The law firm of Christopher R. Chicoine, PLLC, provides estate planning and probate services in Washington state. We are client-focused and strive to provide exception value to all our clients as we craft custom solutions our clients' invariably unique scenarios.
Our estate planning services include:
last will and testaments;
community property agreements;
special needs trusts;
financial and healthcare powers of attorney.
Additionally, we guide clients through the probate estate administration process after a loved one has passed away.
You have taken care of your family all your life and you want to ensure that they are well cared for in the event of your death or that of your spouse. In various instances it may make sense to create living trust to accomplish your estate planning goals.
In Washington, trusts make sense if you own real estate out of state, have a blended family with stepchildren, you are married and want to limit state death taxes or seek to assist a special needs beneficiary.
Our common living trust packages include:
Pour over will
Durable POAs (property and healthcare)
Instructions for transferring assets to the trust
Nomination of Guardian for minor children
Personal property memorandum
Form for burial instructions
Powers of Attorney
We hate to think of the possibility of an accident or serious illness, and even more the potential negative effects of aging. What if something happened to you that leaves you unable to make necessary financial decisions? Or unable to tell your doctor what kind of medical care you wish to receive? A power of attorney will help.
A power of attorney (“POA”) is a legal document wherein you delegate authority to another person to make decisions on your behalf. You are the “principal” and the person to whom you delegate decision making authority is the “agent”. There are two types of POAs: (1) healthcare and (2) financial. A healthcare POA allows another to make healthcare decisions for you when you are physically or mentally unable or unfit to do so for yourself. A financial POA is the same except for it pertains to decisions regarding your property or finances. You can limit the type of financial decision over which your agent can act (for example, run a business, make changes to your estate plan, make gifts, etc.).
Living Will/Advance Directive
A living will (also known as an advance directive or POLST form) is a legal document that tells others such as your doctor what your desires are with respect end-of-life medical treatment. It lays out the procedures or medications you want—or don’t want—to prolong your life if you can’t talk with the doctors yourself.
A living will is different than a medical power of attorney (which is when you choose someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf.)
People with advancing dementia lose the ability to make decisions for themselves. Their families need to make medical decisions for them. Giving family members guidance about what kind of care you'd want if you were to develop worsening dementia can ease the burden of their decision making and make you feel more secure that you'll receive the care that you would want.
Many people have clear ideas about the medical care they would want if they were to develop Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Standard advance directives (also known as living wills) don’t usually cover dementia. Yet dementia is the number one reason people lose the ability to guide their own care. A dementia directive is an effective way to communicate your wishes if you were to develop dementia, just as one would be able to communicate one’s wishes via advance directive regarding end-of-life treatment.