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December 2011 Archives

Living trusts can help middle-income families, too

If you were to take a poll of Washington residents and ask about trusts, many would answer: trusts are only for the rich. That may have been true several years ago, but today a living trust or other form of trust can be beneficial to many families who fall into the middle-income bracket. Trusts can help families reduce their tax exposure, as well as be used to protect and transfer assets. Just as importantly, trusts can be crucial in avoiding probate.There are different types of trusts, and Seattle residents should consult with a professional before choosing one. In general, however, a trust can be set up to protect assets, and in that case, the assets are no longer owned by an individual. This action offers significant asset protection. Also, a trust can be set up to specify what the funds are to be used for: for example, college education or starting a business.

Long-term planning for loved ones with special needs

For many Washington residents, caring for loved ones with special needs may be especially difficult in these tough economic times. In addition to the cost of care, all manner of other bills are piling up. However, experts say that, as difficult as it may seem, families that are providing for loved ones with special needs should also do their best to plan for the long term. Doing so is a good idea not only for loved ones with special needs but also for the caregivers' retirement. For example, advance directives, end-of-life wishes, and a living will should all be considered when estate planning becomes a reality.One of the more important reasons people are now seeking estate planning for those with special needs is that the bad economy has resulted in reduced incomes for caregivers, as jobs have been lost or hours cut. This reduction in income can make things very difficult for many families, especially those that are caring for loved ones. Estate planning allows families to get control over what they may be facing in the future, as well as make plans to address those issues.

Many Washington baby boomers without end-of-life documents

A living will expresses a person's exact wishes for medical care if he or she is unable to communicate with physicians. But since middle-aged individuals, including many Seattle residents, still feel very young and healthy, such end-of-life documents would seem to be something that people in their middle ages wouldn't be too concerned about. With that in mind, Washington residents may be interested in a recent poll that found that 64 percent of baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, said they don't have a living will.Yet, regardless of age or health, carefully spelling out one's end-of-life wishes can be a good idea for anyone. A living will enables individuals to say just how much or how little they want in medical treatment if they are in a state in which they cannot speak for themselves. A living will can also spare families otherwise painful decisions regarding the application or withdrawal of medical treatment.

Preserve a living will with professional assistance, confidence

Many Seattle residents have probably heard at least one horror story of the financial abuse of an elder. Unfortunately, these issues are becoming more common with an increasing growth in the elder population. Recent reports have highlighted a service extended for a short time in early November to assist elders with financial advice that could prevent this kind of financial abuse and create positive benefits, one of which being the preservation of a living will.

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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