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WA & OR: Can Estate Planning Docs Be Notarized Through Video Technology?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Notarizing estate planning documents is an important step to ensure validity and legal enforceability. Unfortunately, laws and institutions requiring notarization are a bit behind the times. While many people across the country have easy access to virtual video-conferencing services such as Zoom and Skype, as well as email and/or fax machines, many state laws… Read More »

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Allowable Expenses for a Special Needs Trust

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

A special needs trust, commonly referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is a special kind of trust that can provide supplemental benefits to a person with a disability without affecting their eligibility for needs-based governmental programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A special needs trust is meant to provide for… Read More »

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Washington and Oregon Estate Taxes

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Last month, we discussed the federal estate tax as well as the estate and gift tax limits under federal tax law. When someone passes away, the federal government will levy a tax on their estate if their estate is worth more than $11.7 million, but only on the portion in excess of $11.7 million…. Read More »

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Estate and Gift Tax Limits

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Giving gifts to family members and other loved ones is not only an emotionally satisfying endeavor; it can also serve to reduce the future tax burden of your estate. When you pass away, the federal government levies a tax on the property you pass to your heirs. The tax tends to matter only to… Read More »

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Special Needs Trusts versus Revocable Living Trusts: Which Are Right for Your Family?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

After you’ve spent your lifetime earning and saving an income to provide for your family during your life and beyond, it’s important to choose the estate planning tools that will help your money go as far as possible. Trusts come in many shapes and sizes, each with different intended uses for the varying needs… Read More »

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Pet Trusts In WA & OR: Caring for Your Pets When You Can No Longer Care for Them

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Many of us consider our pets to be another member of the family. For any “pet parent” out there, it is important to be aware of the same types of concerns that people have about any other family member. Namely, what will happen to your pet if something unfortunate should happen to you? How… Read More »

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Common Estate Planning Challenges

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Estate planning is not a simple task. It requires careful consideration and, well, planning. A seasoned estate planning attorney can walk you through your options and make sure that you keep in mind the various considerations that should guide your estate planning process. Below, we discuss some of the more common estate planning challenges…. Read More »

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Can an Estate Sue for Wrongful Death?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

There is little more shocking than the loss of a loved one. When that loss comes suddenly and unexpectedly, it can become even more difficult to process. If that loss was caused by someone else’s negligence, the negligent party can and should be held responsible for their actions. Wrongful death claims can be complex… Read More »

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Ways to Prevent Falling Asleep at the Wheel

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsiness affects alertness, reaction time, and perception, while falling asleep at the wheel is extremely likely to lead to a crash. In fact, studies have shown that a driver who has not slept for over 24 hours experiences similar effects to someone with a… Read More »

A woman with smartphone helping man worker after an accident at the construction site.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a person suffers a sudden, intense blow to the head, sending the brain bouncing around the skull. TBIs include concussions, brain contusions, penetrating brain injuries (when an object pierces the skull), and anoxic brain injury (damage suffered when oxygen is unable to reach the brain). The risks of… Read More »

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