Estate PlanningBasic estate planning documents include a will, medical and financial powers of attorney and a health care directive (living will).
With a will you control who inherits your assets. Otherwise, Washington law controls who inherits your assets. A will also allows you to:
- Control how and when your heirs receive your assets (at death or later in a trust)
- Choose a person to administer your estate, called a personal representative
- Choose a guardian for minor children
- Create a Special Needs Trust for heirs that are disabled and receiving government benefits
A health care directive is a document that notifies health care providers that if you are in a terminal condition or permanent unconscious condition, you refuse life sustaining treatment and you may also refuse nutrition and hydration.
Medicaid Planning - Special consideration should be taken when doing estate planning if there are concerns that either you or your spouse may require long term care, such as a nursing home. If one of the spouses enters a nursing home or receives other costly long term care, certain limited planning techniques can be employed to minimize the economic effect on the well spouse and/or deplete all of an individual's assets.