The 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study by Caring.com indicates that only approximately one-third (32.9%) of American adults have a Will or estate plan. Having detailed estate planning documents is crucial to avoid possible issues and disputes when settling a decedent’s final affairs or distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries. Whether you own a large or small estate, you can still protect your loved ones, assets, investments, and property by creating a detailed estate plan and preparing for an uncertain future.
If you’re contemplating drawing up a Will or trust, or if you want to understand how the estate planning process works, consulting with an experienced Washington State estate planning attorney is crucial for proper guidance. Attorney Robert Taylor-Manning is passionate about providing experienced legal services and guiding clients through the complexities of estate planning procedures. As your legal counsel, he can help you understand your available options and offer you the comprehensive legal counsel and advocacy you need to create different estate planning documents, including Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, special needs planning, and advanced healthcare directives.
The Law Offices of Robert Taylor-Manning proudly represent clients throughout Kennewick, Richland, Walla Walla, Pasco, Washington, as well as Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding areas. Schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney today to start planning for the future.
Estate planning is the process through which an individual or family makes plans in advance regarding how a person’s affairs and assets will be handled or disposed of after their death. When a person dies or becomes suddenly incapacitated, an estate planning document can help decide how to settle the decedent’s final affairs and how assets will be transferred to inheritors. Estate planning is important due to the following reasons:
It helps you prepare for the uncertainties of life.
It allows you to choose a trusted person as your personal representative.
It helps protect your assets, property, investment, and interests.
It helps you make sufficient provisions for your surviving family members.
It helps protect your minor children and ensure that they are properly catered for
It affords you total control over who inherits your assets or property
It helps to avoid or mitigate family conflicts and disputes over asset distribution
It helps your estate avoid the lengthy and expensive probate process
It helps heir and beneficiaries avoid or reduce gift, inheritance, and estate taxes
It protects your assets and investments from creditors and lawsuits.
It ensures that you don't die intestate (without a will)
If you're considering creating an estate plan, here are some essential estate planning documents to consider:
A will is a legal document that contains specific instructions regarding how a person's assets and property should be transferred to beneficiaries or disposed of upon their death. You are allowed to name a guardian in your Will to handle your affairs, cater to your minor children, and manage any inheritance left for them.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship that allows a person (guarantor or trustor) to appoint a third-party (trustee) who will manage their final affairs and distribute assets to beneficiaries upon their death. You can include most assets, such as real estate property, bank accounts, savings, investments, and business interests, in your trust.
An advance healthcare directive is a legal document that gives specific instructions about a person's preferred medical care should they become unable to make such decisions by themselves, due to disability, sudden incapacitation, or terminal illness.
A power of attorney gives a trusted person (someone of your choosing) the authority, duty, and power to act on your behalf concerning financial and legal matters when you become unable to make such decisions. You are allowed to designate such responsibility to your attorney, advisor, friend, or a trusted family member.
Special needs planning is a fiduciary relationship that allows an individual to choose a trusted person to manage any asset, property, or funds left behind for their minor children or a vulnerable adult who is unable to manage such funds or assets due to their mental or physical condition.
Guardianship is a relationship established by state law, whereby a court grants a person (the guardian) the power and duty to make crucial decisions concerning the health, well-being, and finances of another person (minor child or incapacitated adult) who cannot care for or make such decisions by themselves.
Other documents to include as part of your estate plan are:
Personal property memorandum
Real estate deeds
Bonds, stocks, and mutual funds
Life insurance policies
Information about your pension or retirement account
Bills and account information
Birth and adoption certificates
Getting your affairs in order and planning for your future can never be too early. In the event that you are unable or unavailable to voice your opinion, your surviving family members can benefit from knowing your true wishes. A knowledgeable Washington State estate planning attorney can help protect your loved ones, assets, best interests, and explore your possible estate planning options.
Attorney Robert Taylor-Manning has dedicated his career to offering knowledgeable guidance and representing clients in the legal matters of estate planning. As your legal counsel, we can help you:
Review your unique circumstances
Decide the ideal estate planning option that best suits your unique needs
Create customized power of attorney documents that protect your finances and personal dignity
Set up assisted living or housing plans
Draft a well-detailed will or set up a trust
Evaluate your assets and come up with long-term financial plans
Create a plan that allows you to stay at home and not be forced into a nursing home
Using his extensive experience, Attorney Robert Taylor-Manning will guide you through the whole legal process from start to finish and help you make informed decisions. He will work diligently to address your needs and concerns and those of your family members.
Creating a detailed estate plan may seem like an overwhelming task, but you don't have to go through it alone. If you need help drafting a Will, trust, or any other estate planning document, contact the Law Offices of Robert Taylor-Manning today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Attorney Robert Taylor-Manning can offer you the experienced legal counsel and strong advocacy you need to navigate important decisions. He is proud to serve individuals and families throughout Kennewick, Richland, Walla Walla, Pasco, Washington, as well as Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding areas.