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The Pivotal Law Blog

Recent Washington Tax Determinations Underscore the Need for Written Rulings

Posted Friday, November 1, 2013 by Ron Bueing

Two recent published determinations of the Washington Department of Revenue underscore the need for taxpayers to obtain written rulings to support guidance received from the Washington Department of Revenue. In Det. No 13-0034,32 WTD 220 (2013), the…

Recent Changes to the Washington State Estate Tax Law

Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

In June 2013, Washington State Legislature made four significant changes to Washington estate tax laws. These changes are important to know as they may affect your existing or prospective estate plans. The changes are summarized below: The new…

Can I cut down a Boundary Tree that is right on the property line?

Posted Friday, October 18, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

As a general rule, you cannot cut down trees or vegetation on another person’s property without their express permission. If you do so, Washington has two separate statutes that can impose significant damages in a civil action: Trespass and the so-called…

Common Paymaster and Reimbursement of Affiliated Expenses Remains Complicated

Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Ron Bueing

In July Gov. Inslee signed legislation (Sections 101 & 102 of ESSB 5882) to restore a deduction for reimbursements between affiliated businesses that use a centralized payroll reporting system. Despite the common sense tax policy underlying this…

Recent Case Creates Risks for Lenders in Real Property Foreclosures

Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

In 1965 Washington State authorized non-judicial foreclosures as an expedited procedure for lenders to recover real property after loan defaults. We have conducted hundreds of foreclosures as trustees working on behalf of lenders through these years…

Case Law Update: "Scriveners" Error in Deed of Trust subject to Reformation by Court.

Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In GLEPCO v. Reinstra, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division 1, held that a trial court had the authority to add the correct legal description on a trustee’s deed after a foreclosure sale where it was determined that there was an error in the…

When Two or More Tango: The Need for an Owners Agreement

Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

Running a business or investing in real estate can be a thrilling endeavor. Partners are a good way to share the risk and bring in additional capital or skills. If you want your entrepreneurial thrills to be positive when working with a partner, your…

In the News: Washington State Institutes New Gender-Neutral Vocabulary

Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

On April 22, 2013, Washington governor Jay Inslee signed into law the final piece of a six-year effort to substitute gender-neutral vocabulary into state statutes. Since 2007, Lawmakers have been passing a series of bills to root out gender bias from…

Case Law Update: The Perils of Buying a Car on eBay

Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In Brown v. Best Auto Limited, the Court of Appeals recently addressed a case involving a used vehicle purchased from a Washington-based company off of eBay. In Brown, the Browns purchased a 2004 Mini Cooper from Best Auto Limited based on an eBay…

Seattle Adopts Criminal Background Check Ordinance

Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2013 by Ron Bueing

On June 10, 2013, the Seattle City Council adopted an ordinance significantly affecting the ability of businesses to use criminal background checks in screening applicants for employment. Mayor McGinn is expected to sign the ordinance, which will become…

Guardianship vs. Less-Restrictive Alternatives: Navigating Legal Options When Caring for an Incapacitated Loved One

Posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

When a loved one becomes incapacitated by sudden illness or an accident, the first question asked by a client is typically how to continue taking care of that person and their affairs. This concern is especially common in situations where an…

Case Law Update: “Exercise of Judgment” Instruction Affirmed for Medical Negligence Action

Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In Fergen v. Sestero, (No. 30523-6-III) the Washington Court of Appeals, Division III reviewed the appropriateness of the “exercise of judgment” standard pattern jury instruction. In Fergen, Mr. Fergen presented to Dr. Sestero with an asymptomatic lump…

Recent IRS Cases Point Out Need for Charitable Contribution Documentation

Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 by Ron Bueing

As individuals prepare to file their 2012 federal income tax returns, it is extremely important to pay attention to obtaining the appropriate documentation for charitable contributions, especially if those contributions are significant. In two cases…

Estate Planning: It's Complicated, But Participation and Training Can Unlock the Mysteries

Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

Formed in the early 1940s, the Estate Planning Council of Seattle is a nationally-recognized coalition which holds quarterly meetings and hosts notable speakers on the latest estate planning news and practices. Members primarily include those who are…

How to Fund Your Revocable Living Trust

Posted Monday, March 11, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

A revocable living trust is a popular estate planning tool for someone looking to avoid the probate of their assets. When done correctly, an RLT will effectively govern all of the testator’s assets upon death, allowing the assets to be passed onto the…

Case Law Update: Is Your Arbitration Clause Enforceable?

Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In Gandee v. LDL Freedom Enterprises, the Washington Supreme Court was asked to determine whether an arbitration clause contained in a debt adjustment contract was enforceable. Arbitration clauses are routinely included in a variety of contracts, from…

How to Collect on a Judgment

Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

After you obtain a judgment against someone in court, what can you do to collect on that judgment? There are many different ways to collect on a judgment. Under certain circumstances, you can have the court issue an order to seize and sell the property…

Case Law Update: Filing Documents in Court Under Seal

Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent Washington Supreme Court decision, Bennett v. Britton, et al, the Court sought to clarify the circumstances wherein documents filed with the court could be sealed. Article I, Section 10 of the Washington Constitution provides that, “Justice…

Can Your Beneficiaries Inherit Your Frequent Flier Miles?

Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 by Pivotal Law Group

What happens to your frequent flier miles when you die? You may not have given much thought to the question, but if you have miles worth thousands of dollars in your airline accounts, you may want to consider designating beneficiaries for these accounts…

Stock Sales: Buyers Beware

Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 by Michael A. Larson

A person must do their due diligence when buying a company, especially when the purchase is done through a stock sale. Generally, there are two ways to buy a company: one is through the purchase of the company’s stocks; the other is through the purchase…

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not legal advice. This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice under any circumstances, nor should it be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. The information on this blog is a general statement of the law and may not be up to date, accurate or applicable to your specific circumstances. Prior success in litigation is not an indication of future results; each case is unique and past results cannot predict future outcomes.

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