Mercer Island Estate Planning Attorney
Everyone has people and assets that they care about and that they would like to see taken care of once they are gone.
That is what estate planning is all about.
When you work with an estate planning attorney, they are able to assist you with determining how your assets and real property will be distributed, as well as taking statements for other aspects of end of life care or arrangements for handling your passing. Most people are familiar with the concept of a will, in that it details how a person who has passed away wishes to disburse their remaining belongings and assets.
Estate planning should be done early enough that you are able to make a clear and rational plan. Mental capacities may degrade with age, or other ailments may impair your ability to make your wishes known later in life. Having an estate plan ready not only protects you and your assets after you’ve passed on, it also provides protection from people or entities’ attempts to capitalize on your wealth during your lifetime.
A survey shows that only 42% of American adults actually have estate planning documents right now. This means that more than half of American adults don’t have the power to minimize the probate process, probate expenses, delays, and issues concerning probate records privacy. We at McGuire Law are passionate about protecting you and your assets at all times through bulletproof estate plans. Our team of attorneys who specialize in the practice of estate planning law are ready to give you the help, guidance, and advice that you need to get started.
Call McGuire Law at (206) 580-4828 for a Consultation!
Benefits of Estate Planning
Estate planning here in Mercer Island is surrounded by myths and misinformation, which probably explains why many people neglect this aspect of financial planning. Among these myths are that estate planning is only for the super-rich, that it only protects one’s assets after they’ve died, and that it’s easier, quicker, or cheaper to let one’s surviving heirs make the decisions. But that’s exactly what they are, myths!
Contrary to what you may think about it, here are some reasons why estate planning is actually a good move to make:
- It is beneficial to everyone, not just to the super-rich. Sure your estate may not be as large as other people’s, but it’s an estate nonetheless, and it deserves to be protected under Washington and federal laws. You can invoke this protection through estate planning instruments such as wills, trusts, and power of attorney.
- It protects your assets during your lifetime. It is possible that, before you pass, you may face challenges and attempts to capitalize on your estate or assets. To legally protect these assets, estate planning allows you to remove your name from the assets and transfer them to trusts, limited liability entities, or other similar vehicles that are protected by the law.
- It helps you minimize the length of the process, delays, and expenses. Having an estate plan means being able to speed up the probate process that would otherwise take at least a year on average. It also helps you avoid unnecessary expenses on costly probate proceedings as well as estate and gift taxes.
Estate planning is an uncomfortable and even scary topic for many people, but it definitely is a practical one. McGuire Law is equipped and experienced to answer whatever questions or concerns you may have about the whole process. We understand that no one-size-fits-all estate plan exists. It has to be professionally prepared according to the assets that you have, the situation you are in, the plans you have in mind, and many other factors.
Our Mercer Island probate lawyers here at McGuire Law are fluent in both English and Korean, ready to help you through the process or protecting your assets and safeguarding your future.
Trusts are tools used in estate planning that help in managing the distribution of a person’s assets by transferring the benefits and obligations connected to it to different people.
This is done when the owner (the trustor) transfers legal ownership of a property to a person or institution (the trustee); the trustee is then given the responsibility to manage the property for the benefit and solely in the best interest of the beneficiary. Trusts allow the trustors to specify the conditions for the distribution of the property or benefits. This means that they can arrange that the payment of benefits be spread over a particular period of time and not be given all at once.
Trusts can either be living trusts or testamentary trusts. In a living trust, the transfer of property starts during the lifetime of the trustor but can be arranged to continue after the trustor’s death. It is designed to avoid probate proceedings, reduce taxes, ensure probate record privacy, and regulate the use of assets in case the trustor becomes incapacitated. In a testamentary trust, the transfer is done only after the death of the trustor.
Just because a particular type of trust is most beneficial to one person doesn’t mean it’s beneficial to the next. Every client’s estate planning needs is unique and requires unique attention from accomplished attorneys. Having been a trusted probate law firm here in the Mercer Island, McGuire Law understands this, and it’s been our mission to provide every person the unique legal solutions that they deserve. From support, property protection, representation, to sound legal advice, McGuire Law is here for you.
Drafting A Last Will & Testament
Here in Mercer Island, a person is allowed to provide for the needs of their spouse, children, and other loved ones even after death. One of the ways this is done is by creating a last will and testament that specifies how one’s real and personal property should be distributed after death.
Having a last will and testament allows a testator to clearly express their last wishes and instructions for property distribution to loved ones. This avoids confusion, conflict, and frustration among their surviving heirs, as well as delays, complications, and unnecessary expenses during the process. While you can write your own will, it’s important to remember that the said documents needs to meet the standards set in Arizona law in order for it to be legally binding:
- The testator must be 18 or older
- The testator must have testamentary intent
- The testator must possess testamentary capacity
- The testator must not be unduly influenced
- The testator must sign and date the will, or direct someone to do it on their behalf
- The final will must also be signed by two witnesses
Drafting a will and testament can sound like a simple thing, but it can come with a host of requirements and possible complications. It needs to meet the stringent demands of Arizona law; otherwise the probate judge will invalidate it.
A document such as a last will and testament is just too important and too crucial to DIY. Instead of risking invalidity, the best decision would be to seek the help and expertise of an estate planning attorney from an established law firm such as McGuire Law.
Most people see estate planning as preparing and making decisions for the end of their lives, and that’s not something they even want to think about right now. As much as end-of-life planning can be uncomfortable, it can actually offer you a lot of peace. There is peace in knowing that your family and loved ones are going to be cared for after you’ve passed on, there is peace in knowing that the property you’ve worked so hard to acquire are going to be distributed exactly how you intend to and in the best way you know-how. Estate planning gives you this peace.
Of course, this process isn’t just about looking at a catalog and simply picking out a package deal. Your estate planning needs are unique, and you deserve unique solutions to meet them. That’s exactly what McGuire Law can offer you. Our expert probate lawyers are fluent in both English and Korean, ready to meet you, know your needs, and exhaust all our efforts to figure out the best legal solutions for you. We can start it all off with a free initial consultation with one of our Mercer Island estate planning attorneys.
Call McGuire Law today at (206) 580-4828 for your Consultation!