What I Learned about Estate Planning while Hiking in the Mountains

Last month, I went on a trip with my daughter to the Salt Lake City, Utah.  Each day of our trip, we took time to step outside and enjoy a little bit of wilderness. On one such occasion, we decided to hike up Mill Creek Canyon. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. When we arrived at the trailhead, I made the mistake of looking up. The mountain looked high – and more than a little treacherous in Read More

Do You Need an Estate Plan if You are Single?

There is a common misconception that you don’t actually need an estate plan if you are unmarried or don’t have children. Although a spouse and young ones may seem like the primary reasons to create a plan, they are not. Estate planning is important whether or not you have a spouse or children. Sure, some parts of an estate plan may be less essential (like the guardianship provision in a Will), but the majority of a Read More

Keep Your Vacation Home Out of Ancillary Probate

It's the middle of summer, and families all across the Washington region are looking for ways to beat the heat. Does your family love to escape at the beach? What about a cool mountain retreat? Maybe you like to take a week every summer to visit friends or family up north. Wherever you travel, we know that finding comfortable, affordable accommodations can be a struggle. That’s why more and more Washingtonians are Read More

Providing For Your Pet After You Pass – Using a Pet Estate

Whatever your reaction to pet estate planning, I know that you adore your pet. In fact, statistics show that you feel even more strongly than that. In a recent poll, 9 out of 10 people said that their pet was considered a member of the family. But, have you considered what will happen to your pet after you’re gone? Take a look at the graphic we created this week about pet estate planning. It provides a quick Read More

How the SECURE Act Could Change Your Estate Plan

For many, your IRA is the largest asset in your estate. Yes, even larger than your home or your investments. Why? Because you worked hard to save for retirement. You have dutifully contributed to your IRA over the years knowing that, not only is your IRA your safety net in retirement, but it is also a handsome nest egg that can be passed on for future generations. In the past, we have worked closely with clients to Read More

Facing a Dementia Diagnosis? Take These Legal Steps to Protect You and Your Family

A dementia diagnosis is scary. You and your loved ones may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious about what lies ahead. The period after receiving a dementia diagnosis is time best spent with family and friends. However, you may also be worried about what lies ahead for your loved ones and for yourself. To alleviate some worry, and to ensure that both you and your loved ones are protected, there are some legal steps you Read More

Create a Legacy that Represents Your Life

Everyone, regardless of age, status, material wealth, education, or notoriety, will leave a legacy behind. Even if we never think about our legacy, never take any actions to prepare for after our passing, each of us will still pass and leave our imprint on the world. Think about it: what if today was your last day on Earth? What kind of impression would you leave behind? How would you be remembered? Who would you be Read More

Are You a Member of the Sandwich Generation?

These days, there is a name for every generation: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, and each generation is loosely defined by a few key characteristics that group them together. You may have heard the term “Sandwich Generation” used lately, but what does it mean and are you a member? The term “Sandwich Generation” is used to describe middle-aged Americans who are sandwiched between two roles: caregiver for Read More

Do You Need a Simple Probate Avoidance Trust?

You have probably heard the term “trust” used before. Often it’s used in the context of a “trust fund baby,” someone who doesn’t really have to work because they always have a steady flow of money coming in from a wealthy relative. But, keeping your kids living the good life isn’t really the primary function of a trust. In fact, the majority of clients we serve really use a trust to do one thing: avoid Read More

What Happens to Your Student Loans When You Die?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that student loans are bigger and more common than ever before. There is currently over $1.45 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the United States, and 42 million Americans have some amount of student loan debt (the average borrower owes over $30,000). Despite student loans being incredibly common, there is still a lot student loan borrowers don’t know Read More