Creditor Claims and the Family Allowance

A probate can be like a bankruptcy proceeding for a surviving spouse. If the net worth of a decedent and his or her surviving spouse is less than $125,000.00, it is possible to protect part of the estate for the benefit of the surviving spouse or the minor children of the decedent. The process for barring the creditors requires publishing notice to creditors in the newspaper once a week for three weeks. Creditors have the later of four months after Notice to Creditors was originally published or 30 days after they receive actual notice to file a proper creditor claim.… Continue reading

Is it time to update your estate plan?

As of January 1, 2020, the amount exempt from federal estate taxes is $11,580,000.00 and the amount exempt from Washington State estate taxes is $2,193,000.00. As the amount exempt from estate taxes continues to increase, and the taxation of trusts becomes more complex, I am suggesting that my clients evaluate the necessity of a trust to avoid estate taxes and consider other changes that might be appropriate for their estate plans. To begin with, should your surviving spouse be named as the personal representative or trustee? I have worked on a number probates where the surviving spouse was not the… Continue reading

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