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Gig Harbor Estate Planning And Probate Blog

Blended families: Complicated families need estate plans

Blended families, or those with step children, half brothers and sisters, stepmothers and stepfathers, bring two families together as one. The problem with blended families is that many people aren't related to one another. When it comes to estate planning, this can be an issue.

Although blended families outnumber the traditional families in the United States, they're still complicated when it comes to estate planning. Instead of having a natural flow of property from a father to son, for example, there could be a wife, ex-wife, son, stepson or others looking to benefit from a person's passing.

Small business owners need a comprehensive estate plan

As a small business owner, you have poured your adulthood into building your business and growing it. You probably think that you have everything covered when it comes to the business, but there is one thing that you might have missed -- your estate plan.

You aren't going to live forever. You need to have an estate plan that includes the business. This process can range from simply if you are the sole owner of the company to much more complex if you have business partners. Consider these points to determine what you need to do:

Have you reviewed your will lately? If not, do it now

Let's face it -- creating a will isn't something that most people would consider one of their favorite activities. Still, this is important for all adults to do so that they aren't leaving their loved ones without knowing their wishes.

Once you create a will, you can't just shove it in a safe and forget that it exists. You should review your will periodically or when things in your life change. This ensures that the will contains your wishes.

Determine what you need to legalize your business

The last thing that you need when you are starting a new business is to find out that you didn't take care of the required permits and licenses to formalize your business legally. These are important because you can face serious consequences if you don't have everything in order.

Of course, the permits and licenses you need vary based on the type of business that you are opening. It is best to work with someone who is familiar with your industry to ensure that you don't miss anything important.

Estate planning for blended families

Estate planning is often straightforward, but there are some cases that are a bit more complicated. One of these instances is when you have a blended family. You have to determine how to set up your estate so that everyone gets what you feel they should receive.

There are many different ways that you can ensure your estate is set up in a way that lets your heirs and beneficiaries know exactly what you want and in a manner that makes it as easy as possible for them to handle everything.

Review your commercial lease for hidden points

Once you find a leased location that you think is perfect for your business, you have to contact the property owner and discuss the lease. You mustn't let your desire to put your business in a specific place cloud your judgement. Instead, look at it line by line to determine if it is an arrangement that you will be able to live with.

You might be surprised by how many points can have an impact on your business. This is because commercial leases are very different from residential leases. Here are some points that you must consider.

Consider these points if you are looking into a franchise

Deciding to start your own business is taking a gamble. It is one that can lead to success, however. If you are planning on starting a franchise, you should make sure that you choose a franchise that works for you.

There are several things that you have to consider when you are trying to find the right franchise to meet your needs. While this isn't a comprehensive list of what to look for, it should help you get started.

What should I think about when I'm making an estate plan?

An estate plan is the cornerstone of what your family is going to do with your assets after you die. There is much more to an estate plan than this. No matter how old you are now, it isn't too early to think about what you are going to include in your estate plan.

As you think about your estate plan, there are a few questions that you should think about because they can help you to determine what you need to include in your plan.


Real Estate transfers occur either by sale, trade, gift or at death. The income tax impact differs in each instance. I need to note at the onset that my Capital Transactions textbook at the University of Denver tax school was about 3 ½ inches thick. So, this summary is not intended as an exhaustive explanation of all tax considerations. It is only intended to identify the major distinctions between the four types of transfers.

Strategies to help solve a property dispute

Imagine buying a piece of property and starting renovations. Things are going well until your neighbor serves with you with a cease-and-desist order. Apparently, your renovations have spilled over onto his property. However, according to the survey you had performed prior to the purchase, you are well within the boundaries of your property.

Property disputes can often turn into nasty court battles. Before you find yourself in the middle of a legal battle without any support, contact a local Gig Harbor real estate attorney for help with your case. Read further for some tips to help you resolve your property dispute.

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