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.
Losing a loved one is never easy. However, certain situations can make it even more emotionally difficult to deal with such a loss. Shocking changes to a last will or an estate plan are a perfect example of complicating factors that can make grief even harder to process.
One of the last things that a parent in Washington State wants to imagine is not being there to raise their children. While statistically, most parents will live to see their kids graduate high school and go into their adulthood, there are plenty of situations in which this does not happen. Whether due to an accident or an illness, some of the time parents will die while their children are still young. If both parents die prematurely, it is then important that they had previously outlined who would raise their children on their behalf.
Many people in Washington State often find the process of probate confusing. This is true of people who are trying to make their own estate plans as well as it is of people who may be beneficiaries of another person's estate. Probate is a legal process but it is important to know that not every assets must pass through this process. Knowing the scope of probate can help people make decisions that are right for their estates and beneficiaries.
If you are thinking about creating a will or a trust or maybe updating your existing estate plan in Washington State, you may initially be focused on what should happen to your assets. Certainly, outlining your wishes for who will receive what from your estate is an important and very personal part of such a plan but it is only one component. Thinking about the debt you have and what will happen to that should also be on your list.
If you have a will, there are a number of instances where you may find that revision has become necessary, such as ending your marriage or one of your loved ones passing away. However, you may also need to go over your will if you are hurt in a work-related accident. There are a variety of reasons why the revision of your estate plan may be necessary following a work injury and it is pivotal to handle these estate-related matters in a timely manner. After all, ensuring that your assets are split up among beneficiaries in accordance with your desires is essential.
If you are one of the residents in Washington State who has taken the time and care to prepare a will or a trust, you may understandably feel good about getting your affairs in order and responsibly providing clarity about your wishes for your estate after you die. However, if you have stopped at the creation of a wall or a trust, you may want to think twice before celebrating completely as there are other things that may require your attention.
One of the main reasons why estate planning experts in Seattle encourage people to see to such matters before it is too late is to avoid the potential for conflict that can erupt over their assets once they are gone. Some might think that built-in safeguards such as state intestate succession guidelines will prevent mass confusion over the administration of an estate from ever happening. Yet simply because such guidelines are in place does not mean that there will not be motions and legal wranglings on the part of multiple parties that can end up turning an estate case into a virtual quagmire of chaos.
Estate planning is no exciting process for most Seattle residents. For some, the procedures involved in planning can become uncomfortable and stressful. Fortunately, however, there are successful ways to approach estate planning, as highlighted by the following financial discussions.