Planning for your unique family and financial goals
We are a team of experienced attorneys and paralegals who work closely with our clients to create plans that fit their unique circumstances. Our priority is to build long-term relationships with our clients and help guide families and individuals through a variety of difficult issues, while protecting their assets for the future. We help our clients plan for incapacity and transitions, and we work closely with seniors and families after the death of a loved one. We stay current with the complex and changing tax laws. Our group includes a Certified Elder Law Attorney and a former CPA. We are listed as a “First-Tier Ranking in Trusts & Estates Law” by Best Lawyers in America, are regularly named as “Washington Super Lawyers,” “Rising Stars” and “Best Lawyers,” and receive AV Preeminent ratings by Martindale Hubbell.
We work with clients to determine the best plans for managing their affairs in the future, including the critical questions of who will manage their assets if they are unable to themselves. We also help develop estate and gift tax planning strategies to maximize our clients’ intentions. Our planning tools include Wills, community property agreements, revocable living trusts, premarital and postnuptial agreements, irrevocable life insurance trusts, and others.
In the event of a death, we help clients who serve as Personal Representative (executor) or trustee to manage and distribute estate assets, deal with creditors, and address tax obligations. We help beneficiaries who have questions regarding how estates are handled. And we handle probate disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation or litigation.
Many clients have questions regarding gifts and the best way to make them, both for their family members and for tax planning. We work with each client to develop a plan that will help minimize state and federal estate taxes, as well as future capital gains tax. We are experienced in developing lifetime giving plans, including life insurance trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable gifts, conservation easements and more. We also help create and manage family entities to protect assets during life and to help transition them to the next generation. We can set up LLC’s, partnerships or S corporations, and help you manage ongoing entity matters, including buy/sell agreements to minimize the risk of non-family ownership.
Incapacity is unfortunately all too common. We are well versed in ways to plan for incapacity, and deal with it when it arrives. We help clients plan for potential incapacity in themselves and their children; we advise fiduciaries helping their incapacitated loved ones; we plan trusts for those with special needs; and we work with the courts on creating court-supervised Special Needs Trusts. When necessary, we help our clients with guardianships.
One couple, already clients, won the Mega Millions lottery, an astounding amount of money. Balanced and sensible people, they didn't allow it to blow their lives apart. We helped them craft an evolving estate plan that provided nicely for family and charity.
Another couple has a passion for nursing education, derived from past experiences. They will leave an endowment for that purpose, but they are going further and shaping the endowment during their lifetimes, by making smaller lifetime gifts to see how those work and can help shape the terms of the eventual endowment.
A family was concerned for their special-needs son, who they feared was particularly vulnerable because his special needs were not apparent. After he turned 18, we successfully petitioned for the parents to be appointed his guardians. Then we drafted an estate plan for the parents that provided that their son’s inheritance will instead be held by a trustee in a special needs trust. The trustee will be able to spend money for the son’s benefit in certain limited ways, and the trust won’t hurt the son’s ability to qualify for state and federal benefits such as Medicaid. After the son’s death, the remainder of the trust will be distributed to the parents’ other heirs.