We are Estate Planning Attorneys in Vancouver, WA. We can help you with all aspects of estate planning. The most common instrument is a will. Our attorneys can advise you on what a will can and should include and how best to draft the will to reflect your wishes. This information includes appointment of your personal representatives and beneficiaries.
We can also draft a trust. A trust has the added benefit of not having to go through the courts to probate a will. A trust also offers a level of asset protection during your lifetime. In addition, we can draft a trust that provides for the special needs of a loved one. After the trust document is drafted, I can assist with transferring assets to the trust. For real property, this includes quit claiming the property to be titled in the name of the trust.
Another important aspect of estate planning is an advanced health care directive. This document will inform your physician whether you want life-sustaining treatment (i.e., life support) if you are in a terminal condition.
Lastly, a good estate plan includes a power of attorney. This document will give your spouse or a trusted individual the ability to make health care and financial decisions for you if you are declared incompetent, whether permanently or temporarily.
We can help probate a will in Oregon or Washington. This includes filing a petition with the court, appoint a personal representative, notifying creditors, transferring assets and closing the estate.
If the estate is under a certain amount and does not include real property you may qualify for a small estate affidavit which is more cost-effective and quicker than a full probate. If the decedent had a trust in place there is a possibly that you may not need to go to court for probate. Assets that transfer pursuant to a trust or that pass directly to a beneficiary (such as life insurance proceeds) are not subject to probate.
If you do need to probate a will in Washington or Oregon, or if the decedent died without a will, we will be able to help you through this process.