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What We Can Do For You

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Estate Planning

We urge everyone to put their affairs in order. Often the goal is to determine who would receive your estate at death and how. We start by examining each client’s ‘do nothing plan’ or what happens if you don’t do anything. Then we help clients consider comprehensive will plans, living trust plans and specialized plans. Sometimes clients call our offices wanting to get a simple will. Wouldn’t it be great if life was still simple! In these complex times, hardly anyone is well served with a ‘simple will’. Instead, we find there isn’t one right solution for everyone. Let us help you review your situation, wishes and goals to develop the plan that is right for you.

Guardianship

Sometimes it is necessary to step in to help someone who is at risk of harm to their person or estate, based on a pattern of conduct. Or maybe a vulture is circling around a loved one trying to take advantage of them. Typically, these persons have not previously named someone to assist them in an appropriate power of attorney document. Sometimes we can create a solution to avoid guardianship. Other times, someone may be acting in such an erratic manner that there aren’t other options. We assist in the petition process, as well as with the ongoing administration of a guardianship.

Medicaid Applications

Do you have a family member with a need to pay for in-home care or assisted living care? Maybe someone you love is in a nursing home? We in assist reviewing options and creating strategies to pay for long term care in Washington state. We will help you investigate all the options: respite (subject to availability), Medicare, Veteran’s Benefits (Aid & Attendance or Housebound), Long Term Care insurance, private payment (including annuities and reverse mortgages) and Medicaid (including COPES, Medicaid skilled care and medically needy). Washington has complex and unique Medicaid rules that we help clients navigate. Currently, we do not help with Oregon crisis planning and/or Oregon Medicaid applications.

Planning For The Second Half Of Life

What happens if you don’t die? Like most estate planning attorneys, we help clients prepare plans that determine how to effectuate their wishes when they pass away and how to make the process as expedient as possible. However, if you or a loved one is facing elder care issues, traditional estate planning may not work. Traditional estate plans are designed to help you pass your assets on to your heirs when you pass away. And while that is an important consideration, they often don’t adequately address the question of how your affairs will be handled if you don’t die but get sick along the way.

Probate and Trust Administration

We help fiduciaries in probate administration, non-probate administration and trust administrations of decedent’s estates. The first step for each of these is to determine what provisions of the probate and trust code are applicable and then determine what is necessary. Our goal is to help the trustee or personal representative complete their duties without retaining any personal liability. Our team is available to help throughout the process: start to finish.

Special Needs Planning

If you’re caring for a loved one with special needs, you face challenges others often don’t. One of the most significant challenges is dealing with assets and government benefits. If your loved one has “too much” in assets, he or she won’t qualify, or remain eligible for benefits. However, most of the time the public benefit is not enough to provide the quality of life you want for your loved one. Thankfully, you can preserve assets and protect benefits eligibility through special needs planning.

Alzheimer's Planning

As Vancouver, WA, Alzheimer planning lawyers we can help you create plans to protect you through each stage of the disease. These plans help ensure that your health care, personal, and financial wishes are honored, even if you become incapacitated.

Asset Protection

You’ve spent your life working hard and building, and you’ve acquired assets. Now, you want to protect what you’ve built so you can enjoy what you’ve anticipated and bless your family when your property is distributed to your beneficiaries one day. Asset protection work is all about planning to achieve such goals despite the threats that can arise due to care costs, taxes, and economic fluctuations.

Elder Law

As we grow older, our legal needs change. In our younger years, we focus on building to provide for ourselves and family and eventual retirement. Often, once we retire we think, “Well, what now?” How to best plan and use your assets—not just build them—as we age is an integral and critical part of being prudent and responsible stewards of all we have. It is how we best prepare to ensure that we and those we love will be okay regardless of the challenges aging brings to all of us.

Long Term Care Planning

When you realize that the average cost of skilled nursing care per day in Washington State at this point is over $350 a day, do you worry about what will happen if you or your spouse needs long-term care in the future? You’ve likely heard stories of people losing their assets to pay for long-term care and becoming impoverished, and you don’t want that to happen to you. Thankfully, including long-term care planning in your estate plan will help you pay for care while preserving your assets.

Powers Of Attorney

If you become incapacitated without a plan in place, your family will ultimately have to petition the court for guardianship to be able to manage your routine health and financial affairs. Guardianship is a complicated process that results in your becoming a ward of the State, and is very emotionally taxing to you and your loved ones.

Trusts And Wills

If you pass away without a will or trust, you won’t have control over who receives your assets. Instead, the courts will follow the law of intestate succession when distributing your property. Also, if you are a parent, the state will choose a guardian unless the other parent is still alive.

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