Wills And Estate Planning
Drafting Wills And Planning Your Estate
Estate planning is often misunderstood to be a tool for only the elderly or extremely wealthy. In reality, there are a variety of situations in which a person should have at least some estate planning documents. At Cooney Law Offices, we will give you an honest recommendation of those documents that address your particular family and financial situation at best.
If you fall within one or more of the following categories, you should consider consulting with an attorney, and here’s why:
- You have minor children. If you have minor children, what will happen to them if both parents pass away or become permanently incapacitated? With proper estate planning, you can designate a trusted relative or friend to serve as guardian of your child or children and assume the responsibility of raising them.
- You have a child, grandchild or other relative with special needs. Government-funded programs such as Medicaid, Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have strict asset/income guidelines for benefit holders. Be sure to discuss your estate planning options with an attorney so you don’t unintentionally disqualify a child, grandchild or other relative from receiving needed benefits.
- You have a nontraditional/blended family (stepchildren, unmarried couples with children, etc.). In the absence of a will or other estate planning tools, Washington law provides legally mandated rules of inheritance. These laws may or may not conform to your wishes and particular family circumstances.
- You are a single, divorced or widowed adult. As an unmarried adult, it is particularly important to use durable powers of attorney so that someone you trust can make medical decisions for you and/or manage your finances if you are unable to do so.
- You own property in another state. Without the proper estate plan, your heirs may face multiple, potentially costly and time-consuming probates. Consult with an attorney about your options.
- You don’t want to stay on life support. Hospital policies, family disagreements or other circumstances may keep you on life support when you would have chosen to “pull the plug.” Ensure that this doesn’t happen by signing a health care directive.
- You have pets that you want to be provided for after you die. Even though you consider Fido part of the family, legally he’s just another piece of property. If you want to make sure he’s provided for, you’ll need to plan for this.
We Will Do What Is Right For You
Our firm has served the legal needs of local families for more than 70 years, and we are ready to provide for yours too. We want to understand your individual situation to help plan for whatever the future may hold for you and your loved ones. Remember that with estate planning, it’s important to be proactive. If you wait until you need it, it’s usually too late.