Coronavirus + Your Estate Plan

Since the beginning of the year, the threat of the COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus, has grown, moving from China across the world. It has already reached the US, and as I am writing this, is claiming lives in Seattle, and in my adopted hometown of Wenatchee, WA (in central Washington). For those of us who live in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, it is in our backyard. EDIT: there is a suspected case in Pullman, Read More

Tale of Two Brothers

Too often people assume making an estate plan is a one and done deal, and unfortunately, a lot of attorneys do nothing to treat it otherwise.  However, the estate plan you are going to need in your early 30s with 2 children under 5 is definitely not the same estate plan you are going to need in your 50s, when your children are in their early 20s. It is not even the same estate plan you may need just a few years Read More

Case Study – Seller Dies after Property Under Contract

Today I wanted to explore an estate planning case study. What happens if the seller dies during a real estate purchase? Though this is not a common event, I have had clients who have undergone such scenarios, so it does happen.  Here is the scenario:  Jim and Pam were looking to buy their first house (in Scranton, of course). They have both recently been promoted at their jobs as well as welcomed their first child. Read More

News Section Coming Soon…

Please check back later, this section is coming soon! Read More

Androids, Blade Runner, and What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die

What is real? This is one of the themes in Ridley Scott’s fantastic and influential movie, Blade Runner. In the movie, Harrison Ford’s character, Decker, is tasked with finding and “retiring” Replicants. These replicants are essentially manufactured robots who look like humans, but aren’t. Or are they? Decker has to figure out whether or not the “person” is a replicant, which is done through a series of questions. I Read More

How to Set Up Temporary “Guardians” For Your Children

When we typically think of parental incapacitation, we tend to think of guardianships.  In the case of a guardianship, the guardians are given complete decision-making authority and custody, as if the minors are their own children.  This is needful and good when the parents are dead or permanently out of the picture. However, in the case of a temporary incapacity, that is not the outcome we are Read More

How to Make Your Estate Plan Work For You When You Need It

An estate plan is an important and necessary protection for your family, but it doesn’t do you much good if it is a dusty binder on your basement bookshelf. You need a plan for how to activate this plan and make it work for you when you need it. The whole point of your estate plan is to care for your family in a disaster, so you want to be able to utilize it when you need it. Having safety nets such as life Read More

Why Every Adult Needs a Living Will

If you are over 18, and have no other estate plan, at the very least, you must have a living will or healthcare directive (also called advance directive). Even if you do not have children, even if you do not own a house, even if you have not saved a dime, you are legally responsible for your own life and health. Living wills surged into American consciousness with the infamous Terri Read More

When Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

Do I need a power of attorney? If so, when would I need a power of attorney? If I get a power of attorney, what can be done with it? When is it effective? What happens to it when I die? These questions are fairly common, and I will try to address them as we walk through a discussion of the power of attorney. Q: What is a Power of Attorney? A: Simply put, a power of attorney (or POA) is a Read More

Estate Planning Basics: Why Do I Need a Will?

What does someone mean when they say “basic estate plan”? What documents are included? And why are they important? There are four key documents included in a basic estate plan: the Last Will and Testament, the Financial Power of Attorney, the Healthcare Power of Attorney, and the Healthcare Directive  (also called a Living Will). Most people have little knowledge of what all is involved in estate planning, Read More