Planning for the second half of life for seniors in Clark County Washington
No one has the power to predict their future.
If we did, life would be so much simpler!
Instead, our lives are full of planning for unknown possibilities.
As you or your loved ones enter into the estate planning, disability planning or long term care planning arena for the first time, it is vital to have a trusted guide with you to plan accordingly. That’s why you may find a crystal ball or two floating about our office to remind us of just that – we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so we must plan effectively today. It also serves as a reminder that in today’s ever-changing, ever-complex world, simple documents simply don’t work.
We are committed to finding solutions to your specific issues and helping guide you through the maze of ever-changing laws.
We stay up-to-date on the laws that affect seniors so that we can keep you ahead of the curve. This is one of the primary reasons it is essential to choose a qualified Elder Law Attorney to handle your affairs. We urge you to choose a firm with a breadth of related experience, not by shopping for cheap hourly rates or cheap documents.
Our firm exclusively focuses in the area of elder law, proudly serving the Clark County, Washington area since 1992. We use a team-centered approach in our 1890s office building to relate to our clients by making them feel at home and understanding their needs.
I’m Karen Webber and I’ve been practicing law in Clark County since 2003 but before that I worked for Margaret Madison Phelan as a law student. I’m often asked how I decided to become an elder law attorney. Please click on the video below to hear me explain that answer to Kerri Kasem while I was live on the radio on Legal Point.
I’m Beckie Pettis and I joined Phelan Webber Pettis in March 2016 because they practice in the areas of law that I am so passionate about and I’ve been impressed with their reputations while working in Clark County Washington. I’ve always loved knowing and hearing and finding the stories of those who came before me, and those sharing the world with me. My experiences throughout life seemed to center around meeting people at a time of concern or question for them and using the knowledge and resources available to help them to a better life. Seeing so many kinds of challenges and different people facing them, and watching people use their choices and plans to turn undesirable situations into great futures left quite an impression on me. So, when my story led me to a job that showed me what a lawyer can do, it’s no wonder I jumped in!
When I was preparing to go to graduate school (I was headed toward a PhD in history), I took a job as the sole employee of a sole practitioner attorney. When I saw first-hand how powerfully legal knowledge can be used to dramatically improve the lives and futures of people - I was hooked! I changed my plans, and applied to law school. While in law school I sought out the opportunity to work for protecting people in institutional care, particularly those in long-term care facilities. I became rather intimately versed in what life is when someone without other resources is utterly dependent on institutions and teams of “strangers”- the good and the bad. And in each situation, it was obvious that if only the person had planned ahead, or their family had, life for that person would be so much better.
From my earliest memories to my practice now, I’m so conscious that my story is built on the stories before me, and it’s my chance to live a great chapter in a bigger story, and help those who carry the story on after me. I remember listening to the radio as a young girl and hearing Paul Harvey say, “Now you know the rest of the story.” Just what will be the rest of my story? What will be the rest of yours? It’s just that question that our office loves to help solve. We are passionate about helping others figure out the best way to live the “rest of the story” in their lives, and we look forward to meeting you and talking about how we can help you make your story great!
I’m Margaret Madison Phelan. Back in 1993, the Medicaid laws were changing rapidly and I was the first attorney in Clark County, WA to present to Medicaid one of the new trusts under a new law called OBRA ’93. Two separate families had contacted the firm where I worked. Both were just trying to hold on to their family property – one was a home and the other a farm. Both properties had been in their families for years, and each family was being threatened with losing their property because they had a loved one with a long term chronic care need.
I jumped in with both feet to learn the new laws. In both cases, I used new approaches and succeeded in retaining their properties. I have been proudly helping such families in estate planning and elder law ever since. My law firm has grown and now has four lawyers and eight staff.
One of the biggest joys of my legal career was hiring Karen Webber as a law student, then working with her as an associate and finally making her my law partner. Watching her grow and develop the skills that make her the outstanding attorney she is today has been so rewarding. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with dozens of amazing staff members and the privilege of having hundreds of clients confide in me and help them develop plans that solve their legal needs. I believe that we’ve developed plans that uniquely satisfy our client’s needs rather than applying cookie cutter or short cut approaches. This year Beckie Pettis joined our firm. Karen and I have been amazed and delighted by how quickly she has assimilated. She shares our commitment to providing quality, compassionate and effective legal representation to our clients. And we’re getting stellar reviews from the clients who have worked with her. In October 2016 I sold most of my interest in the practice and but still am working with clients, albeit on a limited basis. Read my full story about my semi-retirement on my “About Us” page.
At Phelan Webber Pettis, we find solutions for a variety of needs using knowledge, experience, and most importantly, compassion. Every year we attend state and national continuing legal education training to keep abreast of new and changing laws so that we can help you with the most up-to-date options.
We want you to know us, and us you. We will identify the obstacles together and come up with creative and effective solutions for each of them. We are essentially problem-solvers, and we are great at what we do.
We look forward to your visiting our office, meeting our team and greeting our new law office pooch – Truffles.