Estate Planning

Attorneys at Navigate Law Group have extensive knowledge in creating a tailored estate plan to fit each client’s unique estate planning goals. At Navigate Law Group, our attorneys have experience creating estate plans for clients in both Washington and Oregon, including planning estates subject to estate tax. Creating an estate plan involves identifying the individuals clients wish to serve in important roles such as the personal representative or trustee to administer an estate or trust, the attorney-in-fact to make financial and healthcare decisions in the case of a client’s incapacity, and guardian of a client’s minor child. Estate planning involves balancing the delicate and sometimes competing interest of family members as well as an understanding of several other related areas of law, such as property law, tax law, family law, and business law. 

Our Estate Planning Attorneys Provide High-Quality Services in the Following Areas:

  • Drafting will-based estate plans and explaining the probate process. 
  • Creating living trusts with the goal of probate avoidance. 
  • Assisting clients in planning for incapacity with financial and medical powers of attorney. 
  • Helping clients to select fiduciaries key to the process of administering an estate or trust. 
  • Drafting trusts or trust alternatives for minors inheriting assets.
  • Tax planning to reduce or eliminate estate tax. 
  • Analysis regarding creating income and estate tax-efficient strategies for charitable gifting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I even need a will?

Even for people with modest-sized estates, having some type of estate planning in place is advisable. In addition to stating who is to receive your assets, your will appoints the person you wish to administer your estate when you pass away. If you die without a will, the state’s default rules govern who is to receive your probate assets, which may not reflect your wishes. It is especially important for people with minor children to have a will because a will states who is to handle inherited assets for a minor child and who you would want as your child’s guardian. Additionally, having a will can save on some expenses of administration and can reduce the possibility of disagreements among beneficiaries of the estate.

Do I need a trust?

The main function of a trust is to avoid probate, which is the court supervised administration of an estate. Generally, if you die with a will (or without a will), your estate may have to go through the probate process before probate assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries. Setting up and properly funding a living trust avoids probate, which has the potential of easing the burden and cost of administration. However, an estate plan based around a trust is generally more expensive than a will-based plan and takes more work to maintain.

 

Does my estate have to pay estate taxes when I die?

In Washington, estates worth over approximately $2.2 million are subject to estate tax. In Oregon, estates over $1 million are subject to estate tax. Generally, with married couples, there is no estate tax owing at the first death if the surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary of the assets. However, at the death of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse’s entire estate, including inherited assets, is subject to estate tax. Estate tax can be reduced or avoided with proper estate planning.

I can’t recommend this law firm highly enough. I have met each of the team, and have found them to not only be compassionate, but extremely detail-oriented, and very capable and thorough when it comes to communication. You can tell they are extremely passionate about what they do — what a great team.

They definitely earn an easy recommendation from me.

– Bo Clark

Our Estate Planning Attorneys

 

 Josi R. Howard

Josi R. Howard

Senior Attorney

Estate Planning | Estate & Trust Administration

James C. Howe

James C. Howe

Of Counsel Attorney

​Estate Planning | Estate & Trust Administration | Business Law | ​Real Estate

Fair, knowledgeable, & pleasant. This firm can be trusted. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them in the future if I had a need. Give them consideration.

– Brooke Knight

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