Fall is in the air and the kids are back to school. After a busy summer, it's time to find a regular routine and take care of things that fell off the to do list. One of those tasks is getting your estate planing documents in place or up-to-date. Estate planning includes wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, funeral directives, community property agreements and a number of other documents. These are particularly vital to have in place if you have minor children to ensure that your children will be cared for by the person of your choice (instead of one chosen by the court) and that money you leave for them will be guarded and spent by a trusted family member on your terms, not someone else's. You will also be able to determine the age you want your children to take control of or receive the money you leave for them which is almost always a later age than the legal default. Other benefits of estate planning can be to avoid probate, minimize estate tax expenses, ensure your own health care decisions are made by an appropriate person, and more.
The process isn't scary or complicated and can be easily started with a phone call. Costs vary based on the complexity of your planning needs, but we can typically give you an estimate after a brief conversation about your situation on that first phone call. You don't have to know all the answers or even have the right questions before calling because we will walk you through the process step by step. After the first phone call, we send you an engagement letter outlining the process and an intake questionnaire to help you gather necessary information. Our initial meeting typically lasts about an hour to discuss all the different options, pros and cons of various choices, substantive education about the estate planning and probate laws applicable to your situation, and next steps. Then, we typically have enough information to get drafts of your documents prepared for your review and editing. Finally, a second meeting where we walk through it one more time and execute the plan. You end up with a small binder of documents with an index of each one, listing who you named for each role and some initial steps for those people to follow when something happens to you.
For Spokane estate planning, or virtual estate planning for other Washington state locations, call Megan Lewis Law, PLLC at (509) 557-7797 or fill out our contact form to send us a message requesting we call or email you.
Megan M. Lewis