Probate & Estate Planning
Probate is the legal process of paying a person’s debts and distributing the person’s assets (cash, stocks, real estate, vehicles, other valuables, etc.) after death. The attorney and court fees related to probate are paid by the estate before the assets are divided among the heirs. A will provides instructions for distributing your assets to your family and other beneficiaries upon your death. A will does not mean that you can avoid a probate, especially if the estate has real estate. A probate grants your personal representative (as appointed in your will) the power to administer the estate, sell or distribute the assets, and wind up the deceased affairs. Compared to other states, probate in Washington State is relatively easy if you have an estate plan. Our estate planning attorney will customize your Will provisions to assure your assets are distributed in the manner that you want.
A common misconception about the probate and estate planning process is that it is only meant for people who are well off and have significant amounts of property and assets. This misunderstanding couldn’t be further from the truth. The majority of people will have to go through the probate process if a loved one has left behind real property and other assets once they have passed away. If your real property and assets amount to at least $100,000, your loved ones will most likely have to go through the probate process. Creating a comprehensive estate plan that details your wishes and intentions once you have passed away can save your family from a lot of stress, uncertainty, time, and money.
The probate process does not have to be dreadful and overwhelming. With the right legal help, you and your family can be prepared to handle the challenges of probate with ease. It is highly recommended to seek a knowledgeable probate attorney in Snohomish, WA to advise you on your specific circumstance.
Before the probate process can occur, your affairs should be organized in the manner that you would want managed after you pass away. Having an estate plan that fits your needs, wishes, and requests are essential. Seeking an experienced Snohomish, WA probate attorney to talk about your estate planning needs is advised. Estate plans consist of arranging your property and assets such as a house, vehicle, real estate property, furniture, jewelry, artwork, savings and checking accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, and other valuable items and finances. The purpose of having an estate plan is to incorporate a smooth transfer of those assets to loved ones, friends, and other beneficiaries. Your probate attorney in Snohomish, WA can help you with the right legal documents and processes to help secure a meticulous estate plan.
Estate planning is not only reserved for the wealthy. Moderate households can also benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan. Estates come in all shapes and sizes. Some estates are smaller than others, but they are all equally important.
At the very least, an estate should have a will attached. A will can set forth your wishes in regard to the distribution of your property and assets. It can also outline the care of any minor children. Having a will can minimize any legal issues and uncertainty that involves the management of your estate once you are gone. It is important to note that there are different types of wills and that solely having a will may not be sufficient. A skilled Snohomish, WA probate attorney can recommend other legal safeguards to accompany your will and estate plan. For instance, your probate attorney in Snohomish, WA can inform you of the different types of trusts, powers of attorney, directives, and other important documents.
It is important to understand that estate planning is complex. Every family has different needs and requirements. It is not a one size fits all type of process, and it is never too late to consult with a Snohomish, WA probate attorney about planning for your estate.
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