Our firm can provide the steady and compassionate guidance that your family needs to get through the difficult times. Whether it is a death in the family or questions about paying for Long-Term Care, our experience can be your guide back to steady ground.
We’ll help you establish the validity of a will, valuate property, handle estate taxes, and all the other fine details that you’d rather not deal with. Trust our experienced attorneys & paralegals to take care of the fine print, so you can enjoy what matters most to you.
Thank you for visiting Moulton Law Offices! We strive to provide you with the valuable Estate Planning resources you desire. We maintain dual offices in Spokane and the Tri-Cities if you’d prefer to visit us in person. Our mission is to provide residents of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho with quality estate planning resources.
There are many legal strategies involved in estate planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care documents. Do not make the mistake of thinking that Community Property Laws, Joint Tenancy accounts or “my family will take care of it” are suitable substitutions for a proper estate plan. New clients often do not have a plan, but whether you have a plan or not, let our experience help you protect your family and estate.
Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. If probate avoidance planning has not been completed prior to death, the state will likely require a court proceeding. While the probate process can seem overwhelming, our experienced staff can lead you through the pitfalls and help you ensure that the estate is administrated correctly. We also can assist Trustees with the process of administering a Trust or, in some circumstances, serve as a Trustee or Personal Representative.
Elder law is one of the fastest growing legal industries. As our seniors begin to plan their next steps, the prospect of losing all of their assets paying for Long-Term Care can be heartbreaking. We help families pre-plan for their potential needs, work to develop plans so seniors can “age in place,” and protect what they have worked a lifetime to build. In addition, we assist families navigate the dangerous waters inheritance when they face an immediate Long-Term Care crisis.
Estate tax laws have historically been a political football – changing with the whim of Congress. In addition, Washington has its own Estate Tax and exemption limits that can complicate an estate plan seeking to pass estates without paying a tax. Fortunately, with proper planning most clients can plan around the estate tax and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that their heirs will not be forced to sell assets or pay unnecessary tax.
Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits or bankruptcies. Many of our clients are also concerned about protecting the inheritance they leave for their children. Whether it be concerns about a spend-thrift in-law, divorce protection, or special needs planning, our attorneys can help you ensure your legacy is secured and used only as you have intended.
Special Needs Estate Planning focuses on providing for the supplemental needs of our loved ones with disabilities when we are no longer there to organize and advocate on their behalf. Parents should be very careful when planning to protect benefits that are or may be available. Our attorneys are familiar with the laws and landmines inherent in leaving assets to those on SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, VA Aid and Attendance, or who may become eligible for any of those programs in the future.
We offer regular FREE public seminars on Estate Planning. We ask all potential clients to start with one of these seminars to become familiar with the different options available and potential pitfalls of failing to plan. Attendees of these free seminars may meet with an attorney for free to discuss their estate planning needs. During the implementation phase, there is ongoing communication with the client, which may involve obtaining additional documentation, clarifying goals and information, and discussing options and trade-offs.
Following the execution of most plans, we enroll our clients in our Client Care Program which ensures the highest level of assurance and customer service. We firmly believe that ongoing communication is an essential element of developing an effective plan, and building a life-long relationship with our clients. Our office is not interested in a mere transaction, but rather serving as the trusted advisor that you will confidently refer your friends and family to, knowing that we will provide them with the same great service we provided to you.
Who’re the VIP’s in your life? Starting off with yourself, these probably include your family: your partner if you are married, kids and grandchildren if you have any, maybe your parents, siblings or other extended relatives. Beyond this, “Very Important People” could also include charitable organizations, special causes, schools or universities, and even religious organizations you’re committed to. For many, “VIPs” could even include your animals! Spend a while considering the affect others have had on your time on this planet. Make yourself a list and jot down notes if you’d like. This is truly where the preparation process begins.
Make yourself a shortlist of the assets you control or own. At this stage, you don’t need to worry about your policy numbers and exact dollar values. Instead, think through your assets in terms of their nature (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.); their economic value in thousands of dollars; and then your ownership interest: Do you own assets in your name only, in joint tenancy with someone else, or through a trust agreement or some other arrangement? Be certain to include often-overlooked assets like life insurance (the death benefit, not the cash value), business interests, and any inheritance you anticipate receiving. Having a solid understanding of the nature and the value of your financial assets will help you understand the types of planning that are most appropriate for you and it may also give you some ideas on how you’d like these holdings managed and allotted after you’re gone.
Who would you appoint to make decisions on your behalf if you were no longer able to do so yourself? Would this person also manage your finances and your personal or health care decisions? Who would you choose to care for your minor children? Consider how you’d like to distribute your assets to your heirs. Would you prefer to spare your heirs the potential cost and hassles of the probate procedure? Would you like to reduce the impact of estate taxes … or maximize the effect of a charitable bequest? Is there anyone in your family with special needs that you’d like to provide for? Perhaps you know someone who probably shouldn’t receive a good deal of money without additional outside oversight? Our experienced planning attorneys will help you craft your needs into a sustainable lifetime and post-mortem plan that puts YOU in control of your destiny.
Whether you have just won the lottery or are struggling to meet monthly expenses, your future financial comfort depends on creating – and sticking to – a long-term money management strategy.
Moulton Law Offices offers a wealth of free information and free seminars. Read our Estate Planning Articles, and if you’re in the area, join us at an Estate Planning Seminar. We want you to feel confident about the choices you make—let us be your guide on the path toward preserving your family’s future.