. A letter of instruction gives your loved ones the necessary information needed to handle your ...