Stephen Waltar from Legacy Estate Planning in Bellvue discusses trusts. If you own a home, you need a will or a trust. We all need estate planning documents, the questing is what kinds meet their needs. We suggest reviewing documents every three years.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
This is a special presentation of answers for elders with legacy estate planning with Stephen Waltar and welcome to answers for elders radio everyone. I am here with Mr Stephen Waltart, state planning attorney of Legacy Estate Planning, and Steve Welcome to the program thank you. You know. How did you get into what you do? Tell us a little bit about your background. Yeah, I went to school. It’s YETTLEP PSCIVIC University. Majored in English and religion. That wasn’t wonderfully practical. I went back to Princeton seminary because I thought I want to be a pastor or teacher and worked in a couple churches. Didn’t feel that high sense of call. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to tell people. So I thought, you know, let’s let’s just figure out my faith and calling. I went and worked in a law firm and I did actually, you know, graduated from law school and did divorce law, did personal injury package, did a whole bunch of stuff and and when my mother in law died, they were clueless. They didn’t have it. They had a will, they had a bypass trusty. They were kind of sophisticated, you know. They had a condo and son Valley and a place here in Crystal Mountain. He had a dental practice for forty one years right in Wedgewood. GLENNA had been a buyer for Nordstrum, had a real estate license. But they when death occurred, they didn’t you know, they had a will but they didn’t know what to do. So I did their probate. Wow. I also did their six estate tax return and what I found is, you know, of course I knew this family, but they didn’t know the legal hoops to jump through their dealing with death and grief and loss. And you know, cancer came back and took took Glenna. And so when I when I finished up with them, I realized, my Gosh, I’ve got the mine and attorney in the heart of the pastor that is a state planning and so I left the firm that I was at and all I’ve done as a state planning ever since. That’s amazing, Steve. And you know it’s so funny because we, so many of us that are in this work, we all have a personal story that gets us there. Right. I think that we are all people that our hearts can of lead us in that direction, most of us do anyway, and you were I would certainly include you in that circle. I know you to be somebody of probably one of the most highest integrity people I’ve ever met, and it’s such an honor to know you pretty well, I think, and having you here on the program. But you know, obviously you’ve been in a state planning for a long time and you’re such a, you know, wonderful service to this community. If I were going to call you and for a consultation, what would I experience? What we really try to do is figure out how we can be of most helped to someone. So some one calls, Hey, do you give a consult or? Do I need a will or trust? And I say absolutely, come on in, but why don’t you complete a questionnaire, just because when you come in, I want to spend my time asking you what’s going on. Tell me about kids, are you concerned about anything? I want to ask a lot of nosy questions to make sure I understand the person situation, their goals, their values and if they want to then show me what they’ve done so far. Hey, I started a will or I downloaded a power of attorney. Once I’ve got the right lens to understand their assets, their state, their goals, then I can look at that and I can say, honestly, this misses the mark or this is fine, but you need these other you know, for documents or something like that. So I just want to help people, but I need I’m an attorney, I’ve got to be kind of thorough in detailed. So I just ask people to spend a little time getting organized with the questionnaire right, and then I’m happy to provide, you know, up to a free hour consolet to just ask my questions, figure out what’s important and used of. Within that first hour we can figure out what plan fits their needs and there’s probably many options. It’s not like it’s a cut and dried situation. I’m not everyone needs the same thing. I’m sure you’re going to have scenarios that you’re going to give somebody will you could go this route, are you could go this route, depending on what’s the rest fit, but under collaboratively you’ll come to some great solution. One of the most interesting stories for me is I thought I was a great listener, I really did. I thought that I had a good idea da making sure that I knew how to make sure that I was doing with the client said. But I was at another advisor’s office and I was finishing my notes on a will plan for this couple and the wife said, how come some people want to living trust and I said, well, some people are worried about you know, probate. Well, we’re worried about probate. Well, some people are worried about you know this that in the other. And after like five statements in a row, I said would you prefer a living trust? And she said yes, and I realized that because their estate was not very large, they didn’t have taxation issues, but they really wanted ease to spouse, they wanted to get more organized now and clean up title. They wanted to avoid court twice, not just once, and and I that that was a reminder. You know, we all have lenses that we see things through, and so I’ve just tried to broaden my questions now and sometimes I kind of when clients are choosing a plan, I have them put their own words. Now, what do you see is the benefit of doing this will plan, or what do you see is the benefit of this trust plan and the kind of solidifies their understanding. I want to make sure it’s about them, it’s not about me. Absolutely, and you just said something that’s amazing to me, because how many of us think that it’s okay to just if I don’t have a lot of assets, I don’t need stuff like that. But it’s not necessarily, I mean almost if you have any sort of assets, you need to think about these things. Well, we all need a state planning we really do. Even my kids. They don’t own much in the way of assets, but they have powers of attorney, they have healthcare powers, hip authorizations. They don’t need a will, really they don’t. Once you own, you know, a home, then you need a will or a trust. You know, if you’ve got minor children, you need a will just to list guardians. It doesn’t even matter if you have assets. You need to list who would do the care right for them. So we all need a state planning documents. The question is, which kinds, which ones, fit the needs? Sure, sure, and so and people don’t know what they need. They don’t know what they don’t know, and so it just takes a chance to meet with people and so as we as obviously we we grow in evolve in in families and and grow our assets, we’re going to have to review things from time to time. Yeah, that makes sense. I mean we kind of have a rule of thumb. We like to encourage our clients to come in every three years for a quick look, you know, kind of a free review. If there’s nothing to change, there’s no fee. If there’s something to change, it depends on are we changing two agents and a specific request, or we switching from a will plan to a trust plan, or kind of the stages of life? Maybe they now they want to protect their assets from the state or from Medicaid. You know that that might be a complete Redo. You know that’s great. So we are talking to Stephen Waltarre from legacy estate planning and Bellevue, and Steve is here just letting us get to know him a little bit. And Steve, tell us a little bit about your work in the community. What kind of things are you involved in? Well, a member of Bell Pres Big Old Church in in Bellevue and we know the men’s programs and some of the couple’s programs. We’re going to be deacons pretty soon, my wife and I. That’s when, personally, I like to row and I have a daughter that rose, that you dubbed, and another daughter and your big Husky Fan, big Husky Fan. Yeah, and you’re a Seahawk Fan. Seahawks is the mariners. Yeah, up down, up, down. Yeah, definitely pretty true to the local groups here. Yeah. Well, you’ve been a great support also of what we do with seniors on during the holiday season and that supporting us in the twelve days of goodness, which we will be talking a lot about and we keep talking about it throughout the year. But you’ve been a real strong advocate in helping seniors and being there for our community and I’m just so glad you’re here. Yeah, this is my work and my calling and I think it’s nice to just talk and say it’s friendly. You know, some Nice people are scared to come see an attorney, but really it’s not that bad. It’s nice. Isn’t that bad? It’s not. And you know, this is another thing. The reason you want to plan is I’ve been around long enough that when the parents have passed and the kids have hired us and we’ve helped them do things, sometimes they say thank you, like I wish you know mom and did this. Wasn’t that bad. We want to be there to help with the trust administration or the probate. We want to help pass things on. We also help with that. And you know, you never can realize that things, like you say, always can change in the future, and I know that. You know, when my stepmother passed away and all of a sudden the trust was passing on to us, it was a very quick process, just because my father had proper paperwork in place and all of a sudden, you know, there was no questions, there was no arguing with with the family members. We all knew that it was all handled. Nobody was arguing about anything. The last thing that people want is their family fighting over their assets, their state, their legacy. That I change my firm to Legacy Estate Plan. I loves that. That’s that’s what I’m trying to do. Yeah, well, thank you so much for being here. My pleasure. How do we reach you? Oh, you can reach me by phone at for to five, for five five, sixty seven, eighty eight, four to five, four, five, five, six seven eight eight, or go to the website at Walt aarcom. That’s W Alta Arcom. Steve, I’m so glad you’re here. Thanks. You’re welcome. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders with the legacy estate planning with Stephen Walt are. For more information for legacy estate planning, go to waltarcom. That’s Wa l taarcom.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.