A recent trend we are seeing in our client’s estate planning objectives is their desire to allocate a portion of their income or estate to charitable organizations. (Read More…)

ESTATE PLANNING – PART ONE ■ Written By: Stephen Palm

Estate Planning is the process of arranging for the orderly distribution of assets (property and investments) upon a person’s death. And as the old saying tells us, “You can’t take it with you”; even so, we have to ask ourselves, “So what do we want to do with it?” The process can be very specific and elaborate depending on the size of the estate, the assets of the estate, or the desires of the individual. No matter the size of the estate, every person should have a plan for the transfer of their assets. If you should die without a will (intestate) the state in which you live has intestate succession laws that will make the decisions for you. The court will decide who gets your assets and who will care for your minor children. These decisions are made based on current law. (Read More…)

ESTATE PLANNING – PART TWO ■ Written By: Stephen Palm

Do you have charitable giving objectives? DO NOT GIVE FROM YOUR WILL. Maximize this giving from your IRA because charitable organizations do not pay income taxes, while your heirs do. This could preserve a large amount of the estate’s assets. (Read More…)

ESTATE PLANNING – PART THREE ■ Written By: Stephen Palm

 Wills may contain provisions for creating a trust upon a person’s death. A trust created after death is called a Testa-mentary Trust. The Decedent, or person who died, leaves instructions in his or her will for the Executor, generally a friend or family member, to transfer the necessary assets. When the trust is established, a Trustee, which is generally a bank, is responsible for the distribution of the assets to the heirs as outlined in the will. The Trustee is considered to be a Fiduciary, a person with a legal duty to act in the best interest of another. (Read More…)

ESTATE PLANNING – PART FOUR ■ Written By: Stephen Palm

There are three primary benefits of a Revocable Living Trust: Privacy, Quick asset-transfer process and Reduction of probate cost. Revocable Living Trusts have recently grown in popularity as a tool to pass property upon death. However, the popularity varies greatly for each state and the primary benefits are significantly minimized in Washington State. (Read More…)