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estate and probate litigation Archives

Removing an executor from their role

When you are party to an estate in Seattle, it may be easy to feel as though you have little control over your interests. At first glance, it may appear that you indeed do not given that it is the estate executor who handles its administration. Yet your interests must be managed exactly in the manner that the settlor specified in their will. This means that the executor essentially works for you and the estate's other beneficiaries. Many in your same position have come to us here at Riach Gese Jacobs PLLC in the past worried that the estates controlling their interests were being poorly managed. If you share the same concern, you may be happy to learn that you may be able to have an executor removed from their role. 

Planning to avoid estate taxes

One of the concerns weighing on those tasked with administering the estates of their family members or friends is the issue of taxes. Often it is assumed that an estate will automatically owe tax, yet that is not always the case. Indeed, according to information shared by the Internal Revenue Service, only 33,000 estate tax returns are projected to be filed in 2019. Given that the United Nations World Population Prospects reports shows that over 7,400 Americans die every day, one can see just how few estates actually have to deal with the estate tax. 

How can I remove a child from a will?

Disinheriting a child is not something to be taken lightly. Parents must enter into the decision fully informed to prevent serious legal battles after they're gone. Removing a child from one's will can also have lasting effects on a person's relationship, which is why The Balance recommends the following tips. 

Probate is not a foregone conclusion

During the estate planning process, you may wonder whether your survivors will have to endure probate after you are gone. At Riach Gese Jacobs, we understand your concern about a lengthy legal proceeding that may prevent your heirs from receiving their bequests in a timely fashion or even give rise to litigation. Fortunately, the state of Washington has taken steps to simplify the process, meaning that probate may not be necessary to the administration of your estate. 

Identifying the key responsibilities of an estate executor

When someone passes away, friends and family members of the deceased often experience heavy emotions. On top of the loss, there are a number of important matters that must be handled. The estate executor, sometimes referred to as the estate administrator, is responsible for making sure these matters are resolved. In some cases, the deceased will name an executor in the last will and testament.  If the deceased did not appoint one, however, the state may appoint someone to carry out those duties.

Getting around a no contest clause

It certainly may be disappointing if, after experiencing the death of a loved one in Seattle whose estate you anticipate being a party to, you discover that you are not included in their will (or at least not the to the degree you might have thought you would be). You wanting to question the validity of the will in such a scenario may be justified (particularly if the decedent had previously indicated you would be, but then ultimately were not). However, if the will contains a no contest clause, you challenging could affect any interest you already may in the estate. Many in this very situation have come to us here at Riach Gese Jacobs PLLC asking what to do. 

If your parents die broke, are you liable for their debts?

It is never easy to watch your parents age, but for many residents of Washington, this is an unavoidable reality they must face at some point or another. While losing a parent can prove immensely difficult simply because of the emotions involved with the loss, you may find that you face additional hurdles after a parent dies if you are also in charge of managing that parent’s estate.

What you should know before challenging a will

At Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC, in Seattle, Washington, we represent numerous clients involved in various forms of estate litigation. Consequently, we know that one of the most distressful situations that can arise is a will challenge that can tear a family apart. Therefore, before you challenge someone’s will, you need to be sure that you have valid grounds for doing so.

Who gets what if you die without a will?

You might believe that by avoiding stipulating who receives your assets when you die, you instead leave the decision to your heirs. This saves you from being blamed for favoring certain heirs over others. Unfortunately, the administration of the estates of those who die intestate (without a will) ie left to the state to manage. Thus, anyone who you might want to receive assets from your estate whose relationship to you is not addressed in the state's intestate succession laws would not be included amongst your heirs. 

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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

Phone: 425-329-7857
Phone: 425-776-3191
Fax: 425-775-0406
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