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Christmas in July? UPDATE to ‘Tis the Season: A Gifting Opportunity

In November, 2020, Lasher Estate Planning attorney, Gurneet Takhar, published the original post “‘Tis the Season: A Gifting Opportunity.” This is an update. If you are in the holiday spirit this season, you may wish to make gifts using the 2021 annual federal gift tax exclusion amount.  To qualify for this exclusion for the year

Federal Estate Tax Legislative Update

Four months into the 117th United States Congress, the anticipated federal legislative proposals to restructure the federal estate tax are finally seeing the light of day.  Senator Bernie Sanders and others recently introduced the For the 99.5% Act (the “Act”).  True to its name, the Act takes direct aim at income and wealth inequality through

New Year, New Uncertainties: Estate Planning Changes on the Horizon

With Democrats gaining control of the White House, the House of Representatives, and, albeit somewhat tenuously, the Senate, there is a growing possibility of legislative changes to the federal estate tax laws to fulfill Democratic policy objectives and combat the significant budget deficits caused in part by the Covid-19 pandemic.  In the unlikely event some

‘Tis the Season: A Gifting Opportunity

If you are in the holiday spirit this season, you may wish to make gifts using the 2020 annual federal gift tax exclusion amount.  To qualify for this exclusion for the year 2020, the gifts must be made no later than December 31, 2020 if being made directly to an individual or December 1, 2020 if being made to

Creating a ‘Bridge’ Estate Plan – Why Spouses should Update their Estate Plan During a Divorce or Separation

While many people consider updating their estate planning documents following a divorce, it is best to update these documents when planning for a divorce or separation process, or risk potentially disastrous results. Washington law automatically overrides some, but not all, existing estate planning documents upon the filing of a marriage dissolution or legal separation action. Powers of

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

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

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

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

Checklist: Estate Planning Essentials During Your Washington Divorce

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