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Practice Areas


Scroll down to view our areas of expertise. 

SCROLL DOWN

Practice Areas


Scroll down to view our areas of expertise. 

Adams & Duncan provides a wide variety of legal services to assist our clients in achieving their legal objectives. Please scroll down to view our primary areas of focus. 

Banking


Banking


Banking & Financial Institutions 


Adams & Duncan has provided legal services to community and regional banks for over 25 years.  Those services include negotiating and reviewing contracts with third party vendors, reviewing, modifying and litigating participation agreements, and assisting branch administration in responding to specific customer and account issues.  In cooperation with the bank’s special assets departments, our firm has provided services including drafting forbearance agreements, agreements for non-merger deeds in lieu, judicial and non-judicial foreclosures and prejudgment writs of attachment.

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Corporate Law


Corporate Law


Corporate Law


The attorneys at Adams & Duncan use a team approach to working with our business clients.  This approach allows our clients to take advantage of all the practice areas offered in our firm making our legal representation more accessible and affordable to our clients.  Our attorneys have experience representing clients ranging from the smallest startups to large S&P 500 corporations with local holdings, including professional sports teams, Boeing suppliers, banks, waste management, and large real estate holding companies.

Our services to business clients include:

Our Business Formation services include working with startup businesses to develop business plans, entity selection, tax strategies, partnership agreements, and navigating governmental requirements.

Mergers and Acquisitions together with the Purchase or Sale of business assets can become very complicated and is an area prone to mistake without legal guidance.  Adams & Duncan has advised clients on the purchase and sale of businesses of all sizes and works with our clients to tailor representation which is appropriate for the transaction as well as our clients’ budgets.

Contracts and Transactions – Our attorneys regularly work with clients in the drafting, reviewing, negotiating and due diligence review related to business contracts, including partnership/shareholder agreements, the sale of goods or assets, and real estate transactions.

Business Litigation can be necessary when negotiations and alternatives are unsuccessful.  As a result, all of our attorneys have experience litigating in the courts and in alternative venues such as arbitrations and mediations.  We take great pride in making litigation affordable and working with our clients to limit the disruption to their business and lives.

Estate Planning


Estate Planning


Estate Planning


Estate planning is the process that allows individuals to direct the disposition of their assets upon death.  Estate planning also allows individuals to plan for their incapacity or inability to manage their affairs during their lifetime.

We assist clients with putting together an estate plan that ensures that their estate planning desires and objectives are documented, and their assets are distributed to their intended beneficiaries.  We also assist clients in making sure that their financial and health care decisions are in the hands of the individuals that they trust with making those decisions.

The estate planning attorneys at Adams & Duncan provide services such as:

Planning for Incapacity:  We assist individuals with putting together the necessary estate planning documents should they ever become incapacitated or unable to manage their own affairs during their lifetime.  These documents can include the use of a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive.  By using these documents, individuals can be assured that their wishes will be carried out as they had intended during their lifetime.

Property Dispositions:  We assist individuals in properly designating and directing where their assets will go upon their death, such as gifts to spouses, children, disabled individuals, charities, or gifts into trust for beneficiary protection.  This can be properly implemented by the use of a Last Will and Testament and/or a Community Property Agreement (for married individuals).  We also assist individuals in setting up Revocable Living Trusts to manage their property during their lifetime and direct where property will go upon death.

Reduce Estate Tax Liability:  We assist clients with understanding and implementing gifting strategies, during lifetime and at death, to reduce estate tax liability at both the state and federal levels.  This includes tools such as Credit Trusts, QTIP Trusts, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Life Insurance Trusts and other types of irrevocable trusts.

Beneficiary Protections:  We assist clients in implementing protective devices, such as trusts and custodial accounts, for beneficiaries who may not be able to manage money and/or property on their own, including minors, individuals with disabilities, surviving spouses, etc.  Through the use of a properly drafted trust, clients can limit the amount of money a beneficiary can receive each year and under what circumstances a beneficiary can receive other distributions from the trust.  Property drafted trusts can also provide creditor protection to beneficiaries, and ensure that an individual with special needs will not be disqualified from receiving public benefits when he or she receives an inheritance. 

Elder Law & Medicaid Planning


Elder Law & Medicaid Planning


Elder Law & Medicaid Planning


One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they may end up in a long term care facility, such as a nursing home.  This not only means a great loss of personal autonomy, but also a tremendous financial burden.  Depending on location and level of care, nursing homes can cost anywhere between $35,000 and $150,000 per year.

Most people end up paying for long term care out of their savings until they run out.  Then they can qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost.  The advantages of paying privately are that you have more options of care facilities to choose from, and it eliminates or postpones dealing with your state’s welfare bureaucracy, which can often be a demanding and time-consuming process.  The disadvantage is that it’s expensive.

Careful planning surrounding long term care, whether in advance or in response to an unanticipated need for care, can help protect your estate, whether for you, your spouse or for your children.  At Adams & Duncan, we assist seniors and their families as well as individuals with disabilities in understanding the eligibility rules for Medicaid.  We review the Medicaid eligibility requirements with clients to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid, or if there are planning tools available to them to achieve Medicaid eligibility in the near future.  If a client is eligible for Medicaid and seeks assistance with accessing the benefits available to them, we also offer assistance necessary to access the benefits, such as preparation of the application for benefits, gathering of asset and income verification, explanation of previous gifts and/or transfers, and correspondence with social workers.

In addition to Medicaid and long term care planning, we also assist seniors and their families with a wide array of other elder law issues that affect the livelihood of a senior, including retirement and estate planning, powers of attorney and other forms of substitute decision making, abuse of vulnerable individuals and general advocacy for seniors.

Trust & Estate Litigation


Trust & Estate Litigation


Trust & Estate Litigation 


Adams & Duncan represents individuals, beneficiaries, personal representatives, trustees, and other fiduciaries in all types of trust and estate disputes.  Such disputes include will contests, trust and will interpretation, claims against fiduciaries, accounting disputes, and beneficiary designation challenges.

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Trust & Probate Administration


Trust & Probate Administration


Trust & Probate Administration


Trust Administration:  We assist trustees with understanding and fulfilling their duties and responsibilities with regard to serving as trustee of a trust.  As with estates, we also provide services to trustees that are necessary to settle trust matters, including interpretation of trust provisions, settlement of claims, and distribution of the trust assets to beneficiaries named in the trust instrument.

Probate Administration:  Adams & Duncan provides services to personal representatives who are required to implement the probate administration for the settlement of estates.  Such services include review of assets owned by the decedent, including beneficiary designations, titling of accounts, and asset transfer history; preparation and presentation of the court pleadings and documents necessary to probate the estate; supervise and coordinate the probate process in relation to creditor notification, settlement of creditor claims, inventory and appraisal of assets, and filing of necessary tax returns; and assist with the transfer, distribution and sale of estate assets.

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Environmental, Natural Resources & Land Use


Environmental, Natural Resources & Land Use


Land Use Law


The Adams & Duncan law firm delivers sound legal advice and experienced representation to clients in real estate development or use projects, either in conjunction with other consultants or alone, depending on the scope of the project, we assist clients through the regulatory and permitting frameworks of many local jurisdictions.  We assist clients with achieving or proving compliance with zoning and other land use controls and enforcement mechanisms.  We have successfully challenged through the Land Use Petition Act (LUPA) erroneous decisions by hearing examiners and other government directors.

Other public interest groups and concerned citizens turn to our law firm to assist them in understanding, and/or in challenging projects, codes, ordinances, or laws that impact their property rights, constitutional rights, or otherwise are not compliant with the law.

Our lawyers stay attuned to the latest developments in natural resource development law, water law, and alternative energy law to assist their clients.

Federal Tax Controversies & Disputes


Federal Tax Controversies & Disputes


Federal Tax Law


For many individual taxpayers and businesses, the IRS can be a very intimidating opponent and the intricacies of the tax code can be confusing and overwhelming.  Adams & Duncan helps taxpayers maneuver through all phases of a federal tax dispute.  We provide taxpayers with guidance through the audit and examination process, represent taxpayers in appeals and Tax Court litigation and negotiate collection alternatives on behalf of taxpayers.  Adams & Duncan works with the taxpayers through each step so that the taxpayer truly feels like they have an advocate on their side.

The tax attorneys at Adams & Duncan provide services such as:

Tax Planning: We assist individual and business taxpayers in structuring their finances and budget to ensure that a dispute with the IRS does not arise.  This also includes providing guidance to the taxpayer in preparing for a future transaction.

Tax refunds:  We assist taxpayers in seeking a refund against the IRS when the taxpayer has paid more than is due.

Audit Guidance:  Taxpayers may get audited by the IRS.  During this examination period, we assist taxpayers with complying with the IRS requests, negotiate with the IRS agents, and serve as the taxpayer’s representative in all meetings.

Appeals:  Whether the taxpayer is appealing a final audit report or a Tax Court decision, we are able to assist taxpayers in appealing an IRS decision.  We serve as an advocate for the taxpayer against the IRS and are able to assist the taxpayer in articulating their position.

Tax Court litigation:  Once the taxpayer has been issued a statutory Notice of Deficiency, we assist the taxpayer in proving that such deficiency is incorrect.  Our firm has attorneys who are licensed to practice before the US Tax Court, where the taxpayer is able to dispute the underlying tax liability first.  We assist taxpayers in working with IRS Counsel, gather evidence and interview witnesses.

Collection alternatives:  The IRS is authorized to collect tax debts by filing a lien against the taxpayer’s property and levying on such assets, including garnishing wages.  Our first step is to try and stop the IRS from levying on such assets or garnishing wages.  Once we stop the IRS from its levy action, we negotiate with the IRS other collection alternatives, such as offers in compromise, payment plans and installment agreements, and setting up “currently not collectible” status, if applicable.

State Tax Controversies


State Tax Controversies


State Tax Law


Taxes imposed by state and local agencies, such as the Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Industries, generally impact all individuals and businesses.  This includes sales taxes, real estate excise taxes, use taxes, business and operations (B&O) taxes or worker’s compensation.  Our firm provides services for individuals and business during the audit and examination process, the appeals process and the negotiation process.

The tax attorneys at Adams & Duncan provide services such as:

Tax Planning:  We assist individual and business taxpayers in structuring their finances and budget to ensure that a dispute or issue with a state or local agency does not arise.  This also includes providing guidance to the taxpayer in preparing for a future transaction.

Tax Refunds:  We assist taxpayers in seeking a refund against state and local agencies when the taxpayer has paid more than is due.

Audit and Review guidance:  Taxpayers may get audited by a state or local agency.  During this examination period, we assist taxpayers with complying with the agency’s requests, negotiate with the agent assigned to the case, and serve as the taxpayer’s representative in all meetings and conferences.  Taxpayers may also get reviewed by agencies, such as the Department of Labor and Industries, for questionable work or business that has been conducted on behalf of the taxpayer.  Our firm works to answer any questions and prove that the taxpayer’s position is correct.

Appeals:  We assist the taxpayer in appealing any state or local agency’s decision.  We serve as an advocate for the taxpayer against the agency and are able to assist the taxpayer in articulating their position.  We are able to guide the taxpayer through, what is often times, a complicated appeals process.

Collection alternatives:  Many state and local agencies are authorized to collect tax debts by filing a lien against the taxpayer’s property and levying on such assets.  We assist taxpayers by negotiating with the agency to set up payment plans or other collection alternatives.

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Real Estate


Real Estate


Real Estate Law


Over the past three decades, Adams & Duncan has earned a reputation for being skilled real estate lawyers.  We negotiate, draft, and litigate when necessary as strong advocates for our clients.  We urge our clients to exercise caution before litigating, but where there are no other options, we will litigate aggressively.  We have seen the scams and have defended the downtrodden who have become the victims of those who will take advantage of the disadvantaged.  In these stressful economic times, we meet with families to talk about their alternatives and what they can do to improve their prospects for their future.  Whether it is a case of adverse possession, prescriptive easement, construction defects, equitable mortgage, foreclosure, or any of the other multitude of legal issues that pertain to real estate, we have successfully litigated those claims.  In our real estate practice, we also represent our clients in purchase and sale transactions.  We draft the contracts, work with the agents, title officers, and escrows as we work to guide our clients to successful closings.  If it involves real estate, we have been involved.

Commercial Real Estate

Our attorneys have made Adams & Duncan a leader in representing clients on commercial real estate issues, including leases, environmental remediation, land use, condemnation, purchase and sales agreements, and litigation.  We represent clients purchasing their first commercial property to clients listed on the S&P 500 with holdings in Western Washington in all matters related to commercial real estate.  We also have strong relationships with local banks and brokers which often benefit our clients.  Our goal with every client is to assist them with realizing their investment at affordable rates with the highest quality of representation.