At their most basic, revocable trusts are used to keep your assets out of probate. But more than that, when drafted effectively, they can be used to protect your assets for surviving spouses, children, and other beneficiaries by keeping the assets out of the reach of creditors and financial predators, such as divorces and lawsuits. We also help ensure that your assets are properly titled so that your trust functions as intended.
Irrevocable trusts are much less common than revocable trusts, but they are an important tool for asset protection.
They can be used to preserve your home and savings, should you require long-term care and want to avoid spending down most of your assets. They can also be used, along with tools like Family Limited Partnerships, to reduce the size of your taxable estate and reduce, or eliminate, any estate taxes you would otherwise owe.
Special Needs Trusts
Special Needs Trusts, or Supplemental Needs Trusts, are important tools when you or one of your beneficiaries has a "special need" - meaning, that you or your beneficiary qualifies, or may qualify, for "means-tested benefits" such as Medicaid, SSI, governmental housing, or vocational rehabilitation. It is especially important when designating a beneficiary to consider any special needs they may have, and to ensure your assets do not disqualify them from receiving their needed benefits.
When a loved one's estate requires probate, we help you navigate this public, court-controlled process with as little confusion and disruption to your life as possible.
While a revocable trust is usually advisable over a will for asset protection purposes, there are circumstances where a will may be preferable. For clients who only need a will, we help ensure that executors are thoughtfully considered, beneficiaries are adequately named, guardians for minors are identified, and that assets are properly titled or beneficiary designated so that everything is consistent.
Whether or not you already have an estate plan, we help you create or maintain your business in a way that is consistent with your personal planning. Our business services include entity creation, drafting operating agreements and buy-sell agreements, and serving as "general counsel" for small businesses on an as-needed basis.
Laurel Carbone Kern helped found Tallgrass Estate Planning, LLP in 2016 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the goal of working in ways that allow our attorneys to harmonize life and livelihood. Just a year later, we expanded our focus and efforts to Washington. Why Washington, you ask? Easy: Laurel.
Laurel was born in Bellevue, and spent more than a few Summers surrounded by Washington's mountains and evergreens. Most of her family still lives in Washington. There's no doubt, it has her heart. But having lived in Oklahoma since the age of six, a bit of her heart is there too. Along with her partner in life and law, she came up with a plan.
What if we tried to combine the warmth and hospitality of Oklahoma with the practice of law? Would that be slightly subversive? Sure. The practice of law - especially estate planning - typically takes place with expensive suits charging hourly rates in high rise buildings with echoing lobbies where children aren't allowed,. But Laurel's rebellious PNW heart - along with particular fashion sense and antagonistic relationship with makeup - she was ready to buck the system. Just a little.
She was ready to say, hey, Estate Planning is for Everyone! Every family, every circumstance, and ever budget. Attorneys can be expert, competent, thorough. Clients can plan in familiar environments - our attorney's home, their own home, their own office. And children - noisy, beautiful, disruptively wonderful children - can be welcome in the process.
And so, Tallgrass Northwest was born.
Laurel is a native of Bellevue and spent her formative years happily wandering through the Olympic National Forest at her grandparents' cabin.
She and her husband, Riley, founded Tallgrass Estate Planning, LLP in 2016 in Oklahoma and have since expanded to Washington as Tallgrass Northwest, allowing Laurel to spend time with clients in the place she loves most.
As an attorney, Laurel is happiest helping individuals and families make the kinds of plans that incorporate their values, protect family harmony, preserve their assets, and control their costs.
Laurel is the mom to three very lively kids and one exceptionally fluffy goldendoodle.
Laurel Carbone Kern
Founder and Managing Partner
Tel: (206) 395-5737
Our primary office is located inside of The Riveter Bellevue
1203 114th Avenue SE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Tel: (206) 395-5737
To schedule a free consultation for your estate plan or other matter, RSVP for a free public event, or for general inquiries, send us a detailed message: