Among the many reasons why people in Seattle may put off the process of estate planning is due to a fear of upsetting their beneficiaries because of their decisions. Yet the alternative is putting the matter completely at the mercy of state law. Those who are concerned that their estate decisions may prompt discord may want to consider including an added degree of enforceability to their wills. This can be done by including language that amounts to a "no contest" clause.
Unequal bequests can wreak havoc on a family when they read the will. Children typically expect that assets will get divided evenly. Three children all expect the same amount of money, for example, or they expect to share ownership of real estate.
If you are one of the many people in Washington State who has not only created but regularly maintained and updated your estate plan, you should feel quite good about this. It can provide great peace of mind knowing that you have your affairs in order. However, have you also taken the time and made the effort to discuss your plan with your family members? If you have not done this, your estate and your family could be headed for trouble you would not want to imagine.
Seattle residents may be counseled to only consider those that they completely trust to serve as their executors or personal representatives. While that advice may be sound, it means that many may often be asked to serve in such roles that are not familiar with the state's probate code or the estate administration process in general. Such knowledge may not be a requirement to serve an executor (there are plenty of resources available to assist one in the execution of such duties), yet it may prove beneficial should unique situations arise that test legal procedural limitations.
When people hear the term "elder abuse," their thoughts often are turned to cases where elderly people who are in a vulnerable state are abused physically and emotionally. However, elder abuse can also be sexual and financial. When family members in Seattle are entrusted with making financial decisions for elderly loved ones, they are under the obligation of the law to conduct their decisions in a way that would have satisfied their incapacitated family member. Failure to do so can be damaging to relationships and also result in costly legal consequences.