As one of the longest established firms in Washington’s Tri-Cities area, we offer our clients comprehensive legal representation at a number of different junctures in their lives. Helping our clients plan for when they are no longer around is an important part of the work we do here at Leavy Schultz Davis.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys work with individuals and families who want to ensure their medical wishes are respected and that their loved ones are cared for when they are no longer around to care for them.
Estate Planning in Washington
The term “estate planning” covers a wide spectrum of legal and personal considerations, although the goal with estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your assets pass to the appropriate individuals or organizations after your death. While none of us enjoy thinking about estate planning and confronting our own mortality, planning for when you are no longer here often eliminates a lot of the anxiety around this eventuality.
Wills in Washington
The most familiar aspect of estate planning is definitely the will. In the simplest terms a will is a document that explains your wishes for the distribution of your assets at the time of your death. Wills can range from a simple handwritten statement to very complex legal documents depending on the nature of the assets and the people involved.
Trusts in Washington
Trusts are legal entities you can create to protect all or some of your assets either during or after your life. By placing your assets in a trust you may be able to control who has access to those assets after your death, you may also be able to benefit from certain tax reduction strategies and can control how the assets are used by the trust’s beneficiaries.
The laws governing trusts in Washington state we drastically changed in 2012. If you have a trust or administer a trust that was created before 2012 and have not met with an attorney since the laws changed, we strongly encourage you to contact our office to understand how the changes in the law affect your particular situation.
Medical Planning in Washington
As medical technology continues to advance in the Unites States the need has arisen for us to communicate how we would like to be cared for and who we would like to make decisions for us if we are unable to do so ourselves. In Washington, many people choose to create an advanced directive that contains both a health care directive (a living will) and a durable power of attorney for medical care. The health care directive provides guidance on the types of medical interventions you want or don’t want depending on a number of scenarios. The power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted family member or friend to make medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so yourself.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine what kinds of estate planning documents you need to prepare to protect your wishes and ensure your assets are handled appropriately. If you do not have an estate plan or have not updated your plan within the last three years, we encourage you to call us and make an appointment with one of our estate planning lawyers in Kennewick today. It is time to protect yourself and your loved ones and we can help!