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Washington estate planning is for everyone


Many Washington residents think that estate planning is for the very wealthy. But, estate planning is for everyone. The purpose of estate planning is to give what you want to whom you want and paying the least amount of taxes and expenses. An estate includes everything that you own or have control over. This can include property, retirement accounts, life insurance, business, personal property, etc.

Estate planning is so important because it helps avoid problems of distribution when a person dies. When a person dies without a will, their property is typically distributed by lineage. One example of a problem that can easily arise is when a spouse dies without a will. The surviving spouse inherits all of his assets. If that spouse remarries and then dies, the second husband inherits all the money and the children from the first marriage do not receive anything. Typically, that is not what the original asset holder would have wanted to happen, but without a will, this can easily occur.

Estate planning is also helpful for parents who have young children. If a parent dies, they are able to leave their assets in a trust for their children and specify when and under what circumstances the children receive the money. It also protects a person's business interest. It helps determine the value of the business and who the business will go to if you die. Finally, an estate plan can help with taxes and fees due on the estate at the time of death. Although federal estate taxes do not kick in until the estate is valued at more than $5.34 million, but many states impose a tax at much less a threshold.

An estate planning attorney can help families determine the best estate planning options for their unique situations and wishes. Everyone needs an estate plan and once an estate plan is established, they can rest easy knowing their wishes will be followed when they pass away.

Source: CNBC, "Estate planning: Not just for the 1%," Ivory Johnson, Sept. 29, 2014

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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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