One thing many Kent residents tend to avoid thinking about is death. After some of the recent malevolent tragedies to plague our nation, one can rarely know when to expect death. Since the topic is so morose, many people tend to avoid thinking about what will happen to their loved ones upon their demise. When it comes to estate planning, numerous individuals have left their family and loved ones to the cumbersome process of probate court to determine how their assets and property will be divided.
Parents naturally tend to think that since they love their children equally it makes sense to set up an estate plan that distributes assets equally. As some Kent business owners may have already considered, equal distribution of estate assets may not necessarily lead to desirable results when the bulk of the estate consists of illiquid business assets. An equal distribution of business interests among heirs may instill resentment in those who have played an active role in building the business toward those who have demonstrated less interest.
Readers in the Seattle area may take a lesson from an unfortunate tale that left one man's wife grieving while his ex-wife harvested a $1 million windfall. In a case of tragic oversight, the deceased man never followed up to change the beneficiaries of his lush retirement account and life insurance policy. The result of this all-too-common error undoubtedly sabotaged the man's wishes for his second wife and highlights the importance of competent estate planning early in life.
King County pet lovers may take interest in the "Puppies in Probate" pet guardian program established by the Seattle Humane Society. The program affords pet owners the peace of mind of knowing that their furry friends will be placed in a welcoming home if they outlive their human caretakers.