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How an Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Spouse and Family

When people think of protection offered by an attorney, they usually contemplate defense attorneys insulating people from civil liability or criminal guilt or transactional attorneys limiting exposure by negotiating and drafting favorable agreements. Estate planning attorneys can protect their clients as well by helping them employ estate planning tools to protect their rights and preserve their wealth for future generations. If you are interested in learning more about how estate planning may benefit you, it is smart to talk to a seasoned estate planning attorney about your options.

How an Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Spouse and Family

Broadly speaking, estate planning attorneys help people protect their assets and ensure their wishes will be upheld in the event they become incapacitated. While these actions primarily benefit the person creating the estate plan, they can protect their spouse and family as well. For example, if a person has accumulated substantial assets, it may make sense for them to establish a trust for the benefit of their spouse or family members. As opposed to the distribution of assets via a will, providing for loved ones through a trust has many tax benefits, which can help grow and maintain generational wealth. Additionally, assets in certain trusts are protected from creditors, meaning they cannot be claimed if a party obtains a civil judgment against your spouse or family member named as a beneficiary of a trust.

Granting your spouse or a family member durable power of attorney may not only provide you with peace of mind, but it may also protect them in the long run. If it is clear that a party has the right to make financial or healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated, it is less likely that such decisions will be challenged, which can make the process of making difficult choices easier. Notably, under Washington law, a power of attorney must be signed and dated by the person granting authority to an agent, and the signature must either be acknowledged by a notary public or attested by two individuals who are not related to the person by subscribing their names to the power of attorney in the person’s presence.

Finally, an estate planning attorney can assist you in obtaining a life insurance policy so that you can rest assured that your spouse and family will be adequately provided for in the event that you pass away. While you may also intend to provide for them in your will, the probate process can be lengthy, while life insurance benefits are usually paid in a prompt manner. Additionally, life insurance benefits can be substantial, providing far greater financial security for your loved ones than your assets alone.

Talk to a Skilled Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning offers many benefits, including preventing disputes between family members and ensuring a person’s physical and financial health are protected throughout their lifetime. If you need assistance developing an estate plan, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Call Gregorek & Associates at 425-284-3450 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.

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