Planning ahead with a last will and testament

Updated: Feb 5

What is near and dear to you? For some, the answer is family and loved ones (fur babies included). For others, the answer is a certain charity or cause. And for many, the answer is all of the above! Showing and providing care is easy while you are alive, but do you have a plan in place for when you are no longer here?

One of the best and easiest ways to plan ahead is drafting a last will and testament. Death is an uncomfortable subject, but taking the time to plan ahead can ensure that the people and causes you care for remain protected. This is especially important for those with children. Parents can name a trusted legal guardian for their children in a last will and testament in the event that both parents pass.

Without a last will and testament, the Washington laws of intestacy dictate how your estate gets distributed. Under RCW 11.04.035, the surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner receives all of the net community estate and a portion of the net separate estate. The portion of the net separate estate distributed depends on what other family members survive the deceased. Surviving family members can include parents, siblings, and grandparents.

If a spouse or registered domestic partner does not survive the deceased, the deceased’s children will inherit the estate. If the deceased did not have children, then the estate passes on to the next qualifying family members per Washington statute. As you can see, the statute does not provide for charities, causes, pets, or family friends. A last will and testament is an easy and straightforward way to make sure your estate is distributed the way you want.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By accessing this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Sekhon Law, PLLC. This post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state