Compassionate, competent legal assistance with estate planning, guardianship, and probate provided in a cost-effective manner
The Law Office of Paulette Peterson, PLLC in Bainbridge Island, Washington provides legal representation to seniors and others in Bainbridge Island and throughout Kitsap County in matters of elder law, estate planning and guardianship. Paulette Peterson and Susan Spuller have more than 45 years combined experience successfully helping clients with their legal needs. We work diligently to address your legal needs promptly and secure your peace of mind. We provide a compassionate approach to the unique legal challenges faced by seniors, individuals with disabilities, and their families. Call our office today for a free half-hour initial telephone consultation with a trusted elder law and estate planning attorney.
Respectable attorneys focused on you and your individual needs:
Our approach to your situation is:
Compassionate We treat our clients with compassion and sensitivity to each client's individual needs. Our attorneys are available to travel to your home and are flexible in devising solutions to the needs of you and your loved ones.
Effective We carefully assess your particular legal matter to develop the best strategy to suit your interests. We work effectively to achieve the desired outcome in a cost-efficient manner.
Experienced With more than 45 years of combined experience, we have built a reputation for consistently effective legal representation. We are dedicated to upholding that standard in your case.
Working diligently to secure your assets for your family's future:
The Law Office of Paulette Peterson, PLLC represents individuals throughout Kitsap County and in King County in matters involving estate planning, guardianship and its alternatives, probate and estate administration.
Elder Law In elder law, we address the legal issues unique to seniors. We handle all issues related to trust planning, wills, probate, ancillary probate and more.
Estate Planning: we help clients develop effective estate plans to secure their family's futures. We can provide expert assistance with wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, estate tax issues and establishing and administering trusts.
Guardianship: When a child with special needs reaches majority or a loved one has become incapacitated due to aging, dementia or other health issues, we provide you with sound advice and professional assistance with the crucial decisions about the financial support, protection of your vulnerable family members. We will guide you through the process of establishing a guardianship if necessary and thoroughly examine what other options might be available to you. Once a guardianship is established, we can continue to help you navigate your responsibilities and reporting obligations to the Court. We represent both lay and professional guardians.
Probate and Estate Administration: When a family member dies, we can help you probate their estate, including assistance with marshaling assets, including non-probate assets, and addressing claims. Where possible, we will discuss alternatives to probate including small estate affidavits.
710 Ericksen Ave NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Preserving your family's wealth for future generations
Whether you're planning the parameters of your future medical care or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, the Law Office of Paulette Peterson, PLLC can help with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
-Estate tax issues
-Choosing the appropriate executor
Securing your legacy:
You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.
Draft your living will and last will and testament:
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your living will sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.
Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet making decisions that might not reflect your desires.
The Law Office of Paulette Peterson, PLLC can draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored.
Changing your will:
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.
Appointment of guardianship:
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children and can make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals.
Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates; Probate; Elder Law; Guardianship; Estate Litigation
Admitted: 1987, Washington
Law School: University of Washington, J.D.
Member: King County (Member, Sections on: Elder Law; Real Property and Probate; Chairperson, Guardianship/Elder Law Section, 2009-2010) and Washington State Bar Associations; Estate Planning Council of Kitsap County; National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.
Publications: Editor: "King County Probate Policy Manual" (February 2003); "Alternatives to Guardianship", KCBA CLE, Inter-county Guardianship GAL Training (May 2002, May 2003, May 2004, May 2006, May 2008, April 2009); "Will Contests," KCBA CLE, Probate Litigation & Ethics (Oct. 2001, Oct. 2002, Dec. 2003); "Trusts and Ancillary Documents," Washington Law Institute CLE, Real World Estate Planning (Sept. 2002);"Probate: An Overview and the Alternatives," WSBA Best of CLE (Dec. 2001);"Probate Proceedings Affecting Title," Supplement to Chapter 73 of the WSBA Real Property Deskbook (2001); "Probate: An Overview and the Alternatives," WSBA CLE, How to Probate an Estate and Handle Post Mortem Matters (Dec. 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001); "Duties of Guardian of the Estate," Washington Manual for Certification of Professional Guardians (2000); Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of Washington Defense Trial Lawyers in Barr v. Day, 124 Wn.2d 318, 879 P2d 912 (1994) (immunity of guardian ad litem in judicial proceedings).
Paulette Peterson has practiced in the areas of guardianship, estate planning, probate and litigation related to those areas for over 25 years. After working for 17 years in downtown Seattle, Paulette moved her office to Bainbridge Island where she continues her same focus providing quality legal services throughout Kitsap County.
Ms. Peterson was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana. When not practicing law she enjoys spending time with her husband and 5 children. Paulette is active in the community of Bainbridge Island. She is the former chair of the Bainbridge Island Special Needs Foundation and currently serves on the board of Helpline House. She volunteers time with Kitsap Legal Services and Therapy Dogs International for which she is the Vice Director of the newly formed local chapter. She and her Certified Therapy dog, AJ, enjoy visiting local nursing homes, schools and libraries.
University of Washington
Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Trusts, Guardianship, Probate, Elder Law
Admitted: 1995, Washington; 1996, US District Court, Western District of Washington
Law School: University of Iowa, JD, 1995
Susan Spuller is an experienced litigator and transactional attorney with 20 years experience in estate planning, guardianship, probate, trusts and special education litigation. A native Iowan, Ms. Spuller received her B.B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1992 and her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1995. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Ms. Spuller has been named a "Rising Star" by Washington Law & Politics magazine. She has authored several articles for presentation at seminars for legal professionals and for laypeople, including: "Understanding Rights and Responsibilities for Students With Disabilities" (with Stacy Gillett), WSTLA Legal Education Seminar Teacher's Law School 2002, "Special Education Cases and the Award of Attorneys Fees," Special Education Law and Advocacy Seminar, Seattle University 2002, and "Long Term Care Options: Costs and Funding Alternatives."
Ms. Spuller enjoys the opportunity to engage in interesting and challenging work. She particularly enjoys the personal connections her work provides her. When she is not working for her clients or occupied trying to keep up with her children, she is an avid reader and cook.
University of Iowa
Juris Doctorate, 1995