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Will Attorneys in Kennewick, Washington

Planning for the future is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones and pass on your legacy. A will is a critical component of estate planning that ensures your wishes are honored, and your assets are distributed according to your preferences.  

At Gierth-Eddy Law Offices PLLC, we create personalized estate plans to safeguard your family's future. We are here to help you understand some of the aspects of setting up a will. Let’s get started. 

What Is a Will?

Simply put, a will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass. It can include instructions for the care of minor children, the distribution of personal property, and the management of your estate. A will can also specify an executor responsible for carrying out your wishes as stated in your will. 

Besides these basic components, a will can contain specific bequests, allowing you to leave specific items or sums of money to designated individuals or organizations. It is also an opportunity to make charitable donations that reflect your values and support causes that are important to you.  

A will can help minimize family disputes by providing clear instructions and reducing the potential for misunderstandings. Updating your will regularly is essential to ensure it reflects any changes in your circumstances, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or significant acquisitions. 

Making Your Will?

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney

Benefits of Having a Will

  • Control over assets, so you decide who gets what.  

  • Care for minor children, so you can name a guardian to take care of them if something happens to you. 

  • Reduce disputes among family members about how your assets should be divided. 

  • Speed up the probate process, easing the burden on your loved ones when they’re grieving. 

  • Protect digital assets with instructions for managing your online presence and digital assets, such as social media accounts, digital photos, and cryptocurrencies. 

  • Provide for pets, ensuring they are looked after according to your wishes. 

  • Specify funeral arrangements to guide your loved ones and help them make tough decisions during a difficult time. 

Setting up a Will in Washington

Here are a few legalities you need to be aware of while establishing a will or estate plan in Washington: 

  • Age and capacity: The person making the will (also known as the testator) must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. 

  • Written document: The will must be in writing. Oral wills are not recognized in Washington. 

  • Signature: The testator must sign the will, or another person can sign on the testator’s behalf in their presence and at their direction. 

  • Witnesses: The will must be signed by two witnesses who are present at the same time and witness either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature. 

  • Competent witnesses: The witnesses must be competent, meaning they are of sound mind and not beneficiaries of the will. Ideally, the witnesses should be impartial to avoid potential conflicts of interest. 

  • Clear intent: The will must clearly state that it is intended to be the testator’s last will and testament. This avoids confusion about the document’s purpose. 

  • No undue influence: The will must be created freely and voluntarily, without undue influence or coercion from others. If a will is found to be made under pressure, it could be deemed invalid. 

  • Revocation of previous wills: The new will should include a clause that explicitly revokes all previous wills and codicils. This prevents potentially conflicting instructions from earlier documents. 

  • Compliance with other laws: To be enforceable and legally valid, the will must comply with other relevant state and federal laws, including those related to property, taxes, and trusts.  

Community Property 

Washington is a community property state, where property acquired during a marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses. This can have significant implications for how assets are distributed upon death. A will can help clarify the distribution of both community and separate property. Community property agreements or prenuptial agreements can further define and control the distribution of marital assets. 

Probate Process 

In Washington, probate is a court-supervised process and involves validating the will, paying off debts, and distributing the remaining assets. Without a valid will, the probate process can become more complicated, time-consuming, and stressful for your loved ones. 

Are you ready to take the first step toward securing your family’s future? Call our estate planning attorney to schedule your consultation and start your plan with confidence. 

Wills Attorney in Kennewick, Washington 

Gierth-Eddy Law Offices PLLC offers reliable and comprehensive estate planning services, advocating aggressively for your compensation. Our experienced team simplifies complex legal concepts for you, so you have the knowledge to make informed decisions. We serve clients in Kennewick, Washington, Yakima, Richland, Pasco, and across Washington state.