How Much Estate-Planning Documentation Do You Need?

Not everyone needs an extensive or expensive estate plan in Washington. However, there are basic documents — a will, a power of attorney and advance directive — that everyone should have regardless of age. The more assets you own, the more important it is to protect those assets and your beneficiaries with a comprehensive estate plan.

At BELL & DAVIS PLLC in Sequim, Washington, our attorneys provide estate planning to families of all ages and income levels on the Olympic Peninsula. Call us at 800-266-8296 to discuss your needs. Attorney Jeff Davis has an LL.M in taxation, which enables him to advise you about the tax consequences of your estate plan.

Documents Often Included In Estate Plans

An estate plan consists of several legal documents that are designed to meet specific goals. Those documents may include:

  • A last will and testament: Unless you want the government to decide who will get your property when you die, you should complete a last will and testament. You can also designate a guardian for your children if you and your spouse should die before your children reach age 18.
  • Trusts: There are many different types of trusts that you can use to accomplish specific goals. For example, some trusts can help you minimize estate taxes. Others can protect a beneficiary's inheritance from issues like divorce and bankruptcy.
  • Community property agreements: In Washington, married couples and registered domestic partners can avoid the time and expense of a probate proceeding by signing a community property agreement (CPA).
  • Power of attorney: You can name a trusted person as someone who can step into your shoes and make decisions for you if you become disabled.
  • Advance directives: You can save your family members the need to make heart-wrenching decisions about feeding tubes and artificial life support by completing an advance directive for health care, including a living will.

In addition to creating estate plans, our lawyers represent executors and family members in Washington probate proceedings.

To talk to an experienced and approachable attorney about your estate-planning needs, call 800-266-8296 or complete our contact form.