Introducing the Iddins Law Group, PS!
In January of 2021, we officially changed our name from the Gagley Law Group to the Iddins Law Group, PS. Our clients that have visited us in the past year may have noticed our updated and remodeled office and enjoyed the variety of beverages and snacks we offer. We have been working hard behind the scenes as well as improving processes, procedures, and systems all to enhance the client experience. For instance, we are proud of our two-week turnaround for most of our estate planning clients, from initial meetings to signing your documents.
Whether over the phone or in person you should expect to be greeted with a warm smiling voice. Our friendly phone team will get you scheduled with a brief complimentary phone meeting with an attorney or paralegal to get your initial questions answered and come up with a preliminary plan to meet your needs. Once in the conference room with Attorney Rob Iddins or Christian Pearson, you will be treated in a down-home professional and light-hearted manner.
A philosophy of gratitude for our clients is paramount to our culture. Our culture stems from owner, Rob Iddins, background experiences. As a 5th generation, Pacific Northwesterner Rob enjoys being involved in our community. Rob currently serves as the President of Kent Sunrise Rotary and
active supporter of local small businesses. Rob is also proud of the 4 years he spent in the United
States Marine Corps, and as our leader, he brings those time-honored values to our dedicated team and clients.
We are currently accepting new clients as well as happily meeting with former clients that would like to have their wills or trusts reviewed. Many of our clients may not be aware that we have assembled an experienced team to handle Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases. Over the past 5 years, we have had great success for those clients that were injured or became deceased as the result of someone else’s negligence.
As always our promise is to treat you and your referrals with kindness, compassion, and gratitude.
David Gagley Retires!
When Rob Iddins met Mr. Gagley eight years ago he was a spry 68 year old spring chicken who used to work out almost every day before work. After his work out, Dave would usually show up to the office by 7:30 am and he would frequently say, “Rob, I looked in the mirror today and realized, ‘Dang, I’m not getting any younger.” He may not have been getting any younger, but his working out certainly kept him sharp as a lawyer and looking good in his suits. Rob always joked with Dave that he wanted to squeeze another five years out of him, but ultimately, he chose to officially retire in December of 2021.
Mr. Gagley practiced law in this same building for over 35 years. For the past 20 years Dave focused this practice primarily in estate planning, probate, and elder law. His goal was to provide outstanding legal services at an affordable price. Dave always told Rob, the most important thing we have as attorney’s is our reputation. Dave trusted Rob enough to partner up with him 8 years ago and passed the reigns as managing partner 5 years ago. Dave has always been a great teacher and Rob happily soaked up Dave’s mentorship for the past 8 years. Not only did they help a lot of clients, but Dave and Rob created many happy memories while doing it. Rob has often said that throughout this journey with Dave there was not a single day that he dreaded heading into the office.
Regarding Dave’s retirement, Rob said, “I know he is expecting a life of leisure, in fact, he often spoke of spending time with the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and pursuing his hobbies like jeeping and trying to catch fish in the ponds on his property. Unfortunately, before he left, I saw his wife’s ‘honey-do’ list and it was longer than the US Tax Code.” Rob didn’t have the heart to tell him. Nevertheless, we wish Mr. Gagley good health and happy trials.
As Dave rides off into the sunset, we promised him that the Iddins Law Group will heed his words of wisdom and strive to get better personally and professionally every day. We are up for the challenge and we relish the opportunity to continue providing legal services to our friends, neighbors, and community for the next 30 years.
Washington Estate Tax
In Washington, estates valued at over $2.193 million are subject to taxation. The tax applies to any amount over $2.193 million. The tax is assessed on a sliding scale based on the table below (2.193 has been rounded up to 2.2 for simplicity).
Each person has the $2.193 million exemption, meaning that couples have a combined exemption of just under $4.4 million. When one spouse dies, the other spouse inherits tax-free, BUT they do not inherit their spouse’s exemption! The surviving spouse now has the whole estate, but only $2.193 million in the exemption.
For example, Peter and Susan have a combined estate of $6 million and a combined exemption of $4.4 million. If they died on the same day, their children would owe estate tax on $1.6 million (the amount over their combined exemption). This comes out to $160,000 in tax.
However, if Peter dies, leaving his estate to Susan, she will have a $6 million estate with only 2.2 million in the exemption. If she dies a year later, there will be a tax owed on $3.8 million. That comes out to $518,000 in taxes!
But fear not, Iddins Law Group, we are experienced in using trusts and wills to plan for estate taxes and minimize the amount our heirs will have to pay. We have ways of making it possible for you and your spouse to keep your full 4.4 million exemption, but to do so, you must make your estate plan while both spouses are living. Schedule an appointment today!
5 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan
Your estate plan. One of America’s least favorite topics. But taking the time now can save a heap of trouble later. Here are five reasons you should have an estate plan:
- APPOINTING A PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Your Personal Representative (also known as the PR, or the Executor), will be the one to manage your estate when you pass away. They can sell or transfer assets, pay creditors, and ensure your wishes are honored. If you have no will upon death (called being “intestate”), virtually anyone can petition to run your estate, including creditors! In your will, however, you can designate the right person, who will carry the role out responsibly.
- DEAL WITH PROBLEMATIC FAMILY MEMBERS
Without a will, an estate is managed on default settings. Distribution of assets, for example, will follow a predetermined path along the family tree, no matter how estranged family members may be from the one who has passed. If someone passes away without a spouse, their children will inherit the estate in equal shares; if they have no children, their parents inherit; if they have no living parents, their siblings inherit, and so on.
An example can illustrate the unfortunate circumstances this can lead to. Imagine Paul passes away with his wife, children, and mother had passed away before him. Paul would have liked his estate to pass to his sister, with whom he is very close, and not his father, who abandoned him 30 years ago. But if Paul doesn’t have a will, 100% of his estate will go to his father, and nothing will go to his sister. A good estate plan will make sure this never happens to you.
- AVOID TAX CONSEQUENCES
End-of-life taxes can cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. With the right planning, however, you can mitigate or even avoid the burdens these taxes can place on your survivors.
Married couples, for example, can shield millions of dollars of taxation with some expert advice and the right set of documents. Unmarried people have options available to them too, all of which can save money in the long term. The point is made time and again in our probate cases: it pays to be prepared.
- PROTECT MINOR CHILDREN
When parents pass away, the lives of their minor children can be completely upended. Guardianship battles can take years, cost tens of thousands of dollars, and grant custody to people the parents never wanted to be involved in the first place.
Estate planning can prevent this. In a will, you can nominate a person (or persons) of your choice to serve as the child’s guardian, and backups in case your first choice doesn’t turn out. Much better than leaving it to chance. Additionally, your estate plan can allocate assets to a trust to provide for the health, education, maintenance, and support of your children until they reach a responsible age (an age you get to determine). You will be able to rest easy, knowing your assets will continue to provide for your children’s future.
- EASE THE PROBATE PROCESS
In Washington State, probate is a relatively streamlined process, through which the affairs of the one who has passed are wound up, creditors are dealt with, the property is sold or transferred, and heirs are given their shares of the estate.
Even so, there are plenty of potential pitfalls along the way. A will (or a trust) provides a roadmap for the probate. Having this roadmap will save your heirs time, money, and frustration. With a good estate plan, your heirs may be able to complete a probate in six months or less, with far less hassle, with inheritance in hand, and without any liability to worry about.
These are just a few of the many reasons it is important to have an estate plan. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney will be able to evaluate your estate and provide the best options to accomplish your estate planning goals.
Don’t “Waive” Goodbye to Your Insurance!
Being injured in a car accident is terrible. Being injured in a car accident with no way of receiving compensation for your injuries is worse. In Washington State, all automobile insurance policies are required to include two types of insurance designed to protect the person purchasing the policy from just such an event.
You probably know that car insurance is required in Washington State. What you might not know is that roughly 20% of drivers do not carry any car insurance coverage, and a high percentage of drivers who are insured carry the minimum amount of insurance required by law. The Washington State minimum provides only $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage.
The law requires insurance companies to also provide two types of insurance to protect against uninsured or underinsured drivers: Personal Injury Protection (aka PIP) and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (aka UIM). Insurance policies must include these, but you can waive them when you purchase your policy. DO NOT WAIVE THEM!
PIP pays for all of your medical expenses. It can cover the cost of your treatment up to as much as $35,000, depending on the policy you purchase. The UIM insurance steps in and pays for your injuries and pain and suffering, in the event the other driver does not have enough insurance. It is also wise to carry more than the state minimums on all insurance so that you can be protected and receive fair compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Do not roll the dice on getting hit by an uninsured driver. If you are injured in an accident, contact our office, and we will use every possible combination of PIP, UIM, and liability insurance to make sure you are fully compensated.