Author - Beau Ruff

The Challenges of Timeshare Ownership

We have all been there. We take a glamorous vacation to Florida or Hawaii or Arizona or Mexico, and we are presented with the deal of a lifetime: a timeshare. Proponents of the timeshare declare it is an affordable way to own a slice of a dream property. Furthermore, often the owners can exchange their ownership to allow them to visit other luxury properties at other locations, domestic and abroad. It sounds like an easy decision to invest in...

Consider the Professional Fiduciary in Your Estate Plan

I get this question a lot: “Beau, what’s the single most important thing I can do in my estate plan to ensure that my plan is carried out with the least amount of controversy, delay, and cost?” Of course, I always say, “You should always use an attorney to draft quality documents.” However, if my advice ended there, it would make for a rather short and uninformative article. So, what else should you focus on as the second-most important...

The Value of Gifting

The concept of gifting is simply that you give something to someone or something for no value in return. That is, the donor gives something worth value to the donee (or the recipient). Its concept is simple but it is one of the most powerful tools utilized as an estate and business planning strategy. Many people believe that gifts are limited in value to $14,000. That figure instead represents the “Annual Exclusion” gift –the maximum amount that may be given...

Business Succession Strategy: The Family Farm LLC 

As the center of Washington’s agricultural empire, it is important to recognize the planning opportunities afforded the Washington farmer in the Tri-Cities. This article explores the use of the family farm LLC for business succession planning. The quintessential farmer is land rich and cash poor. And, the farmer recognizes the value of maintaining ownership of the farm in the family. So, how can the farmer best pass along the assets to the farmer’s children? How can he potentially save on...

Strategies to Avoid Probate

Few words evoke such strong negative imagery as the term “probate.” For most people, they are not sure exactly what probate entails, but they know they want to avoid it at all cost. Contrary to conventional wisdom (and unlike other states), Washington has a simplified and streamlined probate process. Indeed, it often makes more sense, from a planning perspective, to plan to go through probate than to try to avoid it.  But for the person looking for all options...

Asset Protection Strategies

We make money and we want to keep it. But, potential creditors are lurking around every corner. Perhaps it’s a professional malpractice claim. Perhaps it’s a divorce. Perhaps it’s a car accident. Perhaps it’s medical bills. Perhaps it’s a business lawsuit. How can you protect those assets so that your nest egg isn’t cracked? This area of advice is generally considered asset protection strategies, and this article explores some of the most common ways that we can legally engage...

Retirement Income and Financial Planning for the Retirees

Every plan for retirement is different and every person has different dreams for his or her post-work life. Whatever dream you have for retirement, and whatever passions you wish to pursue, there is one thing that every retirement will have in common. A number to achieve your goal. That number – essentially the cost for your retirement – is one that considers your goals and the lifestyle you wish to lead in retirement. It also factors in expenses like health...

Washington’s New Power of Attorney Act

Estate planning attorneys often remind their clients when completing the estate plan that laws change frequently and the estate plan should be updated periodically to take into account not just changed family circumstances, but also the new laws. And, sometimes a new law has such broad implication for estate planning that it is deserves special attention. Such is the case with Washington’s new Power of Attorney Act. The Power of Attorney is a powerful and ubiquitous piece to your estate...