The good news is that there are lots of attorneys in Seattle who can help you with your will and other estate planning needs. Picking the right attorney for you depends on several factors and ultimately comes down to personality fit. Because you have so many choices of who to go with, no one should have to “settle for” an attorney they do not like or would not recommend to someone else.
Examples of Situations Where Gifting in 2012 Can Reduce Estate Taxes This post is a follow up to my post earlier this week on the unique opportunities available in 2012 to reduce your estate tax liabilities through gifting strategies. I have included a few examples below to illustrate how individuals or couples might be able …View full post
Due to current federal and Washington state gift and estate tax laws, along with uncertainty with respect to future changes in these tax rules, this year represents a potential once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many Washington families to reduce their taxable estate and pass on more of their assets to their beneficiaries. If you are a Washington …View full post
I would like to share a few local Washington state news articles related to estate planning and death taxes. I have talked about the current estate tax system for both Washington State Estate Taxes as well as the IRS imposed federal Estate Taxes in previous posts, but in summary, the current exemptions are $5 million …View full post
Estate Plan Check-Up It is always a good idea to review your existing estate plan on a regular basis to ensure that it still accomplishes your goals and reflects your current situation. Even if you don’t have a will yet, you still probably have an “estate plan” of sorts – retirement accounts, life insurance, living …View full post
The examples provided below are a follow up to a previous post regarding the current estate tax laws applicable to Washington State residents. The previous post can be found here.
The Good News: Beneficial Changes to Federal Law for 2011 and 2012
After months of negotiations following the lapse of the Federal estate tax for 2010, Congress finally got around to enacting new estate tax rules at the end of last year. On December 17, 2010, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 was enacted which dramatically increased the number of estates exempt from Federal estate and gift taxes.
Like any customer service role, a lawyer should strive to make the provision of legal services as easy, painless and convenient as possible to the end consumer. I think many attorneys lose sight of the fact that we are in the service industry and fail to provide satisfactory customer service to their clients. One way to improve upon the quality of legal customer service provided to my clients is through the use of technology, which has the added benefit of reducing my costs and thus the fees I charge my clients. By embracing change and utilizing technology successfully (not things that the risk-averse lawyer set are known for) I believe that I can provide a level of convenience to my clients that is often a huge deterrent to estate planning, especially among the ultra-busy younger parent crowd (a group of people who increasingly need estate planning services but often fail to or delay seeking it out).
A living will, or health care directive, is a legal document which allows you to express your desires regarding end-of-life medical treatment. Whether or not you would like a living will and what it should specify are very important decisions that should be part of any estate planning process. Many people are familiar with some of the key features of a living will thanks to popular news stories or TV dramas (Law & Order, ER, etc.) such as “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders or naming another to make health care decisions for you in case you are unable to do so, but there are many more issues to consider.
It is one of those things that has been on your to-do list for months, perhaps since you got married or had a child or bought a house: time to get or update your will. Similar to getting life insurance, estate planning is one of those things we know we need to do but keep pushing it off. Who wants to think about their own death let alone plan for it? Who wants the hassle of figuring out how to do it yourself or finding the right attorney?
Frankly, just about everyone should have a will. A will allows for your family and friends to deal with your estate easily and as stress-free as possible during a difficult time. A will is a simple and concise way to inform those you love how you want your assets distributed and protects your interests even after you are gone.
Hello and welcome to my blog. I intend to periodically post information/articles/anecdotes about the law in Washington as it relates to estate planning and probate. I will also be using this blog as a discussion about my practice, starting on my own and utilizing technology to reduce costs, broaden access to affordable legal advice and help reduce waste (in regards to both time and natural resources). Here is a little about myself and stay tuned for more posts.