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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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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Pretext Traffic Stops

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Police are meant to pull people over only when they have cause to believe an infraction or crime has been committed, or when they otherwise have specific authority to do so (such as at a designated checkpoint). Many police officers, however, use traffic stops as a pretext to search for something else–a different crime… Read More »

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Mistakes to Avoid if You’re an Executor of an Estate

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Being the executor of an estate is an important role. While some people appoint the family attorney, or an appointment is left up to the court, many people rely on a trusted family member or friend to act as the executor. While it’s gratifying to know that your loved one trusted you with this… Read More »

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