How to Handle Remains in Washington State – Part II

How to handle remains in Washington

There are various ways to plan for the handling of your remains after death, as we discussed in Part I of “How to Handle Remains in Washington State.” What option you choose will likely turn on some combination of your values and how much it will cost to carry out your wishes. States vary as to what they allow and do not allow when it comes to disposing of a body. While you may be aware of some of Washington's rules, you may be surprised at others. You may also discover options you did not know existed. If you live in Washington or plan on being buried in the state, here are a few issues to consider when planning how your loved ones should handle… Read More

How to Handle Remains in Washington State – Part I

disposition of remains

Death is a part of life. Like taxes, there's no avoiding it. Also, like taxes, you may not like thinking or talking about the subject. However, if you think about death and how to handle your remains from a planning perspective, and how it can work into your estate plan specifically, you will see how some attention during your life can ensure two crucial outcomes. The first is that your wishes will be honored. And the second, that your grieving family won't have to make difficult decisions, at least about this, during what is already a difficult time. In Part I of "How to Handle Remains in Washington State," you will learn about what your rights are in terms of planning for the disposition of… Read More

Thinking About Adoption in Washington State? What You Need to Know

Adoption

Every child deserves love, stability, and consistency. Is there a child in your life that you have considered adopting, perhaps because they are the child of your spouse or a child you are fostering? Perhaps there is an adult in your life that you have always considered “your child” and you would like to give him or her the timeless gift of formalizing that legal relationship? If so, this article is for you. Methods of Adoption At its legal core, adoption is a legal and social process provided by law to establish the legal relationship of child and parent when they were not so related by birth. Anyone over the age of 18 who is legally competent may apply to adopt another person. If you… Read More

What You Should and Shouldn’t Store in a Safe Deposit Box

where should I store my estate plan

The thought of losing your home or its contents in a disaster is a scary thought. Loss of life, destruction of irreplaceable items such as home movies, photos, and heirlooms make it unconscionable. But as we know in life, sometimes the unthinkable happens. Which is why it is important to be prepared in the event it does. To that end, one of the safeguards people frequently take advantage of to protect valuable items is a safe deposit box. A safe deposit box is a metal box stored in a vault at a bank or credit union. Safe deposit boxes come in various sizes, depending on how much you have to store. While they are designed to withstand fire and water and be secure against theft,… Read More

Weaponized Incompetence: No, It Isn’t Easier to Just Do It Yourself

weaponized incompetence

Spoiler alert: If you’re doing everything around the house (or at work) because you’re living (working) with a bunch of incompetent fools, or so they’ve led you to believe they are, you’re being manipulated. So pervasive is this phenomenon, there’s even a name for it — weaponized incompetence. The trick is with names, for them to matter, for them to be catalysts of change, they need to be used. Because not naming this behavior will wreak havoc on your life and kind of make it, well, suck. And leave you, dear Reader, pissed off. Not to mention exhausted. If you’re not understanding yet what I’m talking about yet, let me explain. But first, you have to put down the laundry basket. If you’re actually holding… Read More

Spark Joy for Your Loved Ones and Yourself With Swedish Death Cleaning

cluttered table

If you've created an estate plan, you've already spent a good deal of time thinking about what will happen to you if you become sick, incapacitated, or die, including where you will go (literally) when you die. After all, you don't want your relatives to fight over your ashes, especially if your final wishes were to be buried at sea or turned into a diamond. But have you thought about where all your stuff will go when you die? Linnèa Gustafsson has and discusses it in her bestselling book, Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself From A Lifetime of Stuff. A Scandanavian native, Gustafsson ascribes to the Swedish tradition called döstädning, which translates literally to "death cleaning" in English. It's the practice of lightening the load not just… Read More

7 Questions Asked and Answered About Changing Your Name in Washington State

If you're 18 or older and live in Washington State, you can legally change your name to anything you want as long as you're not doing so to commit fraud. For example, if your goal is to change your name to evade a creditor, this wouldn't be a legal name change. In the state of Washington, there are three ways to change your name. You can change your name through marriage and divorce, by court order, and under common law. Questions frequently come up regarding name changes in Washington. This is what you need to know. 1. How do I change my name if I'm getting married? Many people decide to change their name when they get married. Whether you choose to do so is entirely a matter… Read More

Why Your Special Needs Child Needs to Be a Part of Your Estate Plan

Parents of a special needs child must make additional considerations when creating their estate plans. Whether their child is a minor or has already entered adulthood, it's important for parents to know their child will be provided for after they die. What a special needs child requires throughout their life will vary based on the child's age, competency level, and medical requirements, as well as the wishes of their family. With that in mind, the objective of the estate plan will be threefold: to ensure the special needs child experiences the best quality of life they can, that the assets upon which they will rely will last as long as possible during their lifetime, and that their eligibility for public services will be maximized. One… Read More

What We Need to Tell Our Teen Daughters About Domestic Abuse

Popular culture is using the moniker "America's daughter" to describe Gabby Petito because she could've been any of our daughters. With youthful innocence, Petito embarked on a cross-country adventure this past summer with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, to vlog about their travels and "Van Life." Unfortunately, the trip ended tragically; after she went missing in August, Gabby was found dead in a remote campground in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming weeks later.Initially named a "person of interest," Laundrie disappeared, allegedly to hike in the Carlton Reserve in Venice, Florida. His disappearance spurred a manhunt, along with national attention as we all search for answers. It also created questions about how yet another woman could fall victim to domestic violence and how it could've been… Read More

What To Expect When Divorcing in Washington State and Your Spouse Cannot Support Themselves

divorcing a spouse that cannot support themselves

Marriage is just as much a financial agreement as it is an emotional one, and divorce is similar. Much of the pain and anguish of divorce comes from financially splitting apart. In marriage, it's not uncommon for one spouse to make significantly more than the other, or even for one spouse to not work at all, instead opting to become stay-at-home moms and dads who take care of children and run a household. So, when a couple decides to divorce, and one spouse is unable to support themselves, spousal support often becomes a hot-button issue. Laws regarding alimony, or spousal support as it's referred to in Washington, vary by state. It's important to note, which spouse will have to pay spousal support has nothing to… Read More