Trusts and Estates

We help our clients through the processes of estate planning and probate.  We listen carefully and help our clients implement their goals.  This includes the administration of estates and trusts.  We also litigate contested estates, trusts, and wills.  Get help today.  Contact us.

 

We offer a range of services from simple wills, powers of attorney, and health care directives for a flat fee, to more complex estate planning, including trusts.  Some small estates may be administered without probate for $500.  Larger estates may require a carefully planned probate. Whether your matter is simple or complex, we are ready to put our skills to work for you.

A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.

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Estate Planning

 

Good estate planning helps to avoid estate and trust disputes.  With 15 years of experience in estate and trust disputes, we have seen well intentioned, but ineffective estate plans fall apart.  We have seen situations where families do not get what the testator/trustor wanted, because the plan was not correctly implemented.  We have seen situations where the laws of intestacy and other laws distribute someone’s hard earned nest egg to legal heirs that would not have received it had an estate plan been in place.  We have also seen cases where a substantial portion of the estate goes to legal fees.  We have learned from others’ mistakes.  Contact us to put this experience to work for you, and help you to implement strategies that take care of your loved ones and keep them out of court.

 

It pays to have your estate plan reviewed from time to time.  Laws change, and outdated estate planning can cost you or your heirs.  This is especially true for estate plans that were put in place before 2013.

 

Older estate plans, for example, may have given up the stepped up basis tax benefit in order to avoid triggering the estate tax.  That may no longer be necessary.  Your trust may need to be “decanted.”  Call to see how we can help.

 

 

Advising Trustees & Personal Representatives

 

Transparency avoids trust and estate disputes.  A trustee is a fiduciary.  The personal representative for an estate is also a fiduciary.  This means the trustee/representative owes duties (usually including loyalty and care) to all the beneficiaries.  Usually, one of those duties is the duty to share information about the trust or estate.

 

 

Often, failing to share information on a regular basis, or failing to provide all the necessary information leads to distrust.  That is when people hire lawyers.  A trustee can also lessen or avoid liability by providing reports compliant with RCW 11.96A.070 and RCW 11.96A.110.  Contact us to talk about your duties as trustee or personal representative, and learn ways that you may minimize your exposure to liability or litigation.

 

 

Probate & Small Estate Affidavits

 

Probate is a legal process designed to pay creditors who submit valid claims, cut off other creditors' claims, and transfer ownership to heirs and legatees.  Probate does not have to be expensive.  A simple probate can be handled for a flat fee of $4,000.  A small estate (under $100,000 with no real estate, and few assets) may qualify as a Small Estate, which may be processed for a flat fee of $500.  Every estate is different, though.  Larger estates and estates with complexities will cost more, and will likely be processed on an hourly basis.

 

 

Creditors' Claims

 

We also represent creditors seeking to get their creditors' claims paid. Deadlines for filing creditors claims vary, including 30 days, 4 months and two years.  If a deadline is missed, the claim is barred, and will not be honored.  We also represent creditors of heirs.  A lien against an heirs' inheritance can intercept the money before it disappears.  If you have a creditors claim against an estate, or an heir, call us to see how we can help.

 

 

Estate Disputes

 

Sometimes litigation is needed to resolve trust disputes and estate disputes.  Washington law provides an efficient and less costly way to resolve trust and estate disputes:  the Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act (“TEDRA”).  TEDRA provides for an initial hearing that can resolve all matters without a costly and time consuming trial.

 

TEDRA provides for alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and arbitration.  And when the Court is asked to adjudicate the dispute, TEDRA gives the court extra flexibility in creating tailored remedies that work for a specific situation.

 

 

Even with TEDRA, some trust disputes and estate disputes can be lengthy and costly.  We have experience in holding trustees and personal representatives accountable for breaches of their fiduciary duties.  Set up an appointment to have us review your particular situation, and craft a legal strategy that protects you, or gets you what you are entitled to.

 

Elder Abuse & Inheritance Rights of Abusers

 

Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of their elderly family members.  Washington has very strong laws against elder abuse, and imposes heavy consequences on the abusers.

 

 

To make a will or a trust a person must be “of sound mind.”  We have experience with cases of elder abuse, and inheritance rights of abusers.  If your loved one was subject to undue influence, fraud, or lacked capacity to sign the documents he or she signed, or if you have been wrongfully accused, contact us.

Client Testimonials...

 The Law Office of Edward S. Alexander  |  114 West Magnolia, Suite 400 Bellingham, WA 98225  | (360) 392-2872  |  Contact Us

Disclaimer

This website is for informational purposes only.  The information you will find here is intended to introduce you to us and our services.  It contains no official legal opinions.  We invite you to contact our office to set up a conference with a lawyer.  For your own protection, we strongly suggest that you do not transmit confidential documents to us or anyone else via unsecured email.  Please note that we do not accept solicitation for representations in any other format than a formally arranged consultation.  Unsolicited communications sent by mail, email, or other method not authorized by the attorney do not establish an attorney and client relationship.

© 2018 The Law Office of Edward S. Alexander, P.S. All Rights Reserved.

A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.
A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.
A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.
A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.

Call Us Today

(360)392-2872

A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.
A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.
A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.

114 West Magnolia, Suite 400 Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 392-2872 | Contact Us

The Law Office of Edward S. Alexander

A young women walks away from her parents wearing a cap and gown. The parents have graying hair and hold hands as they walk behind her.

114 West Magnolia, Suite 400

Bellingham, WA 98225

(360) 392-2872      Contact Us