There are two types of Guardianships, one for the Person (personal and health care), and one for the Estate (financial). A person can have a Limited Guardianship of either the Person or the Estate, or a Full Guardianship of the Person and Estate, depending upon how much assistance and protection an indivdual may need through a guardianship. Deprivation of rights is not favored in law. Removal of only those rights which are necessary to protect an individual should occur.
For adults, the need for a guardianship may arise when an individual is no longer able to manage their personal and financial matters and who do not have alternatives to guardianship in place, such as a Durable Power of Attorney or Trust.
The need for a guardianship may arise when the parents of a disabled child wish to continue to manage their child’s matters when the child reaches the age of majority. Guardianships are also established when a minor child will be the beneficiary of a settlement in litigation or will be receiving an inheritance outside of a testamentary trust or custodial account.
After one is appointed Guardian of a Person and/or Estate, the Guardian is required to prepare annual reports to the Court reflecting the care and/or finances of the protected person.
We provide services in all areas of Guardianship, including but not limited to, establishing guardianships of the person and estate as well as representing lay and professional guardians in obtaining court approval of guardianship accountings, court-supervised sales of real property owned by guardianship estates, and in modifying or terminating guardianships.
A Trust may be created during the lifetime of the Trustor, or upon the death of the Trustor in his or her Last Will and Testament.
A Court-created Trust may be established as part of a settlement in a civil lawsuit, or for the benefit of a disabled or individual. A court created Trust usually requires an annual accounting to the Court by the Trustee.
Our firm represents lay and profession Trustees in the administration of trusts, including the preparation of accountings for the Court, obtaining Court approval on required Trust accountings, modification and dissolution of Trusts, and Trust litigation.
We handle Trust and Guardianship matters in many counties of Washington State including King, Snohomish, Pierce, Adams, Walla Walla, Thurston, Franklin, Yakima, Clallam, and Benton Counties.
Probating an estate is sometimes necessary in order to transfer the decedent’s assets, such as real property, securities accounts, etc., either according to the decedent’s Will, or according to the laws of intestate distribution. Probate also sets forth a procedure for limiting the time in which creditors of your estate may file claims in order to collect on debts that you may have owed at the time of your death.
If you believe a decedent’s Estate should be probated, Washington state law requires that the last Will of the decedent be promptly filed with the Court after the decedent’s death.
If you are appointed as the Personal Representative (Executor or Administrator) of a decedent’s Estate, we will provide you with a general list of duties you need to handle and complete as Personal Representative of the Estate. When it comes to probating an Estate, we often tell our clients we will assist them with as many or as little of the duties, according to their comfort level in completing such tasks.
Advance Care and Estate Planning
We regularly counsel and advise individuals with their advance care and estate planning needs, and draft legal documents suited to each client’s circumstances and needs. These advance care and estate planning documents may include durable powers of attorney, health care directives, community property agreements, pre-and post-nuptial agreements, trusts, and wills.
Our firm has experience in representing professional fiduciaries, such as health care professionals, accountants, and professional guardians, before their respective professional boards and associations.
Our firm will assist you in the formation of new businesses, such as corporations, limited liability companies (“LLC”), limited liability partnerships (“LLP”), sole proprietorships and partnerships. We also assist clients in expanding and modifying currently existing businesses, as well as dissolution of business entities.
If you are ready to incorporate your business, or establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC), we will apply for the Corporation or LLC for you through the Secretary of State and prepare the necessary corporate or LLC documents. We can also apply, or assist you in applying, for your Tax Identification Number through the IRS, your State of Washington Master Business License, and your local City Business License.