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.
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.
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.
There is an old saying familiar to many in Seattle: "nothing lasts forever." While it may seem like a tired cliché to you, it is nevertheless true as it relates to a trust. As the grantor of a trust, not only do you have some say as to how and when the trust comes to an end, you also have a responsibility to determine what happens afterward.
Residents in Washington State who have established estate plans in place might feel that they have done their work in this area and no longer need to be concerned about this part of their lives. While certainly, it is better to have a plan than to not have one at all, every estate plan is in need of review on occasion. The start of a new calendar year can be a great time to do just this.
If you have a son or daughter in Washington State with special needs, you know that there can be many additional costs and logistics associated with caring for them than with a child who does not have such needs. While you no doubt put a lot of time and effort into caring for your child today, you should also put time and effort into providing for their care after you die. There are a variety of considerations you should factor in when choosing how to do this.
If you are like many people in Washington State who have created a will or a trust several years ago, you might have focused on traditional elements like who will inherit your home and who will be the executor of your estate or the trustee of your trust. Depending on how long ago you created your estate plan, you may not have given much, if any, thought to online logins and accounts. Now is the time to review and include these elements in your plan.
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.
When friends or loved ones pass away, they may leave a will designating where they would like their property to go after their death. Once someone passes, the property and assets amassed during their life is distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will. The estate administrator named in the will is appointed to ensure the estate is distributed according to the deceased’s wishes. In some cases, however, the deceased may not name an estate administrator or there may not be a will at all. At this point, the friends or family of the deceased may decide to put the estate through the probate process.
If you have an aging parent in Washington State, you may well have to be making plans to help ensure they are properly cared for. This care can include many things from activities of daily living to ensuring their affairs are in good order. Even a relatively healthy parent should have a solid estate plan in place and review it regularly. This can help you and other heirs when they do eventually die.