Representative Estate Planning & Settlement Documents include:
- Powers of Attorney – A power of attorney document grants another person the power to act on your behalf. The person creating this power is the “principal.” The person granted powers is the “attorney-in-fact.” Durable Powers of Attorney remain in effect if the principal becomes incapable of taking care of their affairs, which makes them a great tool to avoid expensive, court-supervised guardianship proceedings. Powers of Attorney deal with both financial and health care decisions. We use separate documents for financial and health care. Durable Powers of Attorney can be effective immediately or “springing,” which become effective on some event like your doctor determining you are incapable of taking care of your own affairs. Limited powers of attorney are often used for a specific event such as selling real estate and often are time limited.
- Wills (Simple & Trusts)
- Community Property Agreements – Community Property Agreements can be used by spouses to pass property from the first to die to the survivor. They often define certain property as community property even though the property was initially owned solely by one spouse. Community Property Agreements supersede one’s will.
- Health Care Directive (aka Living Will) – A Health Care Directive is an advance document one can execute to state their desires regarding life sustaining treatments, including life support equipment and other treatments which extend life. This document is commonly known as a “living will.” Washington allows a Health Care Directive to be used when a person can no longer make their own decisions, they are terminally ill with no hope of recovery and the treatments would only prolong the moment of the person’s death. Other treatments which the person may control include food, water or both by tubes.
- Trusts (creation, repairs & modifications)
- Trust Administration
- Estate Settlements (probate, trusts & small estate)
- Guardianship (formation, administration & termination)
Content copyright 2015. Robert K. Hawkinson, P.S. All rights reserved.