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The Stokes Lawrence Estate Planning group includes some of the most qualified attorneys you’ll find in this field. Yet it’s our educational approach that distinguishes us. We’re able to simplify complex concepts and patiently guide you through what can be an emotional process.
In addition to our planning services, we offer a range of trust and estate dispute resolution options to families in crisis. We also assist family members and professional fiduciaries with probate and the administration of estates.
What to Expect
We begin the estate planning process by getting acquainted. We ask basic questions to determine your specific needs and the scope of the planning. Our discussion may touch on issues such as the sale of a business, charitable giving, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, or long-term care. Whatever the topics may be, together we prioritize and develop a plan tailored for you.
We also give you options. Our expertise is in matching the appropriate vehicle or strategy to your objectives. We help you understand how estate-planning documents can be designed to minimize the impact of the federal gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
For each planning technique, we offer an explanation of benefits and drawbacks, educating you about the law and compliance requirements. We compare and contrast the options so you clearly understand the intended outcome. The planning process also can serve as a tool for educating younger generations about financial responsibility and philanthropy.
Our Estate Planning group includes fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. We are actively involved in the drafting and passage of trust and estate related legislation. We also are frequent authors and lecturers and have taught as adjunct professors at both the University of Washington and Seattle University law schools.
Areas of focus include:
Trust & Estate Litigation. We have a depth of experience in successfully navigating the complexities of trust and estate litigation. We handle will contests, claims against fiduciaries, estate-tax audits and controversies, suits involving trust interpretation and other complex cases involving trusts and estates. We represent individual and charitable beneficiaries, personal representatives, individual and institutional trustees, and other fiduciaries in all types of disputes. Our firm is one of the most knowledgeable about the Washington Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act because we helped draft this law.
Business Succession Planning. If you are involved in a closely held or publicly controlled business, we can assist in the implementation or modification of business plans. This may include the evaluation or execution of buy-sell agreements, limited liability companies, the restructuring of partnership agreements, or the establishment of business entities. We also design your plans to coordinate with existing or planned employee benefit programs, including stock-option plans and qualified retirement plans.
Charitable Planning. We assist families with the development and implementation of philanthropic plans. We also advise foundations and other types of not-for-profit organizations on a variety of issues, including tax and corporate compliance, Board structuring and education, strategic planning and grant making.
20 Stokes Lawrence Attorneys Received AV Preeminent© Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest ranking
George Velikanje, Doug Lawrence, RoseMary Reed Named Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Carolyn Cairns, Kelby Fletcher, Karolyn Hicks and Doug Lawrence Recognized Among Top 100 Lawyers in Washington
Carolyn Cairns, Karolyn Hicks and Shannon Jost Named to Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington list
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