Liberty B. Upton (206) 607-4122 Assistant: Rozalynne Weinberg (206) 607-4113

Estate Planning & Probate  |  State & Federal Tax Law 

Estate Planning

When Liberty meets with clients seeking estate-planning advice, she wants to understand not only what they own, but also who and what is important to them. With this information in mind, Liberty can advise clients and create estate plans that are customized to achieve each client’s goals. For some, this may include minimizing estate taxes. For others, it is making sure that their newborn child will be cared for in a nurturing environment if they are not around to see the child grow up.

Liberty frequently prepares the following estate planning documents for clients:

  • Wills
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Financial Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Directives
  • Directives Regarding Disposition of Remains
  • Non-Judicial Agreements (a.k.a. “TEDRA Agreements”)
  • Pre and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Community and Separate Property Agreements



Probate and Trust Administration

Following the death of a loved one, Liberty offers guidance and support to Personal Representatives (a.k.a., Executors) and Trustees. She provides a detailed overview of the probate process, prepares the necessary probate paperwork, and communicates frequently to make sure the Personal Representative/Trustee meets all time-sensitive deadlines. Having served as a Personal Representative for her own family member, Liberty understands that the probate process can be overwhelming, especially while grieving. Therefore, she tries to break the probate process down into manageable stages and support her clients along the way.

Interests and Hobbies

Liberty spends her time outside of work seeking entertainment experiences with her friends and family. She loves going to see movies (she has even used vacation time to watch movies at the Sundance Film Festival), musical theater (she is season ticket holder at the Paramount), and concerts (she has seen one specific artist perform seven times). Having grown up in Washington, Liberty loves being out in nature, hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.

Liberty has officiated three weddings (two for friends, one for a client).

Previous Work Experience

Liberty was previously an estate planning and probate attorney with the law firm of Helsell Fetterman, LLP in Seattle. Prior to attending law school, Liberty worked at Columbia Bank as a financial analyst underwriting loans to high net worth individuals and businesses.

Potential First Person Statements

I realized I had a passion for estate planning while I was working at a bank during the great recession. I underwrote several loans for individuals who owed the IRS and the WA Department of Revenue more than a million dollars because they died without an effective estate plan in place. Under normal circumstances, the Personal Representative of these estates might have been able to sell assets to pay the tax liability. Unfortunately, the bulk of these estates consisted of commercial and residential real estate at a time when it was difficult to sell real property. These experiences inspired me to go to law school (and get an advanced degree in tax law) to help families avoid these types of situations.

I frequently tell people that the most loving thing you can do for your family and friends is create an estate plan that records you wishes. Following instructions (especially while grieving) in a clear and organized estate plan is much easier than figuring out what you might have wanted.

Potential Client Review

“After some unexpected health issues and having to go in for an extensive surgery, I decided it was necessary to seek assist in my estate planning. It was a rather stressful situation and there was a definite time constraint in completing documents prior to my procedure. Liberty did an excellent job of breaking down the ins and outs of estate planning, making sure that I was comfortable with the entire process, and understood things each step of the way. She was extremely patient with walking me through each form and step in the process and ensured that I had all of my questions answered in a timely manner. Liberty took what could have been an added stress and turned it into a wonderful experience. She takes the time to really understand your needs in the process and collaborates with you to ensure you are crafting the plan that works best for you. Each detail was covered with thought and diligence and I completed the process with complete confidence in my plan and her understanding of my situation. I would highly recommend Liberty; she was a pleasure to work with and made the estate planning process seamless.”

Publications

Education

Bar Admission

  • Washington state

Professional Associations

Honors and Recognitions

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