Office in Anacortes, Serving All of Northwest Washington

A properly prepared estate plan helps you meet your financial goals, minimizes tax liability, provides control over your final days and efficiently and effectively transfers wealth from one generation to the next. Washington estate and probate law is complex, so using an experienced estate planning attorney is highly recommended. The Campbell Law Firm can help you plan for your future and prepare the documents needed to transfer your assets so you can pass a legacy on to future generations.

Estate Planning Attorney Based in Anacortes, Serving All of Northwest Washington

Your estate consists of everything you own. This includes real property like your home and any rental properties, as well as personal property like your car, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, furniture, and personal possessions.

An estate planning attorney can provide advice on how to title and transfer your assets to ensure that your property is passed on to people you care about. A sound estate plan prepared by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney provides peace of mind. You can rest easy, knowing that your wishes will be respected and that you will have control over your final days.

Your estate plan can also specify the nature and extent of medical care you do or do not wish to receive, appoint someone to make financial and health care decisions for you if you are unable to, specify where and how you will spend your final days, and identify whether you want medical providers to take extraordinary lifesaving measures if your life is coming to an end.

A Basic Estate Plan

A basic estate plan should include:

  • Your last will and testament, which identifies your assets in broad categories, specifies how those assets will be distributed after your death, and identifies the executor of your estate and a guardian of any children who are under the age of 18.
  • A durable power of attorney allows someone you appoint to manage your business, legal, and financial affairs if you are unable to manage them yourself.
  • A healthcare power of attorney identifies someone who will make healthcare-related decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.
  • A living will and advanced directives allow you to make your wishes known about the nature and extent of medical care you wish to receive at the end of your life.

An experienced estate planning attorney can provide advice on these matters and prepare the documents necessary to carry out your wishes.

Trusts: Estate Planning for Complex Situations

If you have a more complex estate planning situation or need to plan for specific needs, such as to preserve assets while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid or other government benefits or to pass assets on to someone who may not be able to handle them alone, your lawyer may recommend including a trust as part of your estate plan.

A trust creates a fiduciary relationship between the trust-maker (also known as the grantor, settlor, or trustor), and a trustee. The trustee holds assets on behalf of the trust-maker and manages them on behalf of the beneficiary. Sometimes the grantor, trustee, and beneficiary are the same person. Other times, they are not.

A trust is similar to a will in that it specifies how your assets will be distributed. However, a trust provides additional flexibility, is often used to address more complicated estate planning situations, and can be used during the lifetime of the trust-maker.

A trust can also be used to maintain privacy. Unlike a will, which is public record, assets passed through a trust remain private.

Types of Trusts

Different types of trusts are used to address different estate planning needs. Generally, a trust is either living or testamentary, and revocable or irrevocable.

A living trust is made for the benefit of the grantor during his or her lifetime. Assets are placed in the trust, and the trust-maker, trustee, and beneficiary are often the same person. When the grantor dies, assets in the trust are transferred according to the terms of the trust.

A testamentary trust is created by a person’s last will and testament. Upon the death of the trust-maker, assets are transferred into the trust and pass according to its terms.

A revocable trust can be changed by the grantor during his or her lifetime.

An irrevocable trust cannot be changed once it has been established.

Depending on your specific needs, your estate planning lawyer can make a recommendation about which type of trust is best for your situation.

A Washington Estate Planning Attorney Helps Protect Your Future

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Everyone can benefit from a sound estate plan. Whether you are a young parent who needs to protect and care for your children or are retired and trying to decide how to pass your assets on to people and organizations that are important to you, an estate plan will give you peace of mind secure in the knowledge that your wishes and desires will be followed, that you are protecting and providing for the people that matter most, and that you will pass a legacy on to future generations.

The Campbell Law Firm proudly assists people throughout Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties, including Anacortes, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Sedro-Woolley, Friday Harbor, Oak Harbor, and Coupeville.

If you are in need of estate planning services, contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help. Call (360) 588-4111, email, or complete our online form.