Estate Planning – Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
Planning for a future following our death can be stressful to think about. But deciding what will happen to our estate after we are gone also can give us – and our family – unmatched peace of mind. Few things are as important as the future of our loved ones, and a proper approach to estate planning can provide security and comfort to them.
I am attorney Chris Roubicek, founder of the Law Offices of Chris Roubicek, P.S. I have served Washington clients in estate planning and many other legal areas since 1981. These are answers to some commonly asked estate planning questions I hear from clients in my practice.
Estate Planning FAQ
How can I convince my young, newly married son or daughter to have a will drafted?
A newly married son or daughter will probably not be thinking about the unfortunate event of an untimely death. They should know that a new family means new assets and possibly young children who will need a guardian to care for them. Without a will, their assets and the legal guardianship of their children could be at risk. Let them know that a will can ensure their estate is handled as they desire.
What are the main advantages of setting up a trust as part of estate planning?
There are many advantages of setting up a trust. Trusts can, for instance, help your loved ones avoid the probate stage of a will. There are financial benefits to a trust as well. One option is a “tax by-pass trust.” This trust will allow spouses to leave money to surviving spouses with a limited amount of federal tax. There is also a special needs trust that will allow children with disabilities to inherit money from parents without hurting Social Security benefits.
What is a designated beneficiary, and how does this relate to estate planning strategy?
A designated beneficiary is a person, a trust or a charity/organization that inherits assets following an individual’s death. Taking time to designate beneficiaries can ensure the division of your estate however you wish. Because you have already named who will receive the assets, these accounts often also bypass the probate process.
What are some estate planning documents that can benefit me while I am still living?
Documents that may benefit you in estate planning are those that allow for immediate estate transfer, such as a living trust, and those that can provide direction on how you want end-of-life care to be delivered, through documents such as a living will or a health care power of attorney. These are created and enacted while you are still alive, and you are able to make your wishes clear to your loved ones.
Having provided legal services for over 35 years, I have seen estate planning in all its forms. If you have more questions, call my office in Castle Rock at 360-967-4268 for a free initial consultation.