Some Kent residents may be familiar with certain free or low-cost estate planning tools and wondering if those tools are adequate to meet their individual estate planning needs. One popular example is the "Five Wishes" package that may be offered as a form of living will to participants in certain Medicare supplemental insurance programs. This particular document package may meet the legal requirements for a valid living will in many states, but financial planning experts warn seniors against believing that similar free tools provide a comprehensive solution to long-term care planning.
When Kent residents think about planning ahead to establish an inheritance for their heirs, executing a will may be the first thing that comes to mind. Although the traditional will continues to be a staple of basic estate planning, an increasing number of estate planning professionals are recommending a revocable trust as an alternative.
If Kent residents share the opinions of an increasing number of retirement-age Americans, they may find themselves considering estate planning options that differ from the traditional notion of leaving a financial legacy for children. A recent study indicates that 45 percent of the baby boomer generation would not rate leaving an inheritance as a primary concern. For 31 percent of respondents, using wills or trusts to make gifts to charity surpassed the importance of leaving money to heirs.
As Kent residents may know, Americans are living longer than ever, but one unfortunate side effect is that an increasing percentage of the population suffers from advanced infirmities of aging. Some conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, may require a third party to step in and seek legal intervention because of the estate holder's incapacity. With statistics indicating that 43 percent of individuals over age 85 suffer from Alzheimer's disease, our readers in the Seattle area will want to be aware of the legal options for providing the best care for loved ones.
As many Kent residents know, the loss of a loved one brings not only grief but also a host of challenging responsibilities. People who are charged with the duties of wrapping up a loved one's worldly affairs may benefit from the assistance of compassionate legal counsel during a difficult time, but there are always tasks that heirs need to perform independently. Kent residents may want to consider taking some simple steps during life to help expedite the process of estate administration and reduce the complexity of probate proceedings.
As Kent residents may know, increasing numbers of people are living in committed relationships outside of marriage. Census data indicates that unmarried couples represent roughly 7 million American households. Today's non-marital households include young couples choosing to forego marriage, same sex couples, and seniors who are in late-in-life relationships following divorce or the death of a spouse. For partners in a committed non-marital relationship, the opportunities for avoiding probate afforded by legally recognized marriage are often not available, which makes thoughtful estate planning especially important.