Don’t put off estate planning

There are just some things in life that each individual knows he needs to take care of; however, it is easier to continue putting it off. Estate planning is that thing for many Washington residents. The idea of planning for the end of one’s life just seems like something that can wait. Unfortunately, this line of thinking can end up costing in terms of estate taxes and attorney fees.

Once the individual has come to terms with the fact that estate planning is something that needs to be done, he or she should begin by itemizing all assets. This includes real estate holdings, personal property, life insurance policies, retirement accounts and more. Then, the individual will want to create a list of all liabilities including mortgages, consumer loans, etc.

The next step in the estate planning process is to then identify beneficiaries. The individual needs to determine who will inherit assets as well how they will inherit them. For some, a will is sufficient. However, in other cases, a trust may be a prudent idea.

Finally, the individual will want to determine exactly who will act as executor. Depending upon the type of assets and the family dynamics, the executor can be a family member, trusted friend or paid advisor. In addition to determining the executor, the individual may also want to identify an individual to hold a power of attorney so that financial decisions can be made in case the individual becomes incapacitated or otherwise unavailable to make necessary decisions.

Estate planning is typically not something that a Washington resident wants to spend time doing. However, in order to protect the estate and relieve some of the burden on the family, it is something that needs to be done. Experienced legal counsel can help guide one through the process.

Source:, “5 Must-Do Tips For Your Will And Estate Planning“, Lawrence Carrel, Feb. 24, 2017

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