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Five Essential Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Consider

Posted by Judy Nakashima Shoji | Mar 03, 2020 | 0 Comments

Five Essential Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Consider

Estate planning is the systematic approach to organizing your personal and financial affairs in order to deal with the possibility of mental incapacity and certain death.

Depending on your current family and financial situations, your foundational estate plan should include these five essential legal estate planning documents.

  1. Will.  A will allows you to nominate a personal representative and express your wishes about where you want your assets to go after you die. The personal representative is in charge of managing your estate and carrying out your directions in distributing your assets.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances. A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust to conduct financial business for you as your agent if you are unable to manage your own finances.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust to make health care/medical decisions for you if you are unable. 
  4. Advance Health Care Directive. This document that would go into effect when you become incapacitated and no longer able to communicate with your doctors regarding your care and end of life decisions.
  5. Cremation Directive.  This document sets forth your burial and funeral choices which guides your loved ones regarding your end of life wishes. 

All Estate Plans should contain these five documents.  We will be able to assist you with preparing all of these documents and customize them for your situation.

About the Author

Judy Nakashima Shoji

Judy prides herself on being approachable, down to earth and willing to answer any questions hr clients may have. She is a Seattle native. She attended the University of Washington, Tokyo University and Seattle University School of Law. She was a legal intern in the Civil Division of the Seattle City Attorney's Office and at Yasuda Fire and Marine Insurance Company located in Shinjuku, Japan. Judy advises clients in all aspects of estate planning, probate and adoptions. She also serves as a Title 11 court appointed investigator in guardianship cases for King County Superior Court. She cannot think of any areas in which she would rather practice. She invests in learning about her client's whole story which creates a friendly environment in which she can provide more effective assistance. Her goal is for her estate planning clients to walk away with a customized, detailed, realistic, and clear estate plan which will accomplish their wishes. Estate planning can be uncomfortable and confusing and her goal is to explain complicated legal options in a way that is easy to understand and clear. Her desire is to provide peace of mind and clarity for her clients while also giving them the information necessary to make well informed decision. Judy has been a member of the Elder Law and Real Property and Trust sections of the Washington State Bar Association and King County Bar Association. She has been a volunteer attorney with the King County Bar Association Neighborhood Clinic and Pro Bono Services for the past 14 years where she was recognized as volunteer of the month in October 2014. Judy is married with three children. Outside of work she enjoys traveling to sunny locations, exercising (HIIT and barbell classes keep her grounded) and spending time with the people (and animals) she loves.

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At Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC, we represent clients from Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, and the surrounding region, including all of King County and the cities of Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Federal Way, Shoreline, Des Moines, Bainbridge Island, Vashon, Auburn, Renton and Puyallup. We love working with clients from Seattle's unique, eclectic neighborhoods: West Seattle, Fremont, Ballard, Madrona, Queen Anne, Greenwood, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, Wedgewood, View Ridge, Laurelhurst, Windermere, Madison Park, Magnolia, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Broadmoor, Phinney Ridge, Crown Hill, Yarrow Point and Mercer Island.

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Elise Buie Family Law Group PLLC
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