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What To Do About Airline Miles?

What To Do About Airline Miles?

A lot of us save and covet our airline miles, but it can be tricky to transfer them after we die or to get them from an estate when someone else dies. Every airline has different requirements and some won't allow you to transfer them at all. Plan ahead, folks!
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Put a Ring On It?

Put a Ring On It?

We don't have "common-law" marriage in Washington, but we do have "committed intimate relationships" - a far lamer term with similar repercussions. If you have chosen not to get married but are in a long-term relationship, you need to consider some of the legal consequences of that decision . . . and take a few legal steps to ensure things are the way you want them to be. I promise I won't tell you that you have to get married!
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When Your Babies Aren't Babies Anymore

When Your Babies Aren't Babies Anymore

My kids went to preschool this week and it hit me like a ton of bricks: they're growing up. They won't be babies forever and, one day (hopefully later rather than sooner), they'll be dealing with my incapacity and death. Every parent has thought about this. So, here’s your primer on how to start thinking about giving your kids your estate . . . questions you should ask and things you just need to accept.
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You Guys . . . Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will . . .

You Guys . . . Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will . . .

The Queen of Soul has passed, leaving behind a major legacy and a potentially major legal battle for her heirs. That's right, Aretha didn't have a Will and she had a reported $80 million net worth. Also, if you didn't know - she was super interesting and the diva's diva. Read this blog for straight-talk about Aretha's estate.
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Life Insurance and Fortune Cookies

Life Insurance and Fortune Cookies

Life insurance, the "super asset", can be an excellent way to protect your family but it may have unintended estate tax consequences.
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Proud to be an American! Even If It Means Paying Estate Taxes . . .

Proud to be an American! Even If It Means Paying Estate Taxes . . .

What do Julius Caeser, George Steinbrenner, and Donald Trump all have in common? They're all mentioned in this blog post about estate taxes! A readable primer on the estate taxes in Washington.
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Dads, the Mariners, and Estate Planning

Dads, the Mariners, and Estate Planning

Having lost my father to cancer earlier this year, I learned the difficulty and importance of talking to your parents about estate planning. Do it today!
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Who Gets the Rolex?

Who Gets the Rolex?

A lot of people think a post-it note with a name on it will ensure that something (e.g., jewelry, a table, piano, silver set) is given to a specific person when they die. That's not legally enforceable, so it won't work. However, there is an easy way to distribute personal property to specific beneficiaries upon your death - and it's super easy to get done.
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What is a Living Trust and Do I Need One?

What is a Living Trust and Do I Need One?

Everyone has heard about a living trust but no one really gets what they are or why they need them. Most Washingtonians don't need one, but here's some quick facts about when you might want a living trust.
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Avoiding the Pesky Gift Tax

Avoiding the Pesky Gift Tax

The gift tax is a weird/annoying one but can be easy to avoid. A primer on the gift tax exceptions.
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Have Kids Under 18? Write a Love Letter Now.

Have Kids Under 18? Write a Love Letter Now.

It seems impossible that you won't be around to raise your children, but it is possible and your parenting priorities should be communicated to the person who will step in to raise your kiddos. Why the love letter is an important non-legal aspect of your estate plan.
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Beware the Joint Account

Beware the Joint Account

Why listing your adult child as an owner on your account is (usually) a bad idea.
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Yeah, You Need A Will

Yeah, You Need A Will

Everyone needs a Will (and a Power of Attorney). It's that simple!
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Hers/Mine/Ours - Community Property and Why It Matters

Hers/Mine/Ours - Community Property and Why It Matters

A primer on community property laws - including Washington's way to attract women to the Territory in the 1860s!
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Estate Planning: The Best Christmas Gift For Your Kids

Estate Planning: The Best Christmas Gift For Your Kids

Although you might not think about it, a complete estate plan is the best gift to put under the Christmas tree - your kids will thank you later!
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