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Hugg & Associates PLLC is a boutique law firm providing client-centered services to individuals and businesses. Our practice focuses on all aspects of elder law, estate planning, asset protection, business succession planning, probate and trust administration. If you are a business owner, in addition to the above services, we are experienced business, real estate, and contract law attorneys.

“I Love the 70’s . . .”

“I Love the 70’s . . .”  Or so the slogan of the VH1 TV series goes.  That show has a number of celebrities reminiscing and poking fun at all kinds of things that came out of the 1970’s.  Things such as bell bottoms, disco, mood rings, the Brady Bunch, Watergate, exploding Ford Pinto’s and so on.  While this comical stroll down memory lane may be amusing, one thing that is not so fun is your Will dated in 1975.

Here are a few problems that come with not updating a 40 year old (or so) estate plan.  First, many estate planning lawyers have changed how they practice this area of law.  In a bygone era, it was common to have only a Will, but no Power of Attorney or Health Care Directive.  So many of my clients who do update old Wills also get these additional and important estate planning documents to address the new reality of our complex world.

Another problem is that when you were young you may not have had any significant assets so your Will was probably very simple and didn’t address tax or asset protection issues.  Today you may need to protect your estate from Washington State estate taxes or from uncovered medical bills such as the cost of long term care.

For some people, a Will may be so outdated that your named executors died before you.  This means a few extra steps in the probate process when an executor is not named in the Will.  Or perhaps your Will is not “self-proving” which means you will need to find the witnesses to testify they watched you sign your Will.  Of course, these witnesses from 40 years ago may themselves be deceased or cannot be found.  If the witnesses cannot testify the Will cannot be admitted and you will have an intestate estate as if you never had a Will.  In such an event, the disposition of your assets may be quite different from what you wanted.

All of these issues, big and small, can be addressed by updating your estate plan now.  So if you were wearing bell bottoms and doing the Hustle the last you made a Will, now is as good a time as any to bring your estate plan into the 21st century.

Dude, Where’s my Estate Plan?

Do you have an estate plan?  Statistics show that many people do not have any basic estate planning documents.  A recent survey found that only 14% of adults aged 18-29 have an estate plan, 35% of 30-49 year olds have one, 56% of those aged 50-64 and 68% for those over 65. Clearly the issue ofContinue Reading

Seniors Flunk a New Retirement Quiz

Most seniors who took a retirement quiz did not score high. Not long ago I wrote on a Wall Street Journal debate where one side said there is no retirement crisis and the other said there was.  My point was that neither party addressed the potential need for long-term care and increasing medical expenses.  HadContinue Reading

Elder Law Planning:  Definitely Worth Pursuing

Many people have the false impression that Elder Law planning is not worth finding out about because they think they are not eligible for Medicaid.  They feel they have too much income, money or other assets to qualify, or believe that some specialized trust strategies used for asset protection are only for rich people. WithContinue Reading

Hospitals Must Provide Notice About Observation Status

All hospitals must now give Medicare recipients notice when they are in the hospital under observation status.  The notice requirement is part of a law enacted in 2015 but that just took effect. Signed by President Obama in August 2015, the law was intended to prevent surprises after a Medicare beneficiary spends days in aContinue Reading

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