October 9, 2018 Take advantage of the upcoming National Estate Planning Awareness Week to put your affairs in order Doing so now reduces stress. There are many options available. In 2008, Congress passed a resolution designating the third week of every October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. This period reminds everyone that the estate plans are easy to set up and critically important to our families. Moreover; they are easy to change later. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils has planned a number of events to coincide with NEPAW. Most of these events involve public education and how-to seminars. The association urges everyone in Washington to attend an event nearby, learn more about estate planning basics, and then reach out to an attorney to put their intentions in writing. Your Estate Plan in Kent, Washington “‘Awareness’ is the key word here,” remarked Renton estate planning attorney Dan Kellogg. “Many people are not aware how easy it is to develop an estate plan, and they do not fully understand the consequences of a failure to plan.” In as little as one or two office visits, an experienced attorney can put a comprehensive estate plan into effect. A will is the cornerstone of this plan. It gives you the power to make important decisions about your family and your possessions. Without a will, a Washington judge will use inflexible state standards to make these decisions. That outcome could turn out okay, but it could also be disastrous. “Even relatively small estates often involve complex issues,” Mr. Kellogg explained. “That process could delay financial and personal decisions for months or even years,” he added. As important as a will is, it is only the beginning. Other important estate planning documents in Washington include: Power of Attorney: When people get sick or injured; and they need help managing their personal affairs. Other times, people like to travel and they do not want to interrupt their schedules to deal with mundane financial matters. A power of attorney can cover both these situations. Community Property Agreement: This pact can transfer all assets to a surviving spouse. So, there may be almost no need for the expensive and protracted probate process. Trust: Washington law is very liberal in terms of the types of trusts allowed. Settlor’s (people who establish trusts) and maximize the tax benefits of charitable gifts, manage distributions to beneficiaries, shield their assets from creditors, and more. Other important estate planning documents include estate tax planning documents and living wills. The federal estate tax is up to 50 percent, and exemptions are limited. Furthermore, without a healthcare power of attorney, doctors or family members may make end-of-life decisions against express wishes. To discuss your case; Contact us at (425)227-8700.