Why Having a Will or Trust is Essential

will and trust

Any Seattle estate planning attorney worth their salt advises their clients to have a will, living trust or other legal documents in place for that inevitable day. These documents and directives are designed to determine where your assets go, who can help with medical decisions if you are incapacitated, provide for you minor children and other possible issues that could arise upon an untimely demise. Without a will or trust, state laws decide how the property is distributed regardless of the deceased’s wishes.

The Importance of Having a Legal Will

Besides deciding where assets will go, having a will gives you the opportunity to achieve a number of other important goals that are legally binding.

Naming an Executor: Wrapping up the estate has to be handled by someone and this is the time to decide who that will be. It can be a family member, one of our attorneys in Seattle Washington or other representative of your choosing. Otherwise, courts may appoint an executor for you.

Name Guardians: do you have children or pets that need caring for should you suddenly pass away or become incapacitated? Your will or living will provides directives to ensure they are taken care of by designated persons and provides necessary financial means.

Declaring Property Managers: if kids are involved under legal age, an adult manager can be named to help with managing such assets until a set time.

An estate planning attorney Seattle might recommend a back-up will even if you have a living trust and solid estate plan. This can serve as a catch-all should any assets be left out of the main will.

What a Trust Is and Why It’s Important to Have One

A trust can be a huge asset when estate planning, and it involves a legal agreement between three parties: a grantor, a trustee and a beneficiary. However, all three roles can be covered by one individual or different parties. The property included in a trust can be an aspect of one’s legacy including:

  • Real Estate
  • Money
  • Securities
  • Business Interests
  • Bonds/Stocks

Trusts are legal entities that can have their own taxpayer ID number and legally own property.

Types of Trusts to Discuss With a Seattle Estate Planning Attorney

Our Seattle Washington attorneys practice within several legal areas working with trusts of which are three primary types: revocable, irrevocable and special needs trusts.

Revocable Living Trusts

Revocable living trusts are popular types of fiduciary agreements that are created in one’s lifetime and can be revoked or amended at any time by the grantor. They can also be undone completely at any time.

Testamentary or Irrevocable Trust

Irrevocable trusts are also known as testamentary trusts and are also created by a grantor. This permits guardians and parents to provide for their offspring’s financial needs in the event of their death. Underage children or those not mature enough to handle an estate might have such trusts overseen by a trustee who manages things until they are of age or at an age set by the grantor.

Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is similar to an irrevocable trust, with the exception that they are intended to allow a trustee to oversee the financial support and inheritance of individuals with a disability. They also help special needs beneficiaries more opportunities to keep government benefits they currently qualify for. Our attorneys in Seattle Washington can determine one’s eligibility for a special needs trust.

Need An Estate Planning Attorney Seattle? Call Frey Buck

Our Seattle Washington attorneys at Frey Buck have vast experience in family law and estate planning including living trusts and living and traditional wills. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation online, or call us at 206-486-8000.

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