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Why Not Make 2020 The Year Your Complete Your Estate Plan

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

Why not make 2020 the year you finally give yourself and your loved ones the peace of mind of a well thought out estate plan?

With the New Year behind us, our thoughts inevitably turn to new beginnings and self-improvement. Many of us resolved to eat healthier and exercise more, save more money, get a new job or start a new hobby.

With all that boundless optimism, it's not surprising that “talk to an attorney about incapacity and death” didn't make the list. Here's a novel idea, however: why not make 2020 the year you finally give yourself and your loved ones the peace of mind of a well thought out estate plan?

Many of us hear the words “estate plan” and immediately tune out. After all, it can be hard enough to focus on the things that keep us busy from day-to-day without planning for the future. A good estate plan, however, can provide peace of mind to you and your family today and for years to come.

Estate planning is about more than what happens to our things when we die. While your estate plan should include a will or trust to dictate your final wishes for distribution of your property and assets, a well-considered estate plan also addresses what type of care you receive in the event of your incapacity due to accident or long-term illness, nominates someone to handle your finances if you are unable, and can empower a trusted agent to plan for the cost of your long-term care.

Your estate planning documents can also provide future protection for your minor children by nominating a person to care for them if you no longer can (called a Guardian) and can appoint a financial decision maker for their childhood and young adulthood, as well (called a Conservator or Trustee).  

With so many things to consider, estate planning might sound like a laborious, boring process, but it doesn't have to be. In a brief meeting with one of our experienced attorneys, we can find out what matters to you and devise a plan that fits your wants and needs to a tee.

So this year, you should absolutely resolve to learn to knit and speak Japanese, do your nightly sit-ups and pushups, and save a little more for the kids' college fund. You should also call us and schedule an appointment to create or update your estate planning documents. Knowing your loved ones are protected and cared for if something happens to you will provide a feeling nearly on par with enjoying a hot cup of eggnog and one more slice of pie, and you won't even have to do extra sit-ups the next day.

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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