Articles: Estate Planning

The Keys to Blended Family Estate Planning

Posted on October 9, 2019 by Eric C. Reutter

More and more often, families define themselves as “a blended family” when one or both of the parents have children from a prior marriage. This creates unique issues in the area of estate planning, as one of the most common goals in blended family estate planning is to provide for both the current spouse of Read more >

Why You Should Review Your Estate Planning Documents Every 3-5 Years

Posted on May 28, 2019 by Eric C. Reutter

Upon finishing the estate planning process, clients often ask the understandable question, “how often should I update my estate planning documents?” Best practice is to review and/or update your estate planning documents either (1) every three-five years, or (2) after major life changes occur. Major life changes can include the birth of new children or Read more >

‘Tis the Season: A Gifting Opportunity

Posted on November 26, 2018 by Jill Fairchild

If you are in the holiday spirit this season, you may wish to make gifts using the 2018 annual federal gift tax exclusion amount. To qualify for the annual federal gift tax exclusion, gifts must be made no later than December 31, 2018. You may give up to $15,000 to as many recipients as you Read more >

Estate Planning Alert: New Tax Law Doubles the Federal Estate Tax Exemption Amount … For Now

Posted on January 29, 2018 by Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017, is the most significant U.S. tax reform to be enacted in over thirty years. One of its many components is the near doubling of the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer-tax exemption amount applicable to individuals. The Act raised Read more >

Tangible Personal Property: Planning for the “Small Stuff” in Your Will

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson

Heirs battling over seemingly “small” personal property items after a loved one has died is a heartbreaking yet familiar scenario in the probate world. While such disputes might seem petty to outsiders, the issue of who gets mom’s favorite purse, dad’s music collection, or even grandmother’s little blue ceramic bowl is often a deeply personal process that can Read more >

Checklist: Estate Planning Essentials During Your Washington Divorce

Posted on June 19, 2017 by Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson

If you’re currently weathering the stress of a divorce, the last thing you may be thinking about is updating your estate planning documents. Your divorce can have a major impact on your estate plan, however, with implications for you, your children, and those who depend on you. You should consider making the following updates to Read more >

The Federal Gift Tax Annual Exclusion and Lifetime Exemption

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Christopher Yoson

The most fundamental part of any gifting program is the federal gift tax annual exclusion. This exclusion allows a taxpayer to make a maximum gift of $14,000 (for 2017) each year to an individual free of tax and reporting (i.e., there is no need for the taxpayer to file a gift tax return). This is not a Read more >

Estate Tax Planning in Uncertain Times

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson

Repeal of the federal estate tax has been a cornerstone of President Trump’s tax reform promises. Given the Republicans’ majority sweep in both houses of Congress this past November, repeal efforts that have stalled in the past are now a viable possibility. Although repeal is likely to be on the table legislatively at some point Read more >