Start Strong with Financial Coaching & Estate Planning

Yesterday, Jeff spoke to us about starting strong in our finances for 2013.  Real Life Church is offering three ways to get your finances under control:

  1. Personal financial coaching
  2. Financial Peace University
  3. Estate planning

First, we’re offering free financial coaching to our community. We are here to help you learn how to gain control of your personal finances. You will learn principles and techniques in a confidential, one-on-one environment to give you practical assistance to get started and stay on track.  You’ll learn how to create a budget that works, reduce spending, and budget with your spouse.  If you’re interested in participating, email to be contacted for a private appointment.

Another tool to help you get on track with your finances is Financial Peace University. This 9-week course has already started, but there is still time to join!  This program can teach you how to beat debt, build wealth, invest for the future, give like never before and much more! Financial Peace University is on Wednesdays from 6:30 pm-8 pm. A membership kit ($89) is required to attend. If you have the membership workbook from a previous FPU course, that’s all you need to attend this class.  Feel free to show up this Wednesday if you’d like to participate!

Finally, we’re offering estate planning at extremely reduced pricing.  A couple of the Starting Strong Steps are to get things in order and have a plan.  This includes planning for the future.  Real Life can help you with the preparation of a Last Will & Testament, Health Care Directive, Community Property Agreement and a Power of Attorney.

Read through the frequently asked questions about wills and other estate planning documents that follow, then email to be contacted for a private appointment.

Special Pricing for Real Life Community
Simple Trust Will (Includes Last Will & Testament, Health Care Directive & Community Property Agreement) $150  ($1500 value)
Power of Attorney $50 ($200 value)

Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions:

Typical Estate Planning Documents:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Health Care Directive
  • Community Property Agreement
  • Power of Attorney

What is a Last Will and Testament
A legal document that states who should receive your property when you die.

What can you do in your Last Will and Testament?
In addition to naming the recipients of all of your property, a will can be used to designate the guardian of minor children and create trusts for your spouse, children or grandchildren.  You also appoint the person you want to handle your affairs after your death (your Personal Representative).

Should I have a Will?
Yes. Without a will your property may go to unintended beneficiaries.  You do not need to have a large estate to need a will.

If I do not have a Will, who will receive my property?
If you die without a will, a Washington state statute (RCW 11.04.015) will determine who inherits your property.

What is a Personal Representative?
A Personal Representative is the person appointed to collect all of your assets, pay all of your debts, distribute all of your assets and wind up your affairs after you pass away.

What is a Health Care Directive?
A Health Care Directive (also called Living Will) tells your family and your doctors your wishes regarding life support, resuscitation and feeding, should you be in a permanently unconscious condition.

Do I need a Health Care Directive?
Having a Health Care Directive ensures that your loved ones do not need to guess or even argue about what your wishes are if you cannot speak for yourself.  (recall the Terri Schiavo case in Florida a few years ago.)

What is a Community Property Agreement?
A Community Property Agreement is a document that turns all separate property into Community Property either immediately or upon death only.  It is typically effective upon the first spouse’s death.  It may also allow a couple to avoid probate after the first spouse dies by deferring all property to the surviving spouse.

If I have a Community Property Agreement do I need a Last Will and Testament?
Yes, you do.

What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney gives someone (an attorney-in-fact) permission to take binding actions on your behalf in either the financial area, the health care area or both.

Do I need a Power of Attorney?
Yes, everyone should have a Power of Attorney, so that someone you trust can act on your behalf if you are not able to.

Are there different types of Powers of Attorney and if so, how do they differ?
Yes.  The most common types are General Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney.

  • The General Durable Power of Attorney gives your attorney-in-fact permission to make both financial and health care decisions for you.
  • The Health Care Power of Attorney only gives your attorney-in-fact permission to make health care decisions for you.
  • The Financial Power of Attorney only gives your attorney-in-fact permission to make financial decisions for you.

Can my Attorney-in-fact act after my death?
No.  Your Power of Attorney expires at your death.  Only a personal representative appointed by a court pursuant to your Last Will and Testament may act after your death.

Should I record my Power of Attorney?
The Power has to be recorded with the county auditor’s office of the county in which the estate is located if the appointed attorney does any business with respect to real estate.

Who needs a will?
Short answer:  Everyone. Regardless of age, regardless of marital status, regardless of wealth, everyone should have a will.

What is Probate?
Probate is the process by which the court determines that the will is properly signed and witnessed and that the person signing the will was of sound mind and acting of free will when the document was signed.

Will my estate require Probate?
Maybe. Washington has several rules that simplify or eliminate the probate process when you are survived by a spouse or have a small estate and do not own real property.

What if I have a partner but we’re not married?
Without a will, state law will dictate where your property goes after your death. Without a will, your closest relatives may inherit everything.

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