Is Probate Necessary If There Is No Will?

Typically, everyone wants to avoid a court proceeding (including most lawyers). Unfortunately, when someone dies without a will, the courtroom is impossible to escape for their heirs because they must go through a complex probate action known as intestate probate. However, while having a valid Last Will and Testament can simplify the probate process, a will alone does not allow your heirs to avoid probate. What Read More

Electronic Wills: Everything You Need to Know

A traditional will is a paper document that outlines a person's final wish to distribute their assets. However, in today's digital age, electronic wills are a modern alternative to this paper-based approach. Currently, Washington state is one of the few states that recognize the legality of a digital will; and Harbor Law Firm is one of the few that specializes in creating electronic wills. Our goal at Harbor Law Read More

Where to Keep a Will?

A Last Will and Testament is the foundational document for many estate plans. It is extremely important, and where to keep your will is equally important. After all, when your family needs it, you won’t be able to tell them how to find it.   A will, legally referred to as a Last Will and Testament, is a written document that allows property and assets to pass to the people and institutions you want to Read More

What Is Medical Power of Attorney: Essential Guide

Life is unpredictable. While you can’t foresee what and whether a potential ailment may strike, you can be prepared (and help your family prepare, too) with a powerful legal document: the medical durable power of attorney. Terri Schiavo was known for many things: beloved wife, daughter, and bookkeeper at an insurance company. However, if you recognize her name, it is likely for the prolonged, very public, legal Read More

What is a Last Will? A Comprehensive Guide

A Last Will and Testament is the foundational document for most estate plans. Yet, many Americans do not have a will. This article will delve into the definition of a will, clear up some will-related confusion, review reasons people avoid getting the document, and explain how they can overcome those barriers. In 1994, the suicide of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the band Nirvana, was felt by music appreciators Read More

What is a Joint Revocable Trust

A joint revocable living trust is a powerful tool that married couples can use to simplify passing their assets from one spouse to the other (and eventually to their heirs). However, it is not the correct estate planning solution for every couple. Read on to see if a joint revocable trust is right for you. Before we delve into the benefits of a joint revocable trust, let’s take a quick tour of a typical estate Read More

Revocable vs Irrevocable Trust: What is the Difference?

All types of estate planning trusts fall under one of two distinctions: revocable or irrevocable. Let’s examine their differences and nuances and discover how both types can be invaluable in a comprehensive estate plan. Trusts may be one of the better-known and least-understood estate planning tools. Sometimes, trusts are even unfairly besmirched, like with the phrase “trust fund kid.” When utilized efficiently Read More

What is a Spendthrift Trust, and Do You Need One?

You have worked hard to accumulate wealth to better your life and the life of your family. However, you may have noticed that the spending habits of some of your offspring or potential heirs are less than frugal. If you are concerned that someone may immediately deplete an inheritance meant to last a lifetime, a spendthrift trust may be the solution. A spendthrift trust can protect your heirs from poor financial Read More

Estate Planning vs. Will: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever asked, “is estate planning the same as a will?” Well, a will is part of an estate plan, but an estate plan is more than just a will. The word “estate” often conjures thoughts of giant, sprawling manors surrounded by lush gardens, polo grounds, dressage arenas, and horse stables. However, the truth is much more modest. In fact, you and almost everyone who you know have an estate. Simply put, an Read More

How To Avoid Probate Court

You want your loved ones to be cared for after you pass away. However, many people don’t realize that beneficiaries must often deal with a lengthy legal hassle known as probate. Fortunately, estate planning can help ensure that your heirs avoid probate. All states—including Washington—have a legal process used to close residents’ estates after they pass away. This legal process is probate. In Washington, the Read More