The attorneys at Genesis assist clients with a range of estate planning and elder law matters, from the drafting of simple wills to more complete estate planning. Full estate planning is a relatively inexpensive means of protecting yourself and your loved ones against many of life’s risks and inevitable outcomes. For example, you can indicate who would be best suited to care for your children in your absence, and establish who would make healthcare and financial decisions for you if you were to suffer long-term incapacitation. Without properly executed documents on these subjects, loved ones often spend tens of thousands of dollars litigating these matters, depleting needed family resources and damaging relationships.
There are a number of estate planning instruments our lawyers can advise you about and prepare for you, beginning with a will. The following are some typical documents we help clients execute:
- Wills. Wills indicate how your belongings will be distributed upon your death and allow you to appoint the guardian of your choosing to watch over your minor children when you are gone.
- Powers of Attorney. Durable powers of attorney allow you to appoint someone to oversee your financial affairs or make crucial medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. Choosing the proper person to act on your behalf when you can’t act for yourself can mean the difference between having your wishes met and having important decisions made by someone who may not know your preferences.
- Community Property Agreements. Washington is a community property state, which means that, generally, any property acquired during your marriage is owned by both spouses as a marital community. However, property that is obtained prior to the marriage or as a gift or inheritance made to only one spouse may be the property of that spouse alone. A community property agreement allows the couple to decide together how their property should be treated. This can have important effects regarding where property ends up and how it is taxed after a spouse’s death.
- Trusts. Trusts are not as common as other estate planning documents, but they can be an invaluable means of providing for the care of loved ones, ensuring privacy, and limiting estate tax liability.
The estate planning attorneys at Genesis Law Firm can help you select from these and other documents for your estate plan, and customize the documents so your desires will be realized. They can also assist with related court action if the need arises, such as in guardianship and probate cases.
Contact Genesis for an experienced, knowledgeable, and caring estate planning lawyer in Everett or Seattle. Interpreters are available upon request, including free Mandarin Chinese interpretation. Cost-saving technologies allow Genesis to perform estate planning for less per hour yet without sacrificing quality.