The Washington Estate Planning Blog

Law Offices of David Ravi Sitlani: Helping couples, families, and individuals understand the ins and outs of estate planning in Washington State.

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    Law Offices of David Ravi Sitlani, PLLC

    Seattle Office:
    1001 Fourth Avenue
    Suite 3200
    Seattle, WA 98154

    Redmond Office:
    8201 164th Avenue NE
    Suite 200
    Redmond, WA 98052

    Phone: (206) 267-8777
    Fax: (206) 577-3843

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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Estate Planning Workshop – Seattle February 3rd & Redmond February 10th.

Posted by sitlanilaw on January 19, 2010


I wanted to let you know that I am presenting an Estate Planning workshop on two different dates in February. First on Wednesday February 3rd from 5-7pm at the Mosaic Coffeehouse in Seattle, and second, on Wednesday February 10th from 5-7pm at Thinkspace in Redmond.

The goal of this workshop is to provide information about Estate Planning in Washington State. Please see information below for details.

If you plan to come, feel free to RSVP on either the event link on or via e-mail to

If this event would be of interest to friends, colleagues or clients, please feel free to pass this message along!


Estate Planning Workshop for Business Owners, Financial Professionals and Others.

Join attorney David Ravi Sitlani for an informative workshop covering estate planning in Washington State.

In many cases, an entrepreneur’s business is their primary asset. Because of this fact estate planning is critical in ensuring that a business owner and their family are adequately protected by having the right documents in place.

Even if you are not an entrepreneur or solopreneur, having a current estate plan is still critically important because it allows you to name guardians for your kids and take other steps to protect your family and give yourself peace-of-mind.

Though you may currently have a will, trust, or power-of-attorney, it is important for you to understand your estate planning documents to ensure that they still reflect your wishes and are current with Washington law.

This workshop will begin with an introduction to the basics of Estate Planning including the importance of a Power-Of-Attorney, the difference between a Will and a Trust, and the “default” estate plan….or not planning at all.

We will then discuss more complex issues including:
-The Federal & Washington State Death Tax.
-Planning Beyond the Basics for the Business Owner.

This workshop is intended to be free-flowing and interactive so please come with plenty of questions!

February 3, 2010, 5-7pm at the Mosaic Coffeehouse, 4401 2nd Ave NE
Seattle, Washington 98105

February 10, 2010, 5-7pm at Thinkspace in Redmond, 8201 164th Ave NE
Redmond, Washington 98052.–0


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The Death of the Estate Tax in 2010?

Posted by sitlanilaw on October 23, 2009

Below is a link for an interesting article explaining what will happen if Congress does not address the Estate Tax.  In summary the federal estate tax credit is currently $3.5 million per individual and thus $7 million for a married couple.  However, this credit, along with the federal estate tax, expires at the end of 2009.  But along with the estate tax something else goes away – the step-up in basis of assets!  This means that while no federal estate taxes would be due upon the death of an individual, an heir to an estate may owe taxes when they sell assets they received as part of their inheritance. Take a look at this article if interested in learning more…


The above information is not intended to provide the reader with any legal advice.  Please contact an attorney licensed to practice in your state with any legal questions. Using this blog does not create an attorney client relationship between you and The Law Offices of David Ravi Sitlani.

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Interesting Article on Estate Planning

Posted by sitlanilaw on September 3, 2009

Every now and then I stumble upon interesting article on Estate Planning.  This article at discusses some of the basics on Estate Planning in a way that is both helpful and easy to understand.  While this article is geared towards women it really provides information about Estate Planning that all of us can benefit from.  Not only that, it gives you something to think about before you meet with your attorney to discuss your estate planning needs.  I hope you find this article useful!


Your Go-To Guide to Estate Planning:

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What We Can Learn From The Death Of The King Of Pop

Posted by sitlanilaw on June 30, 2009

As a fan, I see the death of Michael Jackson as an unfortunate and tragic event.  It goes without saying that Michael Jackson had quite an impact on our culture and society.  Many of us who grew up in the 80’s can remember attempting a moonwalk or other Jackson-influenced break dancing move when we were young.  Frankly I was surprised at my emotional response to his death because of the connection his life had to my childhood.

As an Estate Planning attorney, I see Michael Jackson’s death as an educational opportunity.  At its very core and from an estate planning perspective this is a case of a single parent passing away with three young children, substantial assets and significant debt.  Certainly for the sake of Michael Jackson’s children I hope he has an appropriate estate plan that provides for his children and other loved ones.

Again, of primary concern are his children.  In Washington state individuals can name a Guardian for their minor children in the event of the death of both parents provided that they have drafted the appropriate estate planning documents.  Michael Jackson was a single parent and it is unclear if he named a Guardian for his children – however Michael Jackson’s mother has been named by the Court to be the children’s temporary Guardian.

The long term care for Michael Jackson’s children is in the hands of the Court.  This should be a clear lesson to all of us.  If you are clear and unambiguous as to who should be named the Guardian of your minor children in your estate planning documents the Court will likely grant your request.  However in the event that you fail to propose a Guardian, the Court, without any instructions from you, will have to decide the individual best suited to care for your minor children.  Unfortunately, this leaves the decision to some degree of chance whereas a well drafted estate plan should provide a parent with piece of mind that their children will be provided for.

Of course, Michael Jackson also has significant assets to pass to his heirs.  I hope that he has a clear and unambiguous estate plan so that his children will be protected.  In Washington State, Trusts, Wills, and other Estate Planning techniques can be used to ensure that the needs of the heirs are met, which will again provide the parent with piece of mind that their children will be cared for.

While sad, the sudden death of Michael Jackson is also quite illustrative of the need to have an Estate Plan in place to ensure that our children and loved ones are cared for in the event of our death or disability.

The above information is not intended to provide the reader with any legal advice.  Please contact an attorney licensed to practice in Washington state with any legal questions.

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More on Green Burials

Posted by sitlanilaw on June 23, 2009

I was recently at an event speaking with Seattle area proffessionals when I raised the topic of Green Burials.  I was surprised at the interest in the topic so I have attached some additional information regarding Green Burials below.

In retrospect maybe I should not have been shocked at the response regarding Green Burials.  The Pacific Northwest is a leader in the Green movement with our emphasis on recycling, composting, and other efforts to preserve the environment.  It clearly makes sense that there is a “natural” connection between being environmentally conscious and deciding to plan for a Green Burial when you die.

Of course there is a natural connection between Green Burials and Estate Planning.  Once you plan your burial (Green or otherwise), it is also wise to review and update your Estate Plan as needed.  Your Estate Plan could also incorporate your desire to protect the environment, e.g. via charitable bequests.  Clearly Estate Planning, environmental awareness, and Green Burials can go hand-in-hand.

As promised here are some interesting story links and websites devoted to Green Burials:

The Green Burial Council:

Wikipedia Entry on Green Burial:

Green Burials in Washington State:



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ABC’s of Estate Planning – Workshop!

Posted by sitlanilaw on June 15, 2009


I wanted to let you know that I am hosting the ABC’s of Estate Planning workshop on Tuesday June 30th at the Mosaic Coffeehouse in Seattle (4401 Second Ave. NE Seattle, WA 98105) at 5pm.  This event is designed for financial proffessionals, small business owners and others who want to learn about estate planning in Washington State.

If interested, please RSVP via either Biznik or e-mail:




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“Planning” Your “Legacy”

Posted by sitlanilaw on May 26, 2009

As an Attorney who works in the area of Estate Planning I am always curious as to how Estate, or Legacy Planning, is viewed by others.

Kevin M. Doherty, suggests that, “…If I have learned one thing in life, it is the value of planning and more specifically the toll, financially, physically and spiritually, that lack of planning can take on one’s life.” See link below for full article.

Mr. Doherty makes a great point – planning does not only provide you value in that it gives you piece of mind; as you have established a roadmap of how your affairs are to be handled in the event of your death or disability, but estate planning also helps to ensure that you and your family are spared the stress of not planning – or planning after the fact which is often more stressful…and more expensive!

Another benefit to planning is establishing a “Legacy” which is outlined in an article by Darrell J. Canby (see link below). This “Legacy” can include establishing a business succession plan for your descendants to providing for charities in your estate plan. Regardless of what you want your “Legacy” to be, you must be proactive and make an effort to ensure that your “Legacy” is know.

Of course, the best way to provide yourself with piece of mind, and to ensure that you have a “Legacy” is to plan your estate!

Have a great rest of the Week!


Mr. Doherty’s article can be viewed in full at:

Darrell J. Canby article can be viewed in full at:

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