Washington Wills and Probate
Probating wills in Washington can be time-consuming, detailed, cumbersome, and tedious. Further complicating matters, complex financial and tax issues often arise with larger estates. If you have recently lost a loved one and are struggling with the state’s probate system, it is understandable that you may be feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Admittedly, the fine print, mass of documents, and dense legal jargon associated with probate are likely to exasperate anyone.
Washington residents standing in your shoes readily decide that it is prudent to consult a locally based wills and probate lawyer for guidance. They wisely realize that help is available at the local level. Mercifully, you don’t have to resort to a do-it-yourself guidebook or software package because experienced Washington wills lawyers can ensure estates are administered properly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
Legal Services Provided by Washington Probate Lawyers
Probate lawyers practicing in Washington offer clients a complete range of legal services, which span all aspects and phases of estate administration and the probate process. These legal services include much more than the creation of a basic will or simple trust. For example, Washington attorneys routinely tackle beneficiary, trustee, and executor issues, vague will provisions, competing will versions, and other related tasks that come across their desks. Clients can anticipate receiving legal guidance in the following areas of Washington probate law:
- Will drafting
- Will contests
- Interpretation and analysis of vague will provisions
- Codicil (will amendment) preparation
- Trust creation
- Asset and liability inventories
- Tax planning
- Notice to potential estate creditors
- Beneficiary disputes
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Estate litigation
Even if You Are Young, Single, and Poor, You Should Have a Will
Many Washingtonians assume incorrectly that if they are young, single, and have not amassed a large estate, they do not need a will. This is definitely not the case. There are many reasons why it is wise to create a valid will and other estate planning documents in such situations. For example, you should create a living will no matter what your age. Living wills allow you to designate who will make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated physically or mentally and become unable to communicate your desires.
If you are unmarried and die without a standard valid will, all of your assets and property will go to your nearest relative under the intestate succession laws of Washington. In such a case, your parents, if living, will inherit your property. If no parents are living, your property will go to your siblings. However, you may have some items or personal property that you would prefer go to another party rather than family members, such as a diary, letters, or photographs. The way to ensure your privacy after death is to designate an executor in a valid will who is entrusted with protecting your privacy by making sure your possessions remain private, are destroyed, or are otherwise dealt with according to your wishes.
Many single people have pets, and a will can be used to designate who cares for them. Without a will, your pet may be given away, surrendered to a shelter, or even put to sleep if no one steps forward who is willing to take on the responsibility of pet care.
Contact a Washington Will and Probate Attorney Today
Wills and probate lawyers can advise you whether your existing will or trust is legally valid under Washington’s laws. These local probate attorneys assist testators to avoid hefty federal estate tax burdens, fees, costs, and time delays through careful and smart estate planning and administration. It is never too early to begin the process of planning your estate, so call now to speak with a wills and probate lawyer in Washington at 877-913-7222.