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February 2014 Archives

Late actor's will highlights importance of updating

There are a lot of common misperceptions that prevent people from executing a will, and this can create a lot of problems for their families. Many Washington residents think that writing a will is something only for rich people, but in fact all types of families can greatly benefit from a valid will. Many Washingtonians think that they'll get around to writing a will when they're older, but of course none of us knows when our wills will be necessary. And many Washingtonians think that once they've executed a will they never have to update it. However, a lot can change in a person's life between writing the will and the person's death, and it can be important to make sure the will continues to represent the person's final wishes.

Trusts are some of the most powerful ways to protect estates

The estate tax is one of the most misunderstood and feared aspects of estate planning. Its detractors call it "the death tax," as though it applies to all of us when we die. In fact, Washington state and federal estate taxes apply only to a very small fraction of estates. And even for those whose estates might be large enough to hit the threshold, there are many ways to lower the rate or avoid paying the tax altogether.

Careful estate planning a must for blended families

The laws of inheritance, like many property laws in Washington State, have their origins in medieval England. You can see the influence of the distant past in the law's often archaic-sounding terminology and in its emphasis on bloodlines. Some of these concepts made a lot of sense in the days of Henry VIII, but not so much for families in today's Washington.

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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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