Estate Planning Basics
In our practice of dealing exclusively with real estate law matters, it is a natural extension that clients owning real estate would want to plan for the future and determine ahead of time how they wish to distribute, not only their real estate holdings, but also all of their other assets as well. Estate planning is a big part of our overall real estate focused practice.
Clients have the opportunity to plan ahead and, if they do, their wishes will be secured and enforced by courts (if necessary) after they die. There are many choices available to a client starting down the estate planning process road.
What is a Will?
There are many choices available to clients to plan their estates. Many clients will choose a Will as their method of transferring their assets upon their passing. In our practice most clients utilize this method of estate planning.
A Will in Washington State is a writing on behalf of a party (called “testator”) that is drafted in a fashion and signed (called “executed”) in a fashion that insures its enforceability after the death of the testator. It’s a recognized legal right that all of our clients have in Washington state and we encourage all of our clients to have a Will.
How do Trusts Work?
As estate planning attorneys, we assist our clients in determining the best method of transferring their assets at death. Another popular method involves creating an intervivos trust.
A trust of this sort is, in most cases, a “will substitute”. It provides a method of asset transfer that may be accomplished without any court involvement whatsoever. In most cases parties utilizing a Will are required to go to court to probate the Will. In the case of an intervivos trust, these actions are all accomplished outside of court. Many clients find this a more favorable way to proceed.
Our estate planning attorneys at McFerran law have over 35 years of experience in assisting clients with their estate planning needs. Counseling on the best manner to proceed plays an integral role in assisting clients in designing a plan exclusively for them.
How Our Attorneys May Assist
Estate planning is really a process. It takes time and it takes effort to, on many occasions, face death and address uncomfortable issues. We are all living longer now and certain aspects of estate planning can assist clients even during their lives as proper estate planning can also eliminate or curtail estate taxes at either the federal or state level.
In most situations our estate planning attorney meets with you initially to gain an insight into your individual situation and to assist in determining your overall goals on a pretty basic basis. Generally, as a result of that meeting, we will have developed a basic plan and have agreed upon certain determined specific goals.
Your estate planning attorney will then begin to draft the various legal documents required to meet your basic plan and specific goals. Such documentation may include:
- Last Will and Testament (for husband)
- Last Will and Testament (for wife)
- Intervivos Family Trust
- Durable Power of Attorney: health (for husband)
- Durable power of attorney: health (for wife)
- Durable Power of Attorney: financial (for husband)
- Durable Power of Attorney: financial (for wife)
- Directives to Physicians (living will) (for husband)
- Directive to Physicians (living will) (for wife)
- Funeral Directive (for husband)
- Funeral Directive (for wife)
- Special Needs Trust (as required)
Our attorneys will help to explain the documentation and make certain that all issues are addressed. Upon that occasion, clients come to our office to sign (along with witnesses) the documents that create the actual estate plan.
What is the Cost of an Estate Plan?
Our estate planning attorneys are accomplished and experienced in estate planning. Our years of experience allows our attorneys to be extremely cost-effective in serving you. In 99% of the cases, your attorney at McFerran law will quote you a “no surprises” fixed fee for the package of services.
You see over more than 35 years of practice, we have seen it all in the estate planning area. We can be very efficient and cost-effective. It is not uncommon that an estate plan for a single individual can run as little as $750 for the whole package. Married couples depending upon their circumstances could be as little as $1000-$1250 for a will estate plan. Trust estate plans are costlier as the work not only involves document drafting, but “funding” of the trust as well.
We Welcome the Opportunity to Consult with You on Your Estate Planning Matter
Our estate planning attorneys at McFerran Law always have slots open in their daily schedule to meet with clients on new real estate matters. In many cases that one initial consultation can address all the needs of a client on a particular real estate, business, probate or tax deferred exchange matter.
We do not provide free consultations (except in the 1031 tax deferred exchange practice area). We pride ourselves that a single initial one-hour consultation will provide most clients all the information they need to move forward with their legal matter. We don’t have to research, investigate or learn about real estate law matters. Our attorneys can answer on the spot in that initial consultation most real estate questions you may have as they have over 35 years of experience. They only do real estate and matters related to real estate!
McFerran Law has a Special $150 New Matter Consultation Rate
Our estate planning attorneys can meet with you by phone, Zoom or in our office for an up to a one-hour time period to go over, in detail, your legal matter and generally provide you valuable legal information to assist you in your individual situation. If your matter will require additional services, your attorney will generally be able to provide you an estimate for such services as well.