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February Newsletter 2019

When should you update your Estate Plan?
By Lynn St. Louis, Managing Partner at Elder Law Group PLLC

When should you update your Estate Plan

For many people, once you’ve done your Will and Powers of Attorney you generally don’t think about your Estate Plan again… at least not until you need it. How often do you hear from the attorney who did your initial plan? Most say never.

So when should you consider updating your Estate Plan? Here are some situations where you should consider taking a second look.

A death has occurred

This sounds obvious, but if you experience a death in the family you should take a look to make sure that your Estate Plan isn’t impacted. Particularly if your primary beneficiary passes, or the person you have designated as Attorney-in-Fact for your Powers of Attorney for Health and Finances, you will need to update your documents as soon as possible.


Determining who has custody of young children in case of an emergency, changing beneficiaries, and changing your Attorney-in-Fact are all things that need to be considered when a couple divorces.


If one spouse passes away and the surviving spouse remarries, a common issue that comes up is the “unintentional disinheritance” of children.

What is “unintentional disinheritance?” Let’s use an example. Fred and Betty have been together for 50 years, and Betty passes away. Say that Fred marries a new wife, June. Fred has children from his previous marriage, as does June. If he passed away, it’s June that inherits Fred’s estate. Once June passes away, then her children inherit both her and Fred’s estate. Fred’s children get nothing. If Fred and Betty had a Will with an Asset Protection Trust, their children would not have been left out, even after he remarried.

Long-Term Care is needed

Over 70% of seniors will need some form of Long-Term Care. Skilled nursing and assisted living costs are very expensive, though government programs exist that can help pay. Advice from friends and family, though well intended, could steer you wrong and end up costing you government assistance. Once you lose capacity you can no longer chose for yourself. There are some things that can be done at the time of need, but you still risk losing assets. Planning ahead of time is always the most beneficial strategy. Contact an Elder Law Attorney who is experienced with Medicaid planning and applications if you or a loved one needs Long-Term Care.

Moved to a new state

Every state has different rules for how Powers of Attorney work, as well as different processes for probate. Some states are extremely expensive for probate, so if you own property there then you would want to consider strategies that avoid it. Probate in Washington State is not expensive and is a useful tool for protecting assets for loved ones.

Purchased new property

When you buy or sell property you may or may not want to update your Estate Plan. An attorney will help guide you to your best options.

State law changes

Every once in a while, states update their laws pertaining to Estate Planning. In 2017, Washington changed the requirements for Powers of Attorney. While legal documents are valid in every state, you run the risk of institutions refusing to accept your documents if they are not in a format they are accustomed to – particularly when it comes to Powers of Attorney for Health and Finances.

A long time has passed since your Estate Plan was written

It’s not uncommon for people to put an Estate Plan together and just assume it’s valid indefinitely. The rule of thumb is to examine your Estate Plan once every 5 years or so to make sure that the information within it is current and correct.

How many of these apply to you? If you are looking to update your Estate Plan, give the experienced team at Elder Law Group a call at 509-468-0551.

For more information about Estate Planning Documents everyone needs CALL ELDER LAW GROUP TODAY!

We remodeled! 
Elder Law Group New Office

Nothing like some new furniture and a fresh coat of paint to ring in the New Year! Thank you everyone who stopped in the last few weeks to admire our new digs. 

New Website!

We are excited to announce the new Elder Law Group website! get information about Estate Planning, Medicaid, resources, and more! Go to www.elderlawgroupwa.com today!

Spokane Events

Estate Planning Workshops

Senior Rights:Your Legal Voice 
Lynn St. Louis, Esq 
Planning ahead allows you to document your wishes and make the best decisions for your future. If you’ve been putting off planning for your senior years, now is the time to take steps to ensure your voice will be heard.

Join Elder Law Group for one of our comprehensive Workshops, based upon The Handbook for Washington Seniors published by www.legalvoice.org!

At each workshop, Lynn St. Louis, Managing Partner of Elder Law Group PLLC will cover important Long-Term Care planning issues that impact seniors as well as information about qualifying for Medicaid. We will discuss the tools you need to protect your future.
Argonne Library
4322 N Argonne Road · Spokane, WA 99212
Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Indian Trial Library
4909 W Barnes Road · Spokane, WA 99208
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Centerplace Spokane Valley
2426 N Discovery Place · Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Join us for any of these public educational workshops. Seating is limited – Call (509) 468-0551 or go to our website to RSVP.


Tri-Cities Events 

Estate Planning Workshops

Currently we do not have any workshops scheduled in Tri-Cities. Please check the events page on our website to see when our next workshop is scheduled. 


More Senior Events in Washington

In addition to attending one of our events, you may want to check out one of these wonderful opportunities below!



Cafe Murder Part Deux
Corbin Senior Center, 827 W Cleveland Ave, Spokane, WA 99205
Friday, February 8th, 2019
12:00 PM
$15 per person 

Click here to read more!

Chinese New Year Festival
Southside Senior Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave, Spokane WA 99223
Saturday, February 9th, 2019
2-5 PM

Click here to read more!

Free Valentines Day Dance
Spokane Valley Senior Center, 2426 N Discovery Place · Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Wednesday, February 13th, 2019
1:30-3:30 PM

Click here to read more!



Regional Home and Garden Show
Trac Center, 6600 Burden Blvd. Pasco, WA 99301
Pasco, Washington
Friday February 22nd – Sunday February 24th, 2019
10:00 am to 7:00 PM

$6 for adults, 12 and under free
Click here to read more!

Empowering Seniors’ Futures ®
At Elder Law Group we Empower Seniors’ Futures through Asset Protection Estate Planning™. We make sure our clients’ voices are heard and their assets protected.

Whether you are at the beginning of retirement and planning for the future or need assistance with Long-Term Care now, Elder Law Group provides resources and a plan to give you the best quality of life possible.

With the complexities of the social and financial world we live in today, a traditional Estate Plan cannot protect you against Long-Term Care costs. Let Elder Law Group help give you the peace of mind you deserve through an Asset Protection Estate Plan.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to the viewer or user. Use of this newsletter and its contents does not create or establish an attorney-client relationship or privilege of any nature between the user and owner.

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