Archive For: Estate Planning & Probate

Federal And Washington Estate Taxes For 2016

Posted: Feb 27, 2016

By: Washington State Estate Planning Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson

The “applicable exclusion amount” is the amount of a deceased person’s estate that passes free of estate tax. This differs from the unlimited marital deduction that applies when one spouse dies and transfers all of his or her interest in property to the surviving spouse. There is an applicable exclusion amount for federal estate tax purposes and an applicable exclusion amount for the state of Washington’s estate tax purposes. Under both federal and Washington law, the applicable exclusion amount is subject to adjustment. For federal estate taxes, the applicable exclusion amount is $5,450,000 for 2016, a slight increase over the...Read More

Do I Really Need To Hire A Lawyer To Prepare My Will In Washington State?

Posted: Aug 6, 2015

By: Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz

No, but you should strongly consider doing so.

To many people, a Last Will & Testament seems like an unnecessary and expensive complication, especially if a lawyer is needed, and some believe they can simply write out their wishes or express their wishes orally instead of executing a will. Washington residents are not required to hire an attorney to assist with estate planning.

Although there is nothing illegal about preparing your own estate planning documents, it may be unwise to do so. First, unless you are well versed in all of the issues which should be...Read More

Washington State’s Estate Taxes For 2015

Posted: Jan 15, 2015

By: Washington State Estate Planning Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson

The “applicable exclusion amount” is the amount of a deceased person’s estate that passes free of estate tax. This differs from the unlimited marital deduction that applies when one spouse dies and transfers all of his or her interest in property to the surviving spouse. There is an applicable exclusion amount for federal estate tax purposes and an applicable exclusion amount for the state of Washington’s estate tax purposes. Under both federal and Washington State law, the applicable exclusion amount is subject to adjustment. For federal estate taxes, the applicable exclusion amount is $5,430,000 for 2015....Read More

Changes To Estate And Gift Taxes For 2015 in Washington State

Posted: Nov 24, 2014

By: Washington State Estate Planning Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson

The “applicable exclusion amount” is the amount of a deceased person’s estate that passes free of estate tax.  This differs from the unlimited marital deduction that applies when one spouse dies and transfers all of his or her interest in property to the surviving spouse.  There is an applicable exclusion amount for federal estate tax purposes and an applicable exclusion amount for the state of Washington’s estate tax purposes.      Under both federal and Washington law, the applicable exclusion amount is subject to adjustment.  For federal estate taxes, the applicable exclusion amount for 2014 is $5,340,000.  That will...Read More

Beresford Booth Wins Court Of Appeals Case, Including Award Of Costs And Attorneys’ Fees For Client

Posted: Aug 29, 2014

By: Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz

The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I, issued its decision in the Matter of the Estate of Karl O. Molck, agreeing with the arguments made by Beresford Booth attorney Matthew J. Cruz. The Court decided the issues in favor of the estate and awarded the estate and its personal representative their costs and attorneys’ fees from the appellant.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision to dismiss a creditor of the estate’s TEDRA Petition because the creditor failed to bring a separate claim against the estate, as required by RCW 11.40.100(1).  The Court...Read More

What Is The Process Of Estate Administration In Washington State?

Posted: Jun 30, 2014

By: Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz

In Washington State, when someone passes away, their estate will need to be administered.  In general the process of estate administration accomplishes three basic purposes: 1) gathers together all of the Decedent’s assets; 2) pays all of the Decedent’s debts; and 3) distributes the net remaining estate to the Decedent’s heirs and beneficiaries.  Though these are the basic steps of administration, the process is different depending on how the Decedent organized their estate and how the Decedent chose to implement their estate plan.

For example, a Decedent may have died with many assets or with just a few.  They...Read More

What If I Die Without A Will In Washington State?

Posted: Jun 30, 2014

By: Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz

What happens to my estate in Washington State if I die without having executed a Last Will and Testament?

When someone dies without having executed a valid Last Will and Testament, they are said to have died intestate (without a Will).  I am frequently asked whether dying without a Will means your Estate will be distributed to the State of Washington – the answer is “no.”  Dying without a Will merely means your estate will be distributed according to state law.  In this sense, everyone “has a Will”, some by separate instrument and some by state law.

When someone...Read More

Washington State’s New Transfer On Death Deed

Posted: Apr 29, 2014

By: BeresfordBooth

Washington is joining several other states in allowing the use of a Transfer on Death Deed to transfer real property to a designated beneficiary at the time of death. This nonprobate transfer tool will become effective on June 12, 2014.

A Transfer on Death Deed is a new method in Washington for leaving your real estate to a beneficiary without going through the probate process. The beneficiary will not have any rights to your property while you are alive, but upon death the property will transfer to your beneficiary.

A few important things to remember, though:

  1. The deed can...Read More

Expensive Mistakes From Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning

Posted: Apr 25, 2014

By: Washington State Estate Planning Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson

The internet and television have numerous ads for pre-printed estate planning forms, such as wills, powers of attorney, etc. Sometimes, such forms may be specific to a particular state, sometimes they may not. The selling point of such forms is that you can complete them yourself, often “in the privacy of your own home”, and with less cost than if you were to consult a lawyer. While the lower cost may be true in the short run, it may much more expensive in the long run. Use of the form may also not give you the results...Read More

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