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Elder Law

As society ages, many individuals are facing new legal challenges. Elder law is a relatively new area of law established to address the legal challenges facing the elderly, from guardianships to post-death estate litigation. Helsell Fetterman’s Elder Law Group was established to help the elderly and their families address these issues.

Guardianships

As we age, some of us begin to need help with financial and personal affairs. Often, this requires a guardianship procedure where the court evaluates a potentially incapacitated person, determines his or her capabilities, and appoints a guardian to take over certain tasks for the individual. This process can be complicated, often involving constitutional issues regarding privacy and autonomy and resulting in a loss of individual freedoms, which we often take for granted. Regardless of the outcome, it is often a very difficult time not only for the individual being evaluated, but also for the family members affected by the process.

The guidance of an experienced and competent attorney can alleviate much of the anxiety of the guardianship process. The attorneys in Helsell Fetterman’s Elder Law Group have the skill and knowledge to confidently lead you through the process, assist with transition, and provide both assurance and comfort to the entire family.

Trust & Estate Litigation

As the older generation passes its wealth to the next generation, many families find themselves tangled in estate disputes following the death of a loved one. Trust and Estate Litigation is an area of law which requires a very specific knowledge and understanding of statutory and case law, experience with general litigation principles, and the time and resources to effectively represent a client’s interests. At Helsell Fetterman, we have gone to significant lengths to assemble a top-notch team of attorneys to meet the growing demands for trust and estate litigation.

Our attorneys have successfully litigated all types of trust and estate disputes, including will contests, trust accounting discrepancies, fiduciary abuse, guardianships, committed intimate relationships, as well as disputes involving evidentiary issues such as the Dead Man’s Statute and attorney-client privilege.

As Chair of the Elder Law Group, Michael Olver has over 35 years of experience with such litigation. He was the lead attorney on multiple Washington State Supreme Court cases that have established important precedents in trust and estate law. The seminal case in Washington State involving committed intimate relationships (formerly known as meretricious relationships) is the case of Olver v. Fowler, 161 Wn. 2d 655 (2007).



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