Estate Planning

Have You Protected Your Most Valuable Assets? Estate Planning Can Ensure That You Have

Seattle Estate Planning AttorneyEstate planning varies from individual to individual and family to family. Our advice and estate planning packages are therefore as diverse and varied as the people we serve, but they are always crafted to serve your specific needs, intentions and goals. Your estate planning package includes a will, a durable power of attorney for financial decisions and one for healthcare decisions, a health care power of attorney, a living will, and a community property agreement if it makes sense in your case. There are many planning tools available depending on your personal situation. Whether it is tax planning, mixed family or domestic partnership issues, preparedness for illness or disability, charitable planning or trust creation, Selander O’Brien’s Seattle Estate Planning Attorneys offer you the full range of possible solutions to your estate planning needs.

Estate planning can be complex, and requires knowledge in many areas of law as well as familiarity with the IRS code and Washington State estate tax laws. Your estate planning could include trusts created for beneficiaries with special needs, guardians nominated for minor children, trusts created for your minor children, and marital trusts created to shelter your estate from paying taxes. Contact us now to review your current will or to get started with your estate planning.

How Our Seattle Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help You

Jeannie O’Brien, an experienced Seattle estate planning attorney, offers an array of services and planning tools to best represent you.  Among them are the following:

  • Estate Planning. Drafting and creating wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, living wills or trusts depending on your situation and needs.
  • Representing You as Personal Representative. We provide representation of the Executor or Personal Representative of a will in probate. We provide you with drafted documents to open and proceed through probate and we go to court on your behalf when necessary, so you don’t have to. We help you make decisions and negotiate with creditors. We advise you about how and when to distribute assets to beneficiaries and provide you with counsel on your legal duties and obligations as personal representative. Our firm is experienced with a wide range of probate issues and problems and can assist you if litigation were to arise.
  • Beneficiary Representation. We also provide representation of beneficiaries and heirs within the probate context. We can assist you with determining your legal rights, help you protect your inheritance, and require those named as personal representative to account for their actions, commencing litigation or “will contests” as necessary.
  • Fiduciary Representation. In addition to representing personal representatives and beneficiaries, we also represent other fiduciaries: trustees and attorneys-in-fact acting under a durable or health care power of attorney. If you are a named fiduciary, we can help you understand your legal obligations and duties.
  • Tax Planning. We are experienced with estate tax planning. The federal estate tax taxes certain gifts made to beneficiaries during your lifetime or upon your death if your gross estate exceeds a certain threshold amount. This federal tax is imposed after you have already paid income or dividend or capital gains tax on the asset you are gifting. Washington State also levies a separate estate tax. Washington has one of the highest estate tax rates in the nation, but does not currently tax gifts made by you while you are living. If your estate is worth in excess of the yearly federal and state exemption amounts upon your death, this portion of your estate could face a tax of around 50%. Contact us for further information.

How to Get Started

The questionnaires below serve as a guide for us to get to know you before you come in for your first client meeting. Please download, complete and send back to us.

If you are interested in estate planning:

Download the Estate Planning Questionnaire

If someone has died and has a house or property in his or her name:

Download the Probate Questionnaire

Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with estate planning.