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Trusts & Estates

Business and tax practice

Real estate and business owners - Ongoing
Structure tax-advantaged charitable gifts of appreciated business assets and interests for donors and major tax exempt organizations.

Business succession planning

Private family-owned building material warehouse & distribution businesses - Ongoing
  • Succession planning for multigenerational family businesses.
  • Design, draft and implement sales of business interests to Deemed Grantor Trusts (IDGTs) and GRATs.

Charitable planning for multiple clients

Creating private family foundations. (Ongoing)

Charitable planning for multiple clients

Charitable planning in conjunction with liquidity. (Ongoing)

Estate of Virgil V. Becker, Jr.

Representation of surviving spouse in contested estate litigation, including will contest, community v. separate property issues, and accounting and interpretation issues arising under husband and wife LLC agreement. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for closely held and public companies

Probate and trust administration of estates/trusts and interests in closely held and public companies. (Ongoing)

Estate Planning for multiple ceators of intellectual property

Estate planning for creator of intellectual property, including authors, playwrights, composers, artists, photographers and similar creative talent. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for multiple clients

Creation and funding of grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs). (Ongoing)

Estate planning for multiple clients

Creation and funding of intentionally defective grantor trusts. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for multiple clients

Multigenerational planning involving generation-skipping transfer tax and dynasty trusts. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for multiple clients

Estate planning in conjunction with asset protection. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for multiple clients

Estate planning with life insurance products. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for principals of public and private companies

Strategic estate planning for founders, owners, officers and shareholders of public and private companies in connection with liquidity events, IPO, acquisitions. (Ongoing)

Estate planning for private client*

Amendments and restatements of complex revocable trust agreement and related estate planning documents. (Ongoing)

Foundation structuring for foundations

Restructuring and merger of multiple family foundations. (Ongoing)

In re Estate of Nelson; In re Estate of Macbride; In re Estate of Parsons; In re Estate of Green-Eldridge

Represented one of two lead test cases in successful defense of estate tax challenge against the Washington Department of Revenue. Currently representing four estates in combined tax claims of $20 million. Clemency v. State (In re Estate of Bracken), 175 Wn.2d 549, 290 P.3d 99 (2012)

Trust and estate administration

Decedents and families with high net worth - Ongoing
Trust and estate administrations for numerous high-net-worth families.

Trust and estate planning

Fifth-generation, private, family-owned cold storage warehouse and logistics company - Ongoing
Multigenerational estate planning for CEOs and shareholders.

Virgil J. Pague trust litigation

Representation of trustee in connection with contested sale of Denny Triangle commercial real property. (Ongoing)

Representation of decedent’s estate in tax controversy

Representation of decedent’s estate against IRS over notices of multimillion dollar deficiencies in payment of gift and estate tax, arising out of disputes over valuation of undivided fractional interests in real property and minority non-controlling interests in business entities. (2012)

In re Estate of Fiske*

Successful defense of personal representative of probate estate regarding classification of joint property as non-estate property against claims of other heir. (2011)

Trust and estate planning for co-founders of a private software company*

Large gifts of co-founders ’non-voting interests in company to intergenerational trusts for descendants. (2011)

Estate planning for second generation, private, family-owned maritime company*

Negotiation of new buy-sell agreement and large gifts of co-owner’s non-voting interests in company to third generation. (2010)

In re Estate of Bettie Wilkins Howie

Obtained civil contempt order against trustee and sanctions in excess of $250,000 against personal representative and trustee. Also prevailed on novel issue of ademption doctrine in will. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2010)

Frank v. Frank Family Foundation

Defense of family charitable foundation against action by son to unwind parents’ contribution of property to foundation. In re Estate of Frank, 146 Wash.App. 309 (2008), pet. for review denied, 165 Wash.2d 1030. (2009)

Trust and estate and charitable planning for founder of a private, family owned composite materials*

Gift and sale of a majority of founder’s remaining ownership in company and successful gift tax audit. (2006-2008)

Merit badge for youth organization*

Negotiated creation of new merit badge with national youth organization. (2005)

Naming gifts for schools*

Negotiated major, naming gift agreements with universities in California and Arizona. (2004-2005)

Estate of Frederick Steiner

Representation of personal representative in litigation over interpretation of shareholder buy-sell agreement governing rights of shareholders in company operating Freddie’s-brand non-native American casinos. Successful arbitration to determine value of casino properties. (2003)

In re Hoyle Trust

Represented trustee in defense of breach of fiduciary duty and removal actions in bench trial in Grays Harbor superior court involving seven figure trust. Court upheld client’s authority and accepted trustee’s recommendations for trust administration. (Grays Harbor Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2001)

Eidem v. Board of Trustees of Local 290 Plumber, Steamfitter & Shipfitter Industry 401(k), Pension Trust and Welfare Trust*

Represented class plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the Trusts' investments with Capital Consultants (based in Portland, Ore.). Capital Consultants ran a Ponzi scheme and investors lost more than $300 million, of which approximately 60 percent has been recovered. The claims against the Trustees were settled for $3,738,864. (Claims in Bankruptcy Ongoing)

Fiduciary litigation

Fiduciary litigation support
  • Assist trial counsel in challenge to Oregon "penalty interest" statute for elective deferrals of inheritance tax attributable to business interests
  • Assist trial counsel in will and buy sell agreement interpretation controversy in Oregon court of appeals and mediation
  • Probate counsel in numerous controversy and claim resolutions
  • Expert witness providing analysis and testimony at trial regarding complex tax and estate planning controversies.

In re Estate of Hemphill

Represented 12 estates against class action plaintiff’s counsel’s claim for attorneys’ fees out of class recovery against state, successfully benefitted class by $8 million. (Thurston Cnty. (Wash.) Super Ct. 2008)

* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm