Everett Estate Planning Attorney Provides Effective Solutions for Clients
Washington State trusts and estates lawyer devises effective strategies
If you are concerned about what will happen to your family’s finances after you are gone, it is worthwhile to consult an experienced estate planning lawyer. At the Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett, Washington, my family-oriented practice offers estate planning services applicable to a wide variety of personal and family circumstances.
What does estate planning do?
Estate planning involves a variety of legal tools and methods you can adopt in advance to provide for your family or accomplish other goals after your death. These include:
- Living wills
- Joint ownership of assets with right of survivorship
- Community property agreements
- Payable-on-death designations for bank accounts
- Transferable-on-death registration for securities
- Transferable-on-death deeds for real estate
- Succession planning for your business
- Powers of attorney in the event you become incapacitated
- Gifts to your heirs during your lifetime
- Strategies to minimize tax liability and protect assets from creditors
I can advise you on any methods that might suit your needs and implement the ones that you select.
How do trusts work?
In a trust, at least one trustee holds and manages property for the benefit of at least one beneficiary. The trust is set up and governed by a legal document executed by a settlor, who supplies the trust assets. Trustees have a fiduciary duty to act in their beneficiaries’ interests. Establishing a trust requires great care, because of the legal complexities that can arise. It’s therefore important to have a well-qualified estate planning attorney help you do it. I have the knowledge and skill to determine what kind of trust is right for you and set it up.
What is a living trust?
A living trust is one you create that takes effect while you are still alive. When you set one up, you can name yourself as trustee and beneficiary during your lifetime and name a successor trustee who will be responsible for distributing the trust assets to your successor beneficiaries on your death. Because you don’t own the trust assets in your personal capacity, its assets are not part of your personal estate and can therefore be passed to others upon your death without the delay and expense of probate. I can discuss this option in more detail and help you set up an effective living trust, if you are so inclined.
What is a living will?
Once you become incapacitated, it might be too late to advise your health care providers on how to handle healthcare decisions. A living will allows you to set parameters on life-sustaining treatment options. You might also choose to create a power of attorney document that authorizes a trusted friend or relative to act as your agent if you cannot communicate. I can prepare a living will and power of attorney to achieve this end.
What kind of trust disputes can occur?
There are several reasons why a trust might give rise to disputes, such as:
- Questions about the validity of the trust itself
- Disagreements about the interpretation of the trust document’s provisions
- Allegations that the trustee breached their fiduciary duty or acted negligently in the performance of their duties
If you are involved in a trust dispute, I can provide you with effective representation. I will try to resolve the matter through negotiation or mediation, if possible, but if that proves impossible, I will advocate effectively in court, no matter how complex the issues might seem.
Contact an accomplished Washington trusts and estates lawyer for a consultation
If you need any estate planning assistance in Snohomish or Skagit County, you can rely on the Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett to advise and assist you. To schedule a free 10-minute phone consultation, please call 866-360-8050 or contact me online.