Parenting risks and Estate Planning

A Will is the Responsibility of Every Parent
The last thing that most people want to take into consideration when they are experiencing the joy of bringing a new child into the world is what protections they have in place if something were to happen to them.
As a new parent myself, I do not like to think that I may not be around for many years to experience my son’s growth and be there to provide some important life lessons to help him along his path. However, as a lawyer, I have seen first-hand the difficult process of when a parent dies unexpectedly without a Will.
The inherent difficulty of accepting the passing of a loved one, especially one that you rely on to such an extent, is significantly compounded when that loved one did not take the time to create a Will. A Will provides a clear framework to navigate the probate process in accordance with the wishes of the deceased person. Without such a framework, a family is left to guess at what that person would have wanted and create a plan according to those guesses. All this is necessary while dealing with increased oversight from the probate court and dealing with the grieving process. This can be overwhelming for family members trying to cope with the loss of a loved one.
A Will is important for any person, but especially so for a parent. Being a parent comes with a multitude of responsibilities and difficult decisions, and one of those is to protect your children to the best of your abilities under all circumstances, including if something were to happen to you. Do not be the person who puts this off because, although death is certain, its timing surely is not.

Give us a call to talk about your particular needs.
Matt J. Werter


Welcome our new paralegal, Meghan!

Stop by and meet Meghan Limegrover, our new paralegal.

Meghan is a transplant from Texas, but with a degree in horticulture she can thrive in a new environment! She is excited to learn and expand her understanding of the law, especially in matters of personal injury.

Meghan is inspired by the variety of flora in Washington. The food, the music and the people of Seattle are just a few things she is enjoying as she makes this city her home.


Farewell to Jessica!

After 5 years of working at Ivy Law Group, I will be leaving to start a job in the Amazon legal department. Over the past 5 years I have learned more than I could have ever imagined working here. I started my job as a former nanny knowing very little about the office environment and legal procedures.

As I look back to my first day and my overwhelming feelings of knowing nothing, I can say I have come very far from that day. I truly owe my growth in professional and legal domains to the guidance of Ruth. Ruth was not only a boss but a mentor, she helped me channel a sense of confidence and an ability to adapt to any situation thrown at me.

As I move on to a different environment with different opportunities, I can only say that I would never have been able to do this if I hadn’t got my first opportunity here. I will miss working at Ivy but am excited to start a new chapter in my life.

Jessica Replogle


Grab and Go Bag: “True Life Story”

As the granddaughter, daughter and sister of structural engineers I grew up with earthquake preparedness stories. One of my favorites is my grandfather touring the remains of a building in Japan (circa 1920’s) and seeing that the plumbing was all that remained vertical.  The story goes that someone survived in the bathtub!

Last week we had a natural gas scare in my apartment building and I had to locate my own grab and go bag. Fortunately there was no evacuation but it was a good wake up call.  During Sunday’s less-than Super Bowl, I reviewed and replaced many items in my bag.  It was well past due!

We all get lax, but I recommend you pick a rainy, cold, February day and review your own grab and go bag!


Simple Acts of Kindness at the Holidays

Winter holidays are a time to be with others, and unfortunately there are many individuals that are homeless, elderly, lonely and in need.

Consider adding a small act of kindness to your holiday ‘to do’ list.

Some examples are: have a cup of tea with an elderly neighbor, call someone who lost a loved one in the past year, send a card of appreciation or compassion, give a homeless person your doggie bag, say “I love you” to someone you love.
As an attorney I’ve learned not to make promises, but this is the exception. The small act of kindness you do for someone will be repaid a thousand fold.



Ch ch ch changes!

Chris Bates has moved to a law firm in Everett where he will continue his practice in family law. Martin Kreshon is joining a personal injury firm in downtown Seattle.  We wish them well.

Judy Shoji has joined our family law team. Returning to work after a stint as a stay-at-home mom, Judy brings a wealth of experience.  She has been practicing law for the past 23 years and provides representation in all aspects of family law and adoption.  Judy received her law degree from Seattle University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.

Judy has extensive experience representing clients in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Island and Skagit Counties.  In her spare time, Judy has volunteered for the King County Bar Association Family Law Neighborhood Legal Clinic from 2006-2014 and for the Self Help Plus Clinic since 2014. Judy was named King County Bar Association Volunteer of the month in October 2014.  In her free time, Judy likes to cook, hike, and travel to Hawaii as often as possible!

 

 


Are You Ready to Vote?

In the beginning of the creation of the United States of America you had to be a white male, over 21 and a property owner in order to vote!

240 years later it is all genders, all races and all economic levels who may vote.

The right to vote doesn’t mean much if it isn’t exercised. Flexing our individual muscles are what extended voting rights to all of us.   The people who extended those rights were white male property owners who (eventually) voted for inclusion.

In the 2012 presidential election only 57.5% of Americans voted and that was a high turnout! Our vote is important. Whether you vote or not, someone will be elected president. And that person will be your president, making decisions that affect you and this country for many years to come.

The presidential portion is not the only important aspect on the voter’s ballot. Many issues that affect day to day life are determined on a local level such as taxes and education.

Ballots are out there. Now let’s all exercise!

 


Car Accident Injuries

Types of Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in the United States, causing hundreds of billions (that’s billions with a B!) in medical bills, lost wages, productivity loss, and other damages.  While every accident and the individuals involved are different, there are some fairly common injuries.  This article will address some of these injuries and what you should do to ensure that you are fully recovered and your bills are paid.

 

Head, Neck, & Back Injuries: Head injuries often result from the driver or passenger striking their head against the dash, steering wheel, windows, or head rests.  This can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI), from concussions to permanent physical damage, skull fractures, and hearing/vision problems.  These injuries require careful monitoring and, occasionally, extensive treatment.

Whiplash is perhaps the most recognizable neck injury resulting from car accidents, describing a range of injuries that result from a sudden strain to the muscles, bones, and nerves in the neck.  Sudden movement of the head and neck can cause serious neck muscle and ligament damage.  Generalized pain and muscle stiffness are also very common.  Chiropractors advise patients that failure to treat neck issues can lead to health problems throughout the rest of the body.

Back injuries are also relatively common in car accidents.  Injuries can range from mild (generalized pain, tight muscles), to serious (fractured vertebrae, herniated discs).

Other Injuries:  Many painful and sometimes severe injuries result from blunt force trauma to the chest.  High velocity impacts from the steering column can cause fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, and even cardiac arrest.

Injuries to the arms, legs, hands, and feet are also common, especially for pedestrians or motorcyclists.

Emotional distress:  Witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event can leave emotional scars, from generalized anxiety to panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.  This distress often requires counseling and is compensable as a natural consequence of accident.  Clients quickly realize that the most difficult aspect of their injuries to overcome is the pain.  A combination of acute damage and muscle stiffness leave many people unable to sleep and suffering for weeks or months on end.  Treatment often requires a mixture of medication, heat/ice therapy, medical treatment, counseling and patience.

 

What Can I Do?:  To ensure that you are able to heal, and your medical bills are paid, we recommend you do the following:

  1. Don’t rush treatment. Follow the recommendations of your Doctor, Chiropractor, and/or Massage Therapist, among others.
  2. Don’t speak to the other person’s insurance adjuster. One of the main goals of an insurance company is to spend as little money on you as possible. Sometimes injuries take a week or more to fully manifest.  Adjusters will often attempt to record statements when you are in shock and your injuries are not clear in order to deny coverage later on.  We encourage you to tell the adjuster that you will have your attorney call them and hang up.  A good personal injury attorney will be able to protect you from the insurance company and take care of much of the paperwork so that you can focus on healing.
  3. Keep a daily journal, detailing your pain and the limitations caused by your injuries. This can be in a notebook from the store or an app on your phone.  Taking five minutes to do this every day can help us get you compensation for your medical bills AND your pain and suffering.

 

If you find yourself injured in an accident of any kind, call us for a free consultation at 206-706-2909.


Are You Ready to ShakeOut?

Ivy Law Group participates every year in the Great ShakeOut. This year it will be at 10:20am on October 20th.  

 We use the time to review our emergency supplies, practice our earthquake survival skills and discuss disaster preparedness.   It only takes about thirty minutes and doesn’t hurt a bit!

 Join us by visiting www.shakeout.org. See more information below.

 Major earthquakes can cause unprecedented catastrophes. With earthquakes as an inevitable part of our future, businesses should make plans and take actions to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes. What we do now, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. With this in mind, the Earthquake Country Alliance (www.earthquakecountry.org) created the Great California ShakeOut, an earthquake drill and preparedness activity in which everyone can participate, which has now spread to many other states and regions.

To register as a participant for a ShakeOut drill in your area visit www.shakeout.org. Businesses of all sizes can also use the drill to get their employees, business partners, and even their clients and customers, involved and prepared for a big earthquake.