Family Law | Probates & Estates | Wills | Injury Law

A Will is the document properly executed by the decedent which says who gets the decedent's assets. The decedent's Will is probated, his or her debts are paid and the remaining assets are distributed according to the Will. The Will also names a person who is responsible to act on behalf of the estate. The duties of this person include hiring an attorney to represent them; to identify and take control of all the assets of the decedent; to identify and pay all the debts of the decedent and to distribute the assets according to the provisions in the Will.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wills

What is a Will?
A Last Will and Testament is nothing more than the written instructions of a person describing what he or she would like done with his or her assets upon death. The Will can be very simple, for example leaving a person’s entire estate to another person such as a spouse or a child or children, or can be very complicated by leaving specific assets to a variety of people. Further, a person in his or her Will can put assets into trust for the benefit of minor children or have funds placed in trust to be distributed upon a particular heir’s birthday or upon some other event. There is a great deal of flexibility in what a person can do with his or her assets.

Do I need a Will?
This is a personal decision. Most people feel more comfortable having a Will. However, depending on what they would like done, it is possible that if they die without a Will, the same result would be achieved according to State law as if they had a Will.

How much does a Will cost?
This depends on the attorney and how sophisticated a Will needs to be. Costs typically range from a few hundred dollars on up.

How long does it take to make a Will?
The complexity of the Will has a great deal to do with how long it takes to craft a Will. You should ask your attorney when he or she expects to provide you with a draft of the Will once you hire the attorney to prepare your Will.

What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is also known as a Directive to Physicians. This is a document that tells your doctor when to withdraw life sustaining support under certain circumstances.

What is a Community Property Agreement? I thought Washington was a community property state?
Washington is a community property state, which means basically that all assets acquired during a marriage are presumed to be community assets. However, there are certain important exceptions. A Community Property Agreement is an agreement between a husband and a wife which generally has three provisions. One provision states that all the assets acquired by the husband and the wife during their lifetime, whether acquired during the marriage or not, are community assets. A second provision typically provides that all property the husband and the wife acquire in the future, no matter how they acquire it, is community property. The last provision typically provides that when one party dies the survivor spouse gets all the assets of the parties. Under certain circumstances a community property agreement can take the place of a will.