A Good Trust Still Needs a Good (Pour Over) Will

A Good Trust Still Needs a Good (Pour Over) Will I recently met with a client that was very interested in setting up a revocable living trust.  Being thrilled to help a new client set up their estate plan, I went right to work going over all the finer details with him.  At one point, I made mention that one of the benefits of having a living trust is that it really helps to simplify the will.  The look on his face when I mentioned the word “will” was of utter confusion. Then came the question I knew was coming, “I thought the entire point of setting up a revocable living trust is so that you...
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Did You Know Probate Can Sometimes Escape Debt?

Did You Know Probate Can Sometimes Escape Debt? I recently spoke with a potential client that was interested in probating his grandmother’s estate.  He said that he’d been pushing it off though because once he started having her mail forwarded to him, he received a ton off outstanding bills that she owed money on.  He figured that she owed so much to creditors, that it wasn’t worth his time to file the probate action because they would all just end up draining her bank accounts before it would ever reach any of their family. I told him that it is CRITICAL that as soon as a loved one passes a...
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Yes! You Should Really Have a Power of Attorney

Yes! You Should Really Have a Power of Attorney I have a lot of clients that want to talk to me about putting together a will, but that don’t think to ask for a power of attorney. Some of them don’t know what these things are, and some simply do not think they are necessary. I always tell them, “you should really have a power of attorney.” As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t just have one type of power of attorney, you should have two, potentially three. One for your finances, one for your medical needs, and maybe one to designate an individual(s) for your children if you become incapacitated...
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What the Heck is Probate?

Being an attorney, it is surprising to me when someone asks what a probate matter is. However, taking a step back and thinking about it, it makes sense that most people do not know what it is. Most would not have to deal with the probate process until later on in their life; and even then, it usually occurs during a stressful time that they might not remember the legal term for what is happening. To give a brief overview, probate is the legal process in which a Court oversees the disbursement and resolution of a deceased person's financial and personal affairs. Simply put, when someone dies, ...
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Will, Trust, and Probate Disputes-TEDRA Rules Them All

Many people often wonder, "what am I supposed to do if I think a trustee and/or a personal representative is inappropriately handling a trust and/or estate?"  Well, in 1999 the Washington legislature endeavored to provide an answer to that exact questions.  Their response was to introduce RCW 11.96a, which is more commonly referred to as TEDRA.  TEDRA is an acronym that stands for the Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act, and its purpose was to provide a simplified and streamlined the litigation method for trust and estate disputes. In the state of Washington, TEDRA is utilized for most an...
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Start Up | Lawyer Up – What Is A Sole Proprietorship? (And Is It Worth It?)

Today's episode of Start Up | Lawyer Up is the first in a series of videos that we will be posting discussing the major different entity types you can choose from in forming a business (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation).  In our first video, we are discussing Sole Proprietorship and the benefits and detriments to utilizing this form of a business.  We hope that you enjoy the video! If you have any legal needs for your business or estate planning, please do not hesitate to contact Nowakowski Legal PLLC to schedule a free consultation. Thank you ...
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Start Up | Lawyer Up – What to Do Before Forming a Business

Nowakowski Legal PLLC is proud to present the first in our new series of YouTube videos titled "Start Up | Lawyer Up."  Every few weeks, we will be posting a new video discussing a different business law topic that many entrepreneurs face with their new or established businesses.  This first episode discussed several items new entrepreneurs should take in to consideration before they actually create their business; the perfect companion to this video is the Business Start Up Guide available on the home page of Nowakowski Legal PLLC. While these videos are intended to be a helpful resource f...
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The Difference Between Having a Will, a Trust and Nothing at All

Estate planning is never something that anybody looks forward to.  However, it is important that we all take in to consideration what will occur with our assets upon our passing.  Otherwise, there is a good chance that our loved ones will be left with the confusing task of dealing with the probate system, trying to determine who gets what, and potentially being forced to rely upon statutory rules as to the dispersal of your estate. Unless you are comfortable with simply allowing the State to direct how your assets are split up upon your death, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney as to...
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Happy New Years!

From all of us at Nowakowski Legal PLLC, we hope you have a happy and prosperous 2017! Should you have any legal needs in to the New Year, do not hesitate to contact us for your business law, estate planning, or general legal practice needs! Contact Nowakowski Legal PLLC if you wish to set up a free consultation!    
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