Six Expenses You Probably Aren’t Planning For

By Marisa Broggel | November 23, 2020

Don’t get taken by surprise when these expenses sneak up on you! Sometimes, it is hard enough to find the money to cover your daily living expenses, so the idea that you should put away “extra” money for a rainy day seems outlandish.  But this planning necessary, and it is simpler than you might think.…

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Probate in Washington: An Overview

By Marisa Broggel | November 6, 2020

Probate is the legal process by which property and other assets pass from the decedent (the person who has died) to his or her heirs and beneficiaries after death. In Washington, probate is not always a required procedure, even if the person dies without a will. It is typically a discretionary procedure but is required…

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Estate Planning and Tax Reform

By Marisa Broggel | November 8, 2019

In 2019, the significant increase in the federal estate tax exclusion to $11.4 million left some people thinking estate and tax planning was not so important anymore. However, the higher exclusion is slated to return to only $5 million (inflation indexed) at the end of 2025. Also, for Washington residents, the state estate tax exclusion…

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Never Too Young

By Marisa Broggel | October 2, 2019

Guest Author: Michele C. Petite-Shelhorse The fact is, life is never predictable. You are never too young to protect your loved ones and delegate your life’s legacy. Below are ten reasons why young people should consider making their estate plan now. How do you want to be remembered? Celebration of Life planning is wise. A…

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Health Care Advance Directives and How to Choose your Attorney in Fact

By Marisa Broggel | August 15, 2019

Advance directives are composed of two legal documents: A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Health Care Directive. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document appointing someone of your choice to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to do so because of injury, illness,…

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Dying Without A Will

By Marisa Broggel | June 19, 2019

Having your will done is your opportunity to leave final instructions for your loved ones, and to make sure your wishes are properly carried out when you die. You can address all sorts of issues in your will, including establishing guardianships for your children, setting up trusts, taking care of your pets, end of life…

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Five Important Responsibilities for the Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

By Marisa Broggel | April 2, 2019

If you are thinking about serving as the trustee of a special needs trust, you will probably have questions about the trustee’s role and responsibilities. Trustees of special needs trusts have many important responsibilities, but the following five appear at the top of any trustee’s list. 1. Communication An ability to communicate with the trust beneficiary,…

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Community Property & Estate Planning

By Marisa Broggel | March 19, 2019

What is Community Property?Community property is any property owned by a married couple, or two people in a committed intimate relationship (we will refer to these as ‘spouses’ for purposes of this article), where each spouse has a “present, undivided, one-half interest in the property.” This means that each spouse has equal access to the…

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So I’m a Personal Representative…Now What?

By Marisa Broggel | January 28, 2019

If you are like the majority of people, you’re probably not even sure what it means to be an executor, known as a Personal Representative in the state of Washington. If you look to Merriam Webster for an answer, you’ll find something like the following: “(T)he person appointed by a testator to execute a will.” But what…

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Using a Testamentary Trust to Provide for Grandchildren’s’ Education

By Marisa Broggel | December 6, 2018

When grandparents begin the estate planning process, often they want to leave money to their grandchildren in a will. However, what are the best options to leave money to grandchildren when the grandparent wants to make sure that those funds are used for the child’s college expenses and not blown on unnecessary or frivolous extravagances?…

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