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Vancouver, WA, Trust and Will Lawyer

Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. helps clients ensure their wishes are honored through trusts and wills.

Trusts and Wills in Vancouver, WA

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.

A Vancouver, WA, trust and wills lawyer can help you avoid these situations. Your attorney can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes while also helping you designate a guardian for your minor children.

Reasons to Add a Trust and Will to Your Estate Plan

Having both a trust and a will in your estate plan will ensure that you cover all the bases. With both documents, you will:

  • Determine who receives your assets
  • Choose a guardian for minor children
  • Make charitable donations if you wish
  • Protect yourself in case of incapacitation

Wills In Washington State

You can use a will to designate beneficiaries and guardians for minor children. In addition, you will name a personal representative to administer the estate when you pass away. You can modify and revoke the will at any time, and it won’t go into effect until you pass away.

Once you pass away, the personal representative will probate the will. This includes inventorying and valuing the property, paying debts, and distributing the assets. Probate generally takes 6-12 months, and the representative will distribute the assets when it’s over. In addition, the representative might have to defend the will against legal challenges. Your Vancouver, WA, trust and will lawyer can help you through all aspects of probate.

Trusts In Washington State

You can add a revocable or irrevocable trust to your estate plan. If you choose a revocable trust, you can manage, modify, and revoke it if you choose to do so.

With an irrevocable trust, you will choose a third-party trustee to manage it. You cannot revoke or directly access the trust, but you can benefit from it. Irrevocable trusts are popular with people who want to remove assets from their estates to qualify for Medicaid. Also, the property inside of the trust is shielded from creditors, providing another benefit.

Revocable and irrevocable trusts do not have to pass through probate. That means that the proceedings won’t be made public. Thus, this is also a good option if you want to maintain your family’s privacy.

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How Long Does Probate Or Trust Administration Take?

On average, wills take six months to one year to probate. Trust administration takes an average of 12-18 months. In both cases, complex estates can take longer than average. Also, the duration can lengthen if the will or trust faces a legal challenge from beneficiaries or creditors. A Vancouver, WA, trust and will lawyer can ensure a smooth process so it doesn’t take longer than it should.

How A Trust Plans For Incapacitation

If you create and fund a revocable trust, you can serve as the trustee. However, you’ll also name a successor trustee to step in if you become incapacitated or pass away. Having a person in place to manage your affairs means your family won’t have to petition the court for guardianship. Also, the transition will be seamless, so the agent can take over management duties immediately.

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