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Washington Estate Planning, Probate & Tax Legal Blog

What do you need to know about wage garnishment?

If you owe federal or Washington state taxes, you should take your debt seriously and try to make arrangements to repay it. If you do not, the tax agency involved could have your wages garnished. According to FindLaw, wage garnishment occurs when a court or government agency requires your employer to withhold a portion of your earnings in order to satisfy a debt. Garnishment of your wages can take place to satisfy other obligations than tax debts, such as alimony, child support and debts owed to the federal government but not related to taxes. 

Wage garnishment can be a frustrating situation, but you should know that there are limits in place on the amount of money that can be withheld from your paycheck. The amount of wage garnishment that can occur is often expressed as a percentage of your disposable earnings, i.e., the money that remains after your employer makes deductions for Social Security, taxes and any other deductions required by law. The percentage of your disposable earnings subject to withholding depends on the reason for the garnishment. 

Settling your tax debts before it is too late

If you have received notification that you are in debt with the Internal Revenue Service and immediate action is required on your part, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Tax debts, like any other type of debt, can wreak long-lasting, negative consequences if not addressed right away. At Gellner Law Group, we have helped many people in Washington to deal with tax debts.

There are a number of collection resolutions that may be available to handle your tax debt based on your specific circumstances: offers in compromise, different types of installment agreements, and more.  At Gellner Law Group, we help you understand your options, and the IRS procedures, so you find the best resolution for your tax debt.

Act now to create a durable power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to make decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. We at Gellner Law Group believe that it is best for you and all adults in Washington to set forth a durable power of attorney as soon as possible. You could become incapacitated any time, at any age, suddenly or gradually, due to an accident or a disease process. By that time, it will be too late. 

What happens if you do become incapacitated or disabled without a durable power of attorney in place? Someone will still need to make decisions for you in regard to financial and medical matters. FindLaw states that if you neglect to designate that person yourself, the court will have no choice but to appoint a guardian to look after these matters for you.

When should you allow someone else to make your choices?

Many families watch a loved one suffer with the inability to make safe choices or manage finances as he or she ages. In some instances, self-directed revocable living trust with a professional trustee may be valuable in helping someone you love make choices in his or her best interest.

One Washington resident who allegedly struggles with self-advocacy and may lack strong decision-making capabilities was not so lucky. Attorney Jennifer Rydberg was influential in helping this man fight against the reported misallocation of funds by former SeaTac mayor, Michael Siefkes.

Discussing estate planning matters with family members

Estate planning is not always a topic that families want to discuss, particularly at times of celebration. At best, it might seem to be a bit of an odd topic -- speaking about what happens after one dies. But, while families are sharing time together this holiday season, they also may want to discuss estate planning.

Offers from a tax settlement company may be too good to be true

With the tax season just weeks away, you may have several concerns over your tax situation. In fact, worries may have plagued you for months because you did not properly address the taxes you owed earlier this year. Now, you have outstanding tax debt, and you worry that you will face substantial penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.

Estate planning and disaster preparedness

With the recent amount of natural disasters across the country, Kent area residents may wonder if they will ever be affected by an unexpected disaster. Unfortunately, these can happen at any time and virtually anywhere. Planning for a disaster is something many families have taken the time to do. But, families may not have thought about their estate plan in the event of a disaster.

Millennials need estate planning as well

Many Kent area residents have taken the time to create an estate plan. However, not all ages believe that estate planning is for them. Millennials are one group who may think that estate planning is not something they need to worry about right now. But, the truth is that everyone needs an estate plan, regardless of age.

Millennials are typically defined as the generation born between the 1980s and 1990s. As this generation is currently in their 20s and 30s, most have finished school and are establishing themselves in a career path. Although millennials are typically not thinking about their death, it can happen at any time. A car accident or other unexpected event can take the life of a young person in just seconds.

Some estate planning mistakes and the best ways to avoid them

Many residents in the Kent area have taken the time to create an estate plan for their family. They understand the importance of having this done to make sure their wishes are followed and their family is not left with a tremendous burden. Creating an estate plan is important, but mistakes can be made.

One mistake that can be made is not including all assets. Assets can be in many locations, including safe deposit boxes, filed away in drawers, or solely online. Having a comprehensive list of all assets, including where to find the paperwork, passwords, etc. is critical.

Make Your Consultation Appointment

To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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