Stuart Scott, the former ESPN announcer, died of cancer in early 2015. Ever since his death, his daughters, co-trustees, ex-wife and Disney have all been fighting about his estate. The probate process has been going on for nearly five years now, and there is concern about how much will actually be left when all the legal proceedings are done. There is a lot that Washington residents can learn from this case.
Living in a digital world, moving from paper to electronic documents seems to be a natural progression. There are times when doing so, however, may not sit quite right with some people. Electronic wills are a good example here, and there are those in Washington and elsewhere who can make a case for or against allowing them.
Anyone who has been chosen to close out a loved one's estate may feel overwhelmed at the task. Being an executor is not an easy job, especially if it is something one has never done before. This week, this column will discuss the role of the executor in the state of Washington and what a probate law attorney can do to help those in this position.
Estate planning is not something that everyone does. It is something most know they should do, but they just never get around to it. Washington residents who do take the time to get it done may not be sure where they should keep their estate planning documents. At the end of the day, if they cannot be found, it can cause serious probate issues down the line.
Some things in life are easy to keep putting off. They may not seem essential, or they may be things that you want to avoid doing. Estate planning is one of those things that most adults in Washington, and the United States in general, put off until it is too late. When it comes to matters of probate, it is best not to put off what can be done today to protect oneself, one's assets and one's family. Why does having an estate plan matter?
Did you recently lose a loved one? Has the probate process come to a standstill due to disputes about how his or her estate should be distributed? Are you worried that this means drawn-out court proceedings will be in your future? In the state of Washington, it may be possible to avoid litigation entirely by requesting the disputes be resolved through the mediation process.
Estate planning is not necessarily easy. There are a lot of estate planning products out there, some of which may prove useful to one's situation and others that will not. Many Washington residents have heard about trusts, but many are confused about whether they need one. The truth is, not everyone needs to set up a trust, but for those with children, young or old, it is a great way to ensure their kids get the assets intended for them.
Everyone dies, so it would make sense that everyone would take the time to plan ahead and at least create a will so that their assets and loved ones are protected. Unfortunately, most adults in Washington and across the country do not have wills. When these individuals die, what happens to their estates will be determined in probate court.
A power of attorney -- what is it and is it a good thing to have? The truth is, numerous Washington residents can benefit from having POAs, but many people are confused as to what these documents can actually do to help them or where they can get one. A probate law attorney can answer any questions one might have about POAs and help anyone who wants to create one.
In a previous post, this column addressed creating a will. Washington residents who have already done that some time ago may think that their job is done. The truth is, there may be reasons to rethink and update a will. A probate law attorney can help with that.