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Understanding Estate Planning: Your Questions Answered

At Rehmke Andreve, PS, we are here to walk you through the sometimes complex world of estate planning with a friendly and understanding approach. With nearly 60 combined years of experience with establishing and updating estate plans, we have handled virtually every possible scenario.

We believe in making sure you feel confident and informed about the decisions you’re making for the future. If you’re ready to take the next step in protecting your legacy and providing for your loved ones, reach out to us. Let’s discuss how we can support your estate planning needs in the Tacoma area. Contact us today, and let’s start this important conversation together.

Read on for general answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our lawyers hear from our estate planning clients.

What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

If you pass away without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state laws known as intestacy laws. These laws may not reflect your wishes and can often lead to outcomes you wouldn’t expect, because intestacy laws give certain surviving relatives priority over others.

For instance, if you have children but no spouse, your children will inherit everything. If you have both a spouse and children, the way your assets are divided can get more complicated. We can help you create a will that ensures your wishes are followed, providing you with peace of mind and protecting your loved ones from unnecessary stress during a difficult time.

Will Estate Taxes Affect My Estate?

Estate taxes, often called “death taxes,” can indeed impact your estate, depending on its value. In Washington state, estates valued above a certain threshold may be subject to state estate tax. The federal government also imposes an estate tax, but it only affects estates of even greater value.

While most estates fall below the current estate tax thresholds, those could change in the future. It is important to plan ahead to minimize the impact of these taxes, ensuring that more of your assets go to your loved ones rather than to taxes. We can guide you through the process of understanding and planning for these potential costs.

Who Can Be The Executor Of My Estate?

Choosing the executor of your estate is a significant decision. This person will be responsible for managing your estate, paying debts and taxes, and distributing your assets as you’ve directed. In Washington state, an executor, also known as a personal representative, can be almost any competent adult.

Many people choose a trusted family member or friend, but you also have the option to appoint a professional, such as an attorney or a trust company. We can help you decide who would be the best fit for this role and make sure they are prepared for the responsibilities it entails.

Still Have Questions?

For more answers to your estate planning questions, please call 253-642-4541 to reach Rehmke Andreve, PS, at our Fircrest office and schedule your initial consultation.