Attorney at Law
Practicing in the areas of:
Adult Guardianship/ Conservatorship
Minor Conservatorship (inheritence)
Probate/ Estate/ Trust Administration
Office on Bainbridge Island
Serving Kitsap and Jefferson Counties
Appointments available via Zoom video/teleconferencing, phone, and in-person.
PROBATE/ ESTATE/ TRUST ADMINISTRATION
When a loved one dies, the probate or trust administration process may be necessary to probate the will and transfer assets to beneficiaries. It is important to obtain legal advice after a death and prior to distributing any assets to beneficiaries.
POWER OF ATTORNEY AGENT/ TRUSTEE ADVISING
Serving as a Power of Attorney agent can be a difficult role with many responsibilities. The agent is required to manage finances and decision making for another. It is not unusual to need legal advice and guidance. Ms. McCulloch regularly advises family members serving as a fiduciary for their friend or family member.
ADULT GUARDIANSHIP/ CONSERVATORSHIP
Guardianship/ Conservatorship may be needed for special needs children reaching majority or adults in declining health and cognition. Some adults become incapacitated due to aging, health problems, or dementia and are not able to care for themselves or their finances. Ms. McCulloch can explain the process and petition the court to obtain full or limited guardianship/ conservatorship powers, and assist you with your ongoing court responsibilities.
MINOR CONSERVATORSHIP (INHERITANCE BY A MINOR)
When a minor receives an inheritance, the financial institution will often require the funds to be protected by a guardianship, conservatorship, or other measures. This is true even if you are the minor's parent. Ms. McCulloch can assist you in becoming the Conservator of your minor child's newly inherited estate and navigate the legal requirements.
When a person who is not a legal parent is caring for a minor child, legal guardianship may be necessary to allow that caregiver to make medical, educational, and legal decisions for that minor. Minor guardianship can also establish the right to claim the minor as a dependent on your taxes and obtain insurance for the minor. Ms. McCulloch can assist with uncontested minor guardianship.
**AT THIS TIME, I AM UNABLE TO TAKE ON ANY NEW CLIENTS UNTIL THE END OF MAY 2023.
Schedule a consultation easily online. This will be held via telephone or Zoom. The cost of a one-hour consultation plus review of any documents submitted in advance is of the appointment is $300. At the appointment, I will explain the legal status of your situation and future options available to you. By reviewing any existing documents prior to the appointment, I can provide the best advice, specific to your situation.
Common areas for consultation are:
Estate and Trust Administration: I represent Personal Representatives/ Administrators in Probate and Trustees in administration of trusts. There are times when an estate doesn't require probate. I am happy to consult with the person managing the estate responsibilities, review the estate assets, and provide legal advice about when non-probate options will suffice and how best to proceed. I can also assist with all phases of probate and estate administration.
Guardianship/Conservatorship: I handle many Guardianship/ Conservatorship cases in my law office. I can provided legal consultation and advice about when Guardianship/ Conservatorship is warranted for an aging family member or adult child with disabilities. I also assist those seeking help with ongoing Guardianship/ Conservatorship reporting responsibilities.
Power of Attorney Agent/ Trustee/ Fiduciary Advice and Representation: I represent many family members or friends who are serving as Power of Attorney agent or trustee. I can provide advice, representation, and assistance with legal requirements.
Elder Law: As our loved ones age and decline, there are sometimes difficulties in determining how to help, legally and practically. I consult with family who are trying to help aging loved ones. I am experienced in how to navigate these situations legally and practically. I will review any existing powers of attorney documents and other documents to determine how to proceed.
Long Term Care and Medicaid Eligibility (for care in the near future): I can explain the options for long-term care in the Kitsap and Jefferson County areas. I am familiar with Medicaid eligibility requirements and applications. I can advise the family on spend-down options, Medicaid compliant annuities, in-home care programs, and Medicaid applications. I do not provide sophisticated, advanced estate planning to shelter money in the event there is a potential (but unknown) need in the future for long-term care. I do provide advice when the near future long-term care needs are clear.
Financial Exploitation: Those who are elderly and disabled can become victims of fraud. Family often doesn't know what to do legally and practically to protect their loved ones. I consult with family members on how to deal with the financial loss and legal options protect from fraud in the future, such as conservatorship, powers of attorney, trusts, and Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders.
I generally don't represent those who are defending allegations in a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order, unless the person has clear accounting and financial records that prove there has been no financial exploitation.
Estate Planning: I provide estate planning in some circumstances in conjunction with other legal assistance and for existing clients. I also can assist in explaining the options for choosing a professional fiduciary and finding a good match.
Minor Guardianships: I can assist with uncontested minor guardianships if you are caring for a minor and need to obtain legal guardianship in order to make school, medical, and financial decisions.
In order to schedule a consultation, you must fill in the online survey that allows me to make sure there are no conflicts of interest prior to our appointment. You must fully list the names of the individuals involved or your appointment will be cancelled. No attorney-client relationship is formed by scheduling an appointment or sending information.
Unless there is an emergency situation, I recommend that you take time to gather and send me the necessary documents prior to your appointment, so that I may provide advice that is accurate and specific to your situation.
At the end of our consultation, we will discuss the need and desire for ongoing assistance. Scheduling a consultation does not guarantee ongoing representation beyond the consultation. Many factors, such as the nature of the case, my availability, and your specific legal needs will determine whether or not I am able to offer ongoing legal representation. If I am not able to assist you further, I may be able to provide you names of other attorneys or legal firms to contact.
Schedule an appointment via Calendly here: http://www.calendly.com/saramlaw
Once your appointment is confirmed by Sara McCulloch Law PLLC (you will receive an email confirmation), then you may:
Upload documents to Sharefile: SHAREFILE
If you absolutely cannot scan and upload documents (copy/ mailing centers such as the UPS store/ Fed Ex can help), then you can send copies of documents to be via Priority Mail. Do not send originals.
Make payment via LawPay (e-check or credit cards accepted): LAWPAY
**AT THIS TIME, I AM UNABLE TO TAKE ON ANY NEW CLIENTS UNTIL THE END OF MAY 2023.
Sara McCulloch has lived on Bainbridge Island for over 20 years. She studied law at Boston College Law School and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Western Washington University.
Ms. McCulloch's law practice focuses on guardianship/ conservatorship, probate, and elder law. She enjoys using her legal skills to help clients understand and navigate the legal process during difficult times. Ms. McCulloch belongs to a number of organizations dedicated to her practice areas: the King County Bar Association's Elder Law Section; the Washington State Bar Association's Probate & Real Property and Elder Law Sections; and the Kitsap County Bar Association. She is a certified guardianship, probate, and settlement Guardian ad Litem/ Court Visitor in Kitsap and Jefferson Counties.
Ms. McCulloch has dedicated most of her career to public interest law, helping crime victims and other vulnerable people. She is passionate about making our justice system easier to navigate for all people, but especially those who have challenges due to mental health issues, disability, and poverty. She currently serves as the part-time Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge. Prior to serving as a Judge, Ms. McCulloch worked as a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the King County Prosecutor's Office for thirteen years, handling cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, and other felony crimes.
OFFICE: Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
MAILING: P.O. Box 4519, Rollingbay, WA 98061
Accepting credit cards- VISA, Mastercard, Discover, American Express
NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP OR CONFIDENTIALITY:
If you choose to contact us via email, or schedule a consultation, this does not create an attorney-client relationship. If we represent or have advised an opposing party, we will not be able to assist you. Please only email your name, contact information, the other parties involved, and a brief description of the legal issue you are seeking assistance on. Do not email information you wish to be held confidential. Emailing or calling any attorney or legal assistant as this law firm does not create a attorney-client relationship between you and Sara McCulloch Law PLLC.