Recent Newsletters

2017 TAX REFORM LEGISLATION

We’re fresh off the deadline for the filing of our 2017 tax return. Now before you put taxes out of mind for another year, it’s important to look ahead to 2018. The federal legislature enacted a new tax law which reformed the tax code in significant ways, affecting nearly every person who files a tax more »

YOU’RE AN AGENT. NOW WHAT?

You should be happy. For years you’ve been bugging your mom to see an attorney and get her estate planning done.  Then, to your great surprise, she finally did it.  Will, health care directive, powers of attorney…the whole shebang.  When she announced her accomplishment over your weekly dinner, her face wore an expression of pride more »

ESTATE PLANNING FOR THE LONG TERM

Crafting the perfect estate plan requires conscious thought along with a careful analysis of your future healthcare needs and financial situation. Where does one begin on what first appears to be a daunting and difficult task? That perfect plan might include numerous legal documents and multiple contingencies for “what if” scenarios. Each step seemingly more more »

PROBATE BASICS

“Probate. I keep hearing about this, but what does it have to do with me?” This is a common question for people who sit down, talk about their future, and how they want their loved ones to handle their estate after death.  Many people want to learn about this process to make it easier for more »

LEGISLATURE ADOPTS NEW LAWS TO PROTECT ELDERS AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

While school funding and bickering over the capital budget got the lion’s share of attention in the most recent Washington legislative session, important changes were also made to the criminal code in an effort to help protect elders and other vulnerable adults. Financial and physical abuse of elders and vulnerable adults is a growing epidemic. more »

WHO COUNTS ON YOUR ACCOUNTS?

Consider this. Dad is getting on in years and increasingly relies on his kids, Jane and John, to help him with everyday tasks. Jane is an accountant so she handles dad’s finances. Dad is pretty old fashioned and almost all of his assets are in his checking and savings accounts. John is a doctor so more »

ELDER LAW…WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?

Many moons ago, a young lawyer (let’s call him Barry) was sworn into the Washington State Bar Association by a local judge. After Barry swore to uphold the laws of the land and to be a dutiful officer of the court, the judge looked at Barry and inquired, “Young man, what sort of law do more »

SHOULD YOU TRUST YOURSELF?

“Do I need a trust?” This is one of the most common questions we get from clients.  Lots of people seem to know that trusts exist, but very few seem to know their purpose and when they might be needed.  In this month’s newsletter we will discuss some trust essentials as well as the basics more »

THE LEGISLATURE’S HOLIDAY GIFT TO ALL OF US!

If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, you’re aware that we feel Powers of Attorney (POAs) are absolutely vital estate planning documents. We’ve previously addressed a variety of topics surrounding POAs and the foundation of these discussions has been Washington’s Power of Attorney Statute, Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 11.96.  Well, that’s about to more »

CONGRESS MAKES A LONG OVERDUE FIX

In 1993, Congress enacted the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (commonly referred to as OBRA 93).  Section 1396p(d)(4)(A) of OBRA was a godsend for many people living with disabilities and receiving public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).[1]  Most benefit programs (such as SSI) have asset limitations that require recipients have almost no more »