Washington Estate Planning
Under Washington state law, you must be at least 18 years old to legally create a last will and testament. A will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can create—but it's not the only one. An estate planning attorney can help assess your legal, financial, familial and medical situation and determine which other estate planning tools are right for you.
Estate Planning to Safeguard Your Financial Future
Among the estate planning tools your lawyer may recommend:
- The last will and testament: Used to explain how your estate (assets of value, including real estate, money and possessions) should be distributed after your death. Also used to name an executor to carry out the instructions in your will and to name a legal guardian for your minor children.
- A living trust: Used in place of or in addition to your last will, a trust is an alternative way to distribute your estate after your death. Because a trust bypasses the probate process, it can afford your heirs greater privacy than a last will and testament.
- A financial power of attorney: Used to authorize someone else (known as your attorney in fact) to perform certain financial transactions and legal actions on your behalf.
- A healthcare power of attorney: Used to designate someone as your surrogate to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated or unable to communicate.
- A living will: Used to explain your decisions regarding end-of-life treatment, including whether healthcare providers should artificially resuscitate, whether you want to be kept on life support and how much pain treatment you'd like to receive.
As you can see, estate planning documents do far more than simply deal with what happens to your estate after you pass away—they also give you greater control over your financial, legal and medical affairs while you're alive.
Find & Hire Local Washington Estate Planning Attorneys
Fill out the form on this page or call Attorneys.com at 877-913-7222 to use our free lawyer referral service. We can help you quickly locate attorneys across the state of Washington, including lawyers in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Bellevue.