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Recent Blog Posts

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What Gets Included in Probate?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

The very word “probate” can cause anxiety and stress to people who are engaging in estate planning or who have recently lost a family member and are faced with the prospect of administering their loved one’s estate. Part of the discomfort lies in the mystery surrounding what probate is and what it entails. Below… Read More »

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Powers of Attorney Explained

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

It’s no secret that planning for the future can seem daunting. However, taking the right steps today can ensure peace of mind tomorrow. One important step toward developing a comprehensive estate plan is designating a Power of Attorney (POA). Read on to learn more about what a POA is and why you need one…. Read More »

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Retirement Pitfalls and Mistakes to Avoid

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

As an estate planning and probate lawyer serving clients in Washington for over 30 years, attorney John Lutgens has identified the most common and serious mistakes people often make when it comes to retirement. He’s seen first-hand how improper or inadequate retirement planning can complicate lives, leading to avoidable financial distress and strife. Read… Read More »

divorce estate planning

How Does Divorce Affect Estate Planning in Washington State?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Heightened emotions during a divorce may prompt you to feel as though you need to amend your estate planning documents. While you can make some changes, a divorce does not automatically change your estate planning. Certain aspects will immediately see changes while others may require some time. In the state of Washington, individuals have… Read More »

Mid section of businessman showing last will and testament form

How Do I Amend or Revoke My Will in WA?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

A last will and testament (“will”) is a vital part of your estate plan. Your will dictates how your estate will be distributed upon your death, including all of your assets. Your will can also be used to assign a guardian for minor or disabled children, appoint an executor for your estate, and many… Read More »

Handwriting text Estate Planning. Concept meaning The management and disposal of that an individual s is estate.

Benefits of Using a Trust in Estate Planning

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Estate planning is a necessary step for all individuals to consider, especially those who have dependents, accumulated assets, and other personal property or wishes they want to protect. Among other things, estate planning takes into consideration how your assets will be divided among your loved ones after you pass away. One aspect of estate… Read More »

elder estate attorney

Necessary Conversations for Older Children and Elder Parents

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

As your parents get older, it becomes time to have some difficult conversations. You need to make sure that your parents and the rest of your family are prepared for your parents’ elder care, as well as what happens after they pass. Estate planning and elder planning are key to ensuring your parents’ wishes… Read More »

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The Advantages of Charitable Giving in Your Estate Plan

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Planning for your estate is about more than setting up your kids in your will. There are several legal tools available to shield your assets from tax and creditor liability, avoid probate, look after your elder care needs, and provide for family members with special needs. One oft-overlooked aspect of estate planning is charitable… Read More »

Last will and testament

What Happens If I Don’t Have A Will?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

When a person dies without having made a will, all of their property subject to probate will pass according to the applicable state laws of intestate succession. Any property not included in a trust or titled in a way that it would pass to another outside of probate would be dealt with in this… Read More »

Alcatraz Federal Prison - "The Rock" in California

What Are Alternatives to Prison Sentencing in Washington?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Not every criminal conviction merits a prison sentence. First-time offenders, juvenile offenders, and other defendants with mitigating circumstances are capable of getting their lives back on track and leading productive lives. A prison sentence often does more harm than good, effectively preventing someone from obtaining true rehabilitation and often limiting their employment options in… Read More »

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