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Sandy Cairns, J.D., LL.M

For all your estate planning & probate needs

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A: If you die without a Will, then your property will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy (RCW 11.04.015).  If your wishes are not in line with the way property is to be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, then you should execute a Will. 


A: A Health Care Power of Attorney gives someone the power to make health care decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated.  Your Health Care Directive directs whether you would want life support terminated in the event that you were in a terminal or permanent unconscious condition.  It is important to have these documents in place before a crisis arises so that your wishes are known.


A:Like a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Financial Power of Attorney gives someone the authority to handle your financial affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.

A: First, you should review the material on this website to educate yourself about estate planning.  Be sure to note questions to ask Sandy when you see her later. 

 

When you schedule a time to meet with Sandy, she will send you a Confidential Estate Planning Questionnaire.  Fill the Questionnaire out before your meeting.  This will require you to make some important decisions.

During your first meeting, Sandy will explain estate planning in greater detail, answer your questions, review your Confidential Estate Planning Questionnaire, and help you develop your estate plan.  You should plan to spend about an hour so Sandy will understand your wishes.

After your first meeting with Sandy, she will draft your documents and you will review them to confirm that they accurately express your wishes.

Finally, schedule a time to meet with Sandy to execute your documents.  This will take slightly less time than the first meeting, but plan for an hour so that you are not rushed.  You will leave this meeting with your documents fully executed.  Keep them in a safe place.

This process should be repeated as your situation or the law changes, or at least every five years.