The Burke Law Group, PLLC
Old City Hall Building
221 N. Wall St., Suite 624
Spokane, WA 99201

Main Office: (509) 466-7770
Collaborative Law: (509) 999-6747

Estate Planning

 For most people, good estate planning is not something that you can do for yourself, just as you should not perform surgery on yourself nor rebuild your car’s engine all by yourself.  Many folks think that estate planning is easy and search on online for a simple Will format, complete the form and then file it away.  However, that simplistic approach can, and often does, result in large and serious gaps in their estate plan, often resulting in significant financial costs later in their lives or after their death.

The attorneys at Burke Law Group can identify to you what your best and most cost-effective approach would be for estate planning, and how to best position your finances and estate plan to best ensure that your needs are met and that your wishes are followed when you do final pass away.  Call today Burke Law Group for a no-cost no-obligation consultation.

No one likes to think about the possibility of getting hurt, sick, or dying; much less plan for it. Most people avoid planning for such things all together, which can have serious consequences. The attorneys at Burke Law Group do not take the one-size-fits-all approach that some estate planning attorneys present to their clients. Often times, having a focus on recommending just one or two estate planning tools, such as the revocable living trust often heard of one TV or the radio, is not a person’s best planning method.  We will present you alternatives, explain their pros and cons, and make a recommendation to you.  You can then make an informed decision as to how to put together your estate plan.   Once the plan is completed, your affairs will be in order and you can rest easy knowing everything has been completed in advance of any emergency, incapacity, or death.

There are many various types of estate planning tools that may be possible tools in your Estate Plan, such as:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Durable Powers of Attorney covering Financial and/or Health
  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Disclaimer Trust
  • Children's Trust
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Insurance Trust
  • Medicaid or VA Benefit Qualified Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Healthcare Directive
  • Transfer on Death Deeds
  • Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

Why Do You Need An Estate Plan?

Ideally, everyone should have an Estate Plan in place.  The reasons are many and varied, but some of the most important reasons are:

  • You worked hard to accumulate your Estate's assets. If you want to have any say in who get what after you pass away, you need to put an Estate Plan into place.
  • Needless cost and taxes. Without a comprehensive Estate Plan in place, you run a high risk of exposing your family and your assets to a longer and more costly probate process and otherwise avoidable death taxes.
  • Guardians for Children. Minor children may not end up with the guardians you want. Without naming a legal guardian in your Estate Plan, friends and family could battle out custody in court. This can create unnecessary expenses and litigation for your estate and heirs.
  • Mental Incapacity. Hard as it is to think about, if you don't plan for the possibility of the nightmare of future mental incapacity, you will have no say in who makes medical and financial decisions for you. The court will be forced to appoint a guardian, not of your choosing. This process can be very expensive and time consuming.
  • Planning for the possibility of long term care in your Estate Plan may save a substantial portion of your estate's value for your heirs, rather than having it unnecessarily depleted.

Contact our experienced and knowledgeable staff to avoid these serious mistakes. We can guide you each step of the way.

Meet Our Attorneys

Dena Allen

Principal / Member of the Firm, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Collaborative Law Divorce, Cooperative Divorce, Adoptions, Estate Planning, and Probate

Sarah Brandon

Associate Attorney, admitted to practice in Washington and Idaho, practicing in all aspects of Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Support, and Modifications to Existing Family Law Orders

John Burke

Of Counsel, practicing in Collaborative Law for Divorce, Uncontested Divorce and Estate Planning. On medical leave

Matthew Fischer

Principal / Managing Member of the Firm, practicing in all areas of Family Law Litigation, Divorce and Uncontested Divorce. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Joseph Linehan

Of Counsel, practicing in Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) appeals, Family Law Litigation, and Divorce. Also serves as a Spokane County Superior Court Pro Tem Commissioner

Robin Schmahl

Senior Associate Attorney, practicing in Family Law Litigation, Uncontested Divorce, Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship

Rhylee Smith

Associate Attorney, admitted to practice in Washington and Idaho, practicing in all aspects of Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Support, and Modifications to Existing Orders

Joanna Puryear

Rule 9 Intern, practicing in Family Law and Divorce