How Can Storch Law Help You?
In addition to collaborative family law and mediation services, Storch Law, PLLC also offers legal advice and services in the areas of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, community property, simple wills, and estate planning and probate, and guardianship.
If you need legal advice in an area not served by Storch Law, PLLC, I can make a referral to a qualified, experienced attorney in a number of other fields, as well as other qualified professionals such as financial planners, tax advisors, divorce counselors, and psychologists.
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Storch Law, PLLC is well versed in the intricacies of both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, empowering couple to be open, transparent and direct about how they plan to handle their assets together and apart.
Whether you're interested in creating a prenup (a contract entered into prior to a marriage or civil union) or a postnup (a contract entered into after a marriage or civil union), Storch Law, PLLC can help you navigate the detailed, thorough work of organizing your estate.
It's like marriage counseling around assets and money!
Community Property Agreements
If you and your spouse are interested in planning for the future without writing a formal will, a Community Property Agreement (CPA) may be right for you. In Washington state married couples and registered domestic partners may be able to avoid probate by signing a CPA.
How it works:
- A CPA states that when one spouse or partner does, all property owned by both parties is converted to community property, and all of the deceased person's' property goes to the surviving spouse or partner
- The agreement keeps all of the deceased person's property out of probate
While CPAs work for many couples, they are not right for everyone.
The limitations of a CPA in Washington state:
- May remain in force, even after the spouses or partners separate unless otherwise agreed in writing
- Is not effective in the event both partners pass away simultaneously
- Does not allow gifts to children
- May affect eligibility for certain government benefits
- Will trump other estate planning arrangements (such as a joint tenancy, will, or the designation of a beneficiary or inheritor of a pension or retirement plan, for example)
The easiest way to protect your assets and the interests of your family should something unexpected happen without the existence of a valid last will and testament, is to prepare a simple—or basic—will.
A simple will is a legal document that dictates your wishes regarding asset distribution after your death, including the naming of an executor who would be in charge of managing your estate at such time.
A simple Will may be the right option for you if:
- You have a small estate that's value may exempt it from estate taxes
- You are under the age of 50 and in relatively good health
If you have a more complex estate that would be subject to estate taxes after you're gone, however, a more comprehensive estate plan, including probate, may be best for you.
Consider a more robust estate planning option if:
- You own a business
- You expect to accumulate more significant assets
- You plan to arrange your assets to be distributed through a trust
- You believe there is a chance that your simple will could be contested after your passing
Storch Law, PLLC offers numerous more robust estate planning packages, including:
- Last Will and Testament
- General Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Advance Care Directive
As well as review and make legal recommendations to clients seeking to create new wills, for example, in cases such as a divorce, remarriage, death of a spouse, etc.
Storch Law, PLLC has referrals for experienced, credentialed financial planners to advise clients on investing and planning the details of their estates.
You may be a family member of someone in need of either financial or medical care, or you may already be appointed as a guardian for a minor or an incapacitated person.
Whether you need to set up a guardianship, or you need to file an annual accounting, Storch Law, PLLC may be able to assist you. Contact Melissa Shields Storch directly to discuss your circumstances and determine whether a guardianship is an appropriate vehicle for accomplishing your goal.