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When an individual passes away, they leave behind all property and all assets (also known as their estate) they worked tirelessly to attain to members of their family and inner circle. Deceased people with a big or small estate can surely gain from having a plan in terms of managing their assets and personal belongings – even while they’re still alive. The most critical part of any rock-solid estate plan is a person’s last will and testament. Writing a will in Vancouver WA is key for anyone who wants to make sure all properties are managed by the right people when they’re gone.
Our team at Robert Russell Law Office is well-versed in Washington state laws and has vast experience in making sure the will’s contents are executed accordingly. Rob’s compassionate and caring approach to every client means he’s the attorney you want to help you manage your estate. Call our Washington estate planning law firm today for free initial bankruptcy consultations by video or phone.
What is a Will?
A last will and testament, or will for short, is a document that serves as a guide to several important decisions for the property an individual will leave behind after they pass away. In most cases, a written will can be used to protect your assets and your property from other interested parties outside of your family and close friends.
To be eligible for writing a will Vancouver WA, the will-maker must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Below are things that need to be accomplished to make a will valid:
- The will must be executed by the actual testator
- The will must be written and signed in the presence of a notary public or two witnesses
- The will’s provisions must be fully understood by the testator
In rare cases, however, the state of Washington recognizes oral (nuncupative) wills under the following conditions:
- The will-maker should either be a member of the United States armed forces, the United States merchant marine, or an individual disposing of exactly or less than $1,000 of personal assets.
- The will must be made at the time of your last sickness
- The will should be declared in the presence of at least two witnesses
- The will has to be offered to court within 6 months after it is made (unless reduced to a written one)
- The will has a citation that allows your widow/widower and in-laws to contest it
For other eligibility requirements and circumstances to know when writing a will in Vancouver WA, reach out to an experienced Washington estate planning attorney.
Why should I write a Will?
When writing a will in Vancouver WA, your main purpose is to prepare your loved ones for life after you die. Accomplish the following is important:
- Leaving your property to specific people and/or organizations like charitable institutions
- Naming a guardian that will take care of any minor children you have
- Naming a trusted individual to manage the assets your minor children will inherit
- Naming a person (executor) who will ensure that the terms of your will are followed
In other words, writing a will in Vancouver WA gives you more control over your property even after you die. To find out what additional benefits your family can get from a written will, reach out to a seasoned Washington estate planning lawyer.
How do I make a Will?
Writing a will in Vancouver WA doesn’t just involve making the actual document; you need to follow these steps to make a rock-solid last will and testament:
Determining what assets are included in your will
This step involves listing down all the significant assets you own and then deciding which will be covered by the will and which ones get left out.
Deciding who will inherit certain property
Although you have a first choice as to who gets certain shares of your estate, this part of the process includes choosing alternate beneficiaries.
Choosing an executor to manage your estate
This decision may be the most important you’ll make during the will-making process. Choosing who executes your will after your pass on will oversee the probate process and must be someone who you trust.
Choosing a legal guardian for your minor children
If you have children below 18 years old, you need to choose the person who will raise them in your absence and if your spouse is unable to do so.
Choosing who will handle your children’s inherited property
If your children are minors and/or young adults, you have the option to give an older adult (a property custodian, guardian, or trustee) the authority to manage the assets they inherited.
Writing your will
Writing a will in Vancouver WA must be done with an experienced estate planning attorney especially if you own a significant amount of property under your name. After finalizing the document, it must be signed in front of at least two witnesses who should also sign your will.
Storing your will in a safe place
Your validated will need to be kept somewhere safe and secure that only you and your chosen executor are aware of.
What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you die without making a will, your property will get distributed in accordance with the state of Washington’s intestacy laws. In this case, the assets will be given to your immediate family (spouse and children), followed by your parents, grandchildren, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and other distant relatives.
If the court determines that you do not have any blood relatives to inherit what you left behind, your property will be taken to the state of Washington.
Speak to a seasoned estate planning attorney regarding how else writing a will in Vancouver WA can safeguard your family and your estate.
Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer in Washington?
Writing a will in Vancouver WA is crucial in preventing your assets from being distributed according to the intestacy laws. Although these laws can attain the same asset distribution as a will, there’s a possibility that it increases the cost of administering your probate.
To make sure you get every single important detail included in your will, you need a Vancouver attorney who:
- Has the necessary experience to deal with any case and circumstance
- Provides comprehensive legal advice unique to each individual
- Gives a compassionate and trustworthy legal representation
- Caters to a wide range of practices
- Doesn’t charge too much for quality legal services
Our team at Robert Russell Law Office truly values your peace of mind. Contact our firm right away to speak with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney!
Call our Vancouver, WA estate planning lawyer Now!
We at Robert Russell Law Office provide estate planning services that cater to all your concerns. Our team is committed to not only keeping your assets safe today but also in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns related to writing a will Vancouver WA or anything about estate planning, contact us immediately to schedule a free initial consultation by phone!