Q: When is the best time to start estate planning?
A: It’s never too early to start, but it may be too late – we often counsel clients facing issues related to a lack of planning or implementation of a timely planned estate. The biggest challenge we see in planning isn’t necessarily a failure to plan, but a failure to implement the plan. Engaging your attorney with your financial professionals at the earliest stage is probably the best way to implement your planning – that way the finance people understand the planning, and the attorney can get a clear picture of the assets.
When children with special needs are involved, planning early is often critical to ensuring success. Individuals with special needs are often the most challenging to plan for because their needs are often the greatest. Having good clear counsel early can make the difference in getting a good outcome.
Q: Why are my values important in an estate plan?
A: Estate planning is all about values, and the planning our clients put in place speaks to the quality of their lives. However we measure our personal impact, whether in years, dollars or contribution, good planning, leaves our legacy behind and the opportunity to pay it forward ahead.
Many Washingtonians have established significant wealth in their retirement accounts. Recent changes in federal laws have accelerated the time for distribution from many of these accounts to non-spousal beneficiaries. Careful planning can restore many of the distribution deferral techniques previously available, particularly for individuals who are charitably inclined.
Our team provides high-value legal services supplied by innovative, creative, and smart lawyers. We represent “C” level executives and their families in their personal and estate planning matters. Mr. Katz frequently serves as a trustee and has administered over $100 million in estate and trust assets.