Wills, Trusts, & Estates
Our clients appreciate knowing that their heirs and beneficiaries will receive the maximum benefit from their hard work and careful management over the years. From the most complicated estates with many millions of dollars, to simple estates with more modest nest eggs, we will always address your needs with close attention and care to your wishes.
Our team of knowledgeable attorneys will listen to your concerns and help to craft an estate plan that works for your needs, minimizing disputes and contention when it comes to the efficient distribution of your estate. We can help you resolve such issues as out-of-state property, blended families, ownership and succession planning for businesses, and state and federal estate tax liability — ensuring that your estate plan works for you. Working with a team that knows how to ask the right questions and get to the best solutions can make sure every possibility is accounted for, and ultimately give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
Working with a wide variety of families of all kinds, we can manage your estate planning needs, including:
- Wills — our team can handle all aspects of drafting and updating your will to account for changes to your family or the law
- Community Property and Separate Property Agreements
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts — we’ll help you understand when you need a trust, and when an irrevocable trust that cannot be modified without the consent of beneficiaries may be the best instrument for your needs
- Marital Trusts
- Disclaimer and Bypass Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs), and other tax-advantaged trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
- Durable and Special Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directives (Living Wills)
Probate and Administration
The passing of a loved one is a difficult time. We’re here to help our clients sort through the complexity of probate and trust administration and make sure you can focus on what matters — your family. While we work to ensure that the estate is settled properly, our clients and their families can focus on supporting one another. The best way to resolve a dispute is never to have one, and our considerable experience in resolving estate and trust questions ensures that disputes are avoided before they have a chance to arise. If disputes do arise, we can help you to ensure that they don’t become overwhelming, moving all parties to cost-effective, collaborative solutions.
Trust & Estate Dispute Resolution
We handle settlement negotiations and dispute resolution for businesses and individuals involving business control and ownership disputes, as well as trust, estate, and other fiduciary matters, including TEDRA petitions and power of attorney disputes. We are experienced in handling estates in which an individual has died intestate, or without a will. In managing these cases, we are always mindful of the significant potential cost and personal toll extended litigation poses for our clients, and we know that the best lawsuit is the one you never have to file. We offer counsel for all available solutions, including settlement, mediation, and arbitration, as well as trial.
We can provide advice and assistance on a wide variety of matters, including:
- Accounting of Assets
- Drafting Mistakes and Errors
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Duress, Undue Influence, and Coercion
- Mismanagement and Fraud
- Inappropriate Distributions
- Lost Wills
- Will and Trust Interpretation
- Lack of Mental Capacity
- Misuse and Abuse of Power of Attorney
- Personal Representative and Trustee Removal
- Trust Reformation
We welcome inquiries from majority and minority owners, and other business stakeholders, as well as personal representatives, trustees, heirs, and beneficiaries.
Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, and Other Family Arrangements
Estate planning is more than drafting a will or trust — it is a comprehensive process that can involve a number of different types of agreements, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. When people contemplate marriage or other new family arrangements, there are often special considerations. In addition to traditional prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, we are well versed in using family partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, and other instruments to define and protect your interests, as well as your loved ones’ interests, in separate property and community property.
Family Cabin Agreements
When you buy a family vacation property, you’re probably envisioning a place for future generations to share. But as a family cabin is passed down through the generations, questions of ownership, maintenance, and expenses can create thorny legal questions. Our team of experienced attorneys has considerable experience helping clients develop trust and business agreements that are fair and secure but also reasonably flexible so that co-owners and family members have clear instructions for management and maintenance, expense sharing, use and enjoyment, and sale and succession of your family’s vacation home. We know every family is different, and will work closely with you to understand your family’s dynamic and cabin use to offer a plan that is designed for your specific needs while minimizing disputes.
Incapacity and Vulnerable Adults
The question of incapacity is a difficult and emotional one. If you feel a loved one is incapacitated through illness or injury, we can help you understand his or her rights and your rights and obligations in caring for them. We are knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with vulnerable adult issues under RCW 11.84 and 74.34, which address the very serious problems of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.