Everett Wills Attorney Protects Clients’ Legacies
Compassionate Washington State lawyer eases concerns about families’ futures
Most of us are concerned about our families’ futures after we die. The Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett offers knowledgeable and careful counsel for Washington residents in Snohomish and Skagit Counties who are looking to create a will that addresses these concerns.
Why should I have a will?
A will is a document by which the person making it, also known as the “testator,” specifies how their property, or estate, is distributed after death. Even if you plan to dispose of all your property by some other estate planning method, a will is a necessary backup in case plans change or some assets are not covered. If you die without a will, the state’s intestacy statute automatically determines which family members get how much of your estate, regardless of your preferences. You can trust me to prepare a will that averts that possibility.
What should be included in my will?
What you should include in your will depends on what you want it to accomplish. It is common to include directions on:
- Who inherits specific property items and the remainder of your estate
- The identity of the executor, who administers the estate
- Guardianship and financial support, such as trusts, for minor children
I can review your needs and objectives with you and draft a will that satisfies as many of them as possible.
Changing your will
Any number of new circumstances might make it advisable for you to revise your existing will. You may revoke your will at any time, by either destroying it or making a new one. If your will needs only minor changes, you can also make a codicil that merely amends the relevant language. It’s wise to review your estate plan periodically, and whenever a major change occurs in your life, to make sure the contents of your existing will are current. I am always ready to help my clients keep their wills updated.
Probate proceedings and will disputes
Once a testator dies, their most recent will should be admitted to probate, which is the court procedure by which a will’s validity is determined the instructions within it are carried out. Sometimes, family members or others might contest the validity of a will. Potential grounds for doing so include:
- Lack of capacity — A testator who is not of sound mind or who is less than 18 years old may not make a valid will.
- Defects in execution — If your will is not properly signed and witnessed in accordance with state law, it is not enforceable.
- Undue influence — The will might be invalid if a person improperly influences the testator to gain an unfair benefit.
- Fraud — If someone gains an unfair benefit from the will by misleading the testator, it might invalidate the will.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the probate court decides the dispute. My firm can defend the wills I prepare during probate litigation.
What is a living will?
A living will is a document that directs how your health care providers should handle decisions on life-prolonging treatment when you cannot express your wishes. Together with a durable power of attorney that appoints a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated, these documents help ensure that your intentions are honored regardless of the circumstances. I can prepare an appropriate living will and power of attorney to help you meet this need.
Contact an accomplished Washington wills lawyer for a consultation
If you need to prepare, update or enforce a will, you can trust the Law Office of Robert N. Getz, P.S. in Everett, Washington to help you. To schedule a free 10-minute phone consultation, please call 866-360-8050 or contact me online.