Wealth Transfer Planning

Personal Lifetime Planning. Much of our practice is devoted to will and trust document preparation. We listen to your desires, consider your assets, analyze the impact of state and federal tax laws, and help you create a plan that suits you and your family. The documents that we draft to implement the plan may include the following:

  • Wills (simple and complex, including those with trusts)
  • Living trusts, both revocable and irrevocable (including life insurance and charitable trusts)
  • Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial property agreements
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Directives to physicians ("living wills")
  • LLC agreements and buy-sell agreements
  • Non-judicial dispute resolution agreements

Living Trusts. Living trusts, also known as revocable trusts, have become an important planning tool for many people. While more prevalent in states with burdensome probate laws (such as California and New York), living trusts are useful in Washington for a several possible purposes, including holding title to out-of-state property (to avoid the necessity of probates in multiple states); segregating assets; and minimizing or avoiding probate in Washington. We have extensive experience in the drafting and implementation of living trusts.

Trust and Probate Administration. We represent personal representatives and trustees in connection with the initiation, administration, and supervision of trust, estate, and related proceedings. This involves preparation of pleadings for appointment of personal representatives; inventory of assets and liabilities; thorough review and analysis of income and estate tax planning options; preparation of necessary accountings; transfer of assets in estate distribution, and closing the probate administration. We often work in coordination with accountants in the completion of estate and gift tax returns. We also represent individual beneficiaries regarding their interests in trusts and estates.

Business Succession Planning. We have backgrounds in business law, and are well-qualified to assist clients in their efforts to move family owned businesses and assets intact from one generation to the next. We consult extensively with other lawyers, accountants, life underwriters and financial planners on all aspects of personal planning.