Family Conversationsabout Legal Concerns Jonathan A. Sprouffske, JDConnolly Tacon & Meserve, P.S. OlyLaw.com (360) 943-6747
Topics to be Covered What is Estate Planning? Talking with Family about Estate Planning Health Care Directives Durable Powers of Attorney Community Property Agreements Wills Intestacy Probate Probate Assets vs. Non-Probate Assets Living Trusts vs. Testamentary Trusts Estate Taxes
What is Estate Planning• Not only for the wealthy.• Provides for you during your lifetime.• Expresses your wishes for end of life decisions.• Provides for others after your death.
“The Talk”• Every family is different.• Most importantly be sincere.• Have a proposal.• Make it personal.• Communicate the values that are important to you.• Follow it up with a letter.
Health Care Directives• Living Will, Do Not Resuscitate Orders, Health Care Directives.• Provides directives to physicians or emergency personnel regarding health care treatment.• If over 18, with “serious health conditions” consider a POLST form. (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)
Durable Powers of Attorney• Financial Decisions• Healthcare Decisions• May not be able to access personal health information from a medical provider without HIPAA language.• Valid only during your lifetime.
Community Property Agreement• An agreement between a married couple giving all of the assets to the surviving spouse.• Purpose is to assist in avoiding taxes and probate.• Probate might still be needed upon the death of both spouses.• Not appropriate for everyone.
Intestacy• Dying without a will.• Distribution is done according to state law.• Probate is more expensive.• The people inheriting might not be who you would like them to be.• Unable to plan for estate taxes.
Estate Taxes• Are subject to change.• Current WA estate tax exemption is $2,000,000.• Current federal estate tax exemption is $5,000,000.• Doubled for married couple.
Wills• Specifies who you want to inherit.• Governed by State Law.• Must be properly executed.• Specific recording requirements.
Probate• Transferring assets• Paying Creditors• Probate Process – Probate Open – Notice to Creditors and Heirs – Creditor’s Claim Period – Notice of Completion – File Final Tax Return
Non-Probate Assets• Beneficiary Designations• Transfer on Death• Payable on Death• Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
Living Trusts• Main Purpose – Avoid Probate• Beware of Scams• Costs• Upkeep• Still may need an attorney’s assistance upon death.
Testamentary Trust• Built into a will.• Designed to take effect after your death.• Examples: – Disclaimer Trust – Trust for Children or Grandchildren – Special Needs Trust