What We Can Do For You

Serving the greater Clark County, WA area, weMargaret-Madison-Phelan-and-Karen-Webber-02-large-300x266 focus exclusively in the areas of:

Estate Planning. We urge everyone to put their affairs in order.  Often the goal is to determine who would receive your estate at death and how.  We start by examining each client’s ‘do nothing plan’ or what happens if you don’t do anything.  Then we help clients consider comprehensive will plans, living trust plans and specialized plans.  Sometimes clients call our offices wanting to get a simple will.  Wouldn’t it be great if life was still simple!  In these complex times, hardly anyone is well served with a ‘simple will’.  Instead, we find there isn’t one right solution for everyone.  Let us help you review your situation, wishes and goals to develop the plan that is right for you.

What happens if you don’t die?   Although estate planning is an appropriate goal for many, for others, there are additional considerations.  What happens if you don’t die and instead get sick along the way?  Let us help you consider your options and determine what planning, beyond traditional planning, should be considered.  When we send you an estate planning questionnaire, we’ll ask a few more questions to help you decide if this type of planning is for you.

Is your check engine light on?  Many times folks have created an estate plan and then moved to a different state.  Perhaps a loved one has died.  Maybe they are now facing a chronic care need.  Call now!  Our staff will assist you through a free phone consultation to determine whether an update is needed.  If appropriate, we’ll schedule an in office, hospital or home meeting to sort through your situation.  Maybe your ‘do nothing plan’ still protects you!  But, until we meet and go through your situation, you won’t know.

Paying for Long Term Care.  Have a family member with a need to pay for in-home care or assisted living care?  Or, maybe someone you love is in a nursing home?  We assist in determining options to pay for long term care in Washington state.  We will help you investigate all the strategies:  respite (subject to availability), Medicare, Veteran’s Benefits (Aid & Attendance or Housebound), Long Term Care insurance, private payment (including annuities and reverse mortgages) and Medicaid (including COPES, Medicaid skilled care and medically needy).   Washington has complex and unique Medicaid rules that we help clients navigate. Currently, we do not help with Oregon crisis planning and/or Oregon Medicaid applications.

Guardianship.  Sometimes it is necessary to step in to help someone who is at risk of harm to their person or estate, based on a pattern of conduct. Or maybe a vulture is circling around a loved one trying to take advantage of them.  Typically, these persons have not previously named someone to assist them in an appropriate power of attorney document.  Sometimes we can create a solution to avoid guardianship.  Other times, someone may be acting in such an erratic manner that there aren’t other options.   We assist in the petition process, as well as with the ongoing administration of a guardianship.

Probate and Trust Administration.  We help fiduciaries in probate administration, nonprobate administration and trust administrations of decedent’s estates.  The first step for each of these is to determine what provisions of the probate and trust code are applicable and then determine what is necessary.  Our goal is to help the trustee or personal representative complete their duties without retaining any personal liability.  Our team is available to help throughout the process:  start to finish.

Special Needs Planning.  When someone with a disability has assets that disqualify them from receiving public benefits, we can assist evaluating options. This might include establishing a special needs trust with their monies without destroying their benefits.  These funds may come from a personal injury settlement, unexpected windfall or an inheritance.  There are several types of trusts available and we’re here to help you evaluate them.  In addition, family members may choose to establish a special needs trust for a loved one with a disability now, or put in carefully crafted provisions in their estate plan.  We help with all types of special needs trusts.