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.
Estate planning can be an overwhelming thing. There is a lot to consider. A good place to start the estate planning process is by drafting a will. If you need help creating a will, a Washington probate attorney may be able to help.
Losing a loved one is never easy. Divvying up his or her estate can be a pain, particularly if he or she failed to create an estate plan. In the state of Washington, probate may be necessary before assets can be passed on to beneficiaries, but it is not always required. Every case is different.
Losing a loved one is never an easy thing to go through, even if it is really for the best due to age or illness. When it happens, there will likely be the desire to get through the probate process as swiftly as possible. However, depending on how his or her will was written, it may be wise to slow things down and challenge the contents, which can be done in a Washington probate court.
If you have taken the time to create an estate plan, you probably think you are good to go with no reason to look at it again. The simple truth of the matter is this: estate plans often need updating. Failing to ensure an estate plan is up to date could mean it will end up sitting in a Washington probate court for some time after you die.