HIP Welcomes Tamara Tatum

Tamara Tatum Paralegal to Attorney Brian J. Hanis
Tamara Tatum
Paralegal to Attorney Brian J. Hanis

It is our pleasure to announce that Tamara Tatum joined Hanis Irvine Prothero on September 8, 2015. Tamara is part of the Firm’s Paralegal team, and will be assisting attorney Brian Hanis in the areas of Family Law, Bankruptcy, Landlord Tenant and Estate Planning.

Tamara has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Sociology from Washington State University and comes to us with several years of experience working for litigation law firms.

Please join us in welcoming Tamara to HIP.

Estate Planning Tips


February 11, 2014 – When I speak with people about estate planning they are almost always focused on the Will/Trust aspect of their plan.  While these are important components, the other documents typically making up the plan are just as important.  A healthcare directive, power of attorney, and health care power of attorney, are crucial to any plan.  Those documents allow us to pick who we want to assist us with finances, healthcare decisions, or other needs, if circumstances require.  Without these, the next best option likely requires a guardianship process in court with a judge determining who should make those decisions.  While a guardianship is a good backup when someone hasn’t completed their planning, the time and expense can exceed the cost of even very complicated estate plans.  These documents save time and expense, avoid uncertainty, and let us stay in control.  Estate planning isn’t all about death- it’s about living too!


Estate Planning Attorney Patrick Hanis

When Government Wants Your Property

November 22, 2013 – Condemnation (aka eminent domain) is the power of government to take private property for public use.  The process is largely summed up with two questions.  Is the taking for a proper public use?  If not, it shouldn’t occur.  If proper, what is the just compensation for the property taken?
Projects for public use are likely an appropriate exercise of condemnation powers and courts often give wide discretion to the government for those projects.  Condemnation for public-private ventures, to remove “blight”, or similar actions may not be appropriate.  Occasionally, a project that appears to be for public use, may be for private use and therefore inappropriate.  There can also be a “taking” of private property through noise, limiting access to property and similar actions.  Often, no compensation has been given so a claim for inverse condemnation may be necessary to obtain just compensation.
The amount of compensation is usually debatable.  Government agencies often hire consultants to negotiate the value of property.  They attempt to buy the property at the lowest price which may be drastically under the fair market value.  Offers may not take into account damage to the portion of property not taken by condemnation but which is impacted.  One tactic used by government to encourage acceptance of an offer is threatening litigation if the offer is not accepted.  However, litigation is often favorable to those impacted by condemnation, contrary to the usual negative aspects of litigation.  
State law may require the government to provide monies to review offers of compensation.  Failure of government to make a good faith offer under statutory parameters may result in reimbursement of attorney fees incurred to obtain the fair market value.  In some instances, the right to compensation may also extend to tenants and businesses affected by the condemnation.  When signing lease agreements, tenants and landlords should understand how a lease may limit or waive rights if a condemnation occurs. 
In rare instances, with specific and strict limitations, a private person may condemn an easement on another person’s property for necessary access to property and other statutorily allowed items.  Just compensation is required in those instances too. 
Condemnation is a powerful tool of government that benefits our community.  Because of that power, the laws governing it are strict and provide substantial rights to those affected.  An attorney can help insure those rights are not ignored.   
Pat Headshot
Estate Planning Attorney Patrick Hanis

Ashley Eades joins Steven Bash as a legal assistant in the Estate Planning department.


November 18, 2013 – Ashley studies at the University of Washington and has been with Hanis Irvine Prothero since April 2012.  Steven studied at Highline Community College and has been with the Estate Planning Department for close to a year now.  If you need Estate Planning assistance, please contact Ashley or Steven at (253) 520-5000 to set up a consultation with Estate Planning Attorney Patrick Hanis.


Why Do I Need An Estate Plan?

October 16, 2013 – “Why do I need an estate plan?”  An estate plan gives you peace that your affairs are in order, reduces stress and uncertainty for your loved ones, and insures that your wishes are followed. An Estate Plan typically includes the following:
This document designates who you want to inherit your property, what they are to receive, and who you want to administer your estate.  Wills can also take care of other designations, such as burial requests. 
A Will is important for parents with children.  It can insure any funds a child inherits will be placed in trust until a certain age, while being used for living expenses.  It can also allow parents to designate their recommended guardian subject to court approval.   
The two most common types of Power of Attorney are Finances/Legal Matters and Health Care. These give authority to your designee to act on your behalf while you are alive. 
Power of Attorneys are Durable or Limited.  Durable gives your designee full control immediately.  Limited limits when the document is in effect (hence the name), typically when the designator is incapacitated, and can limit what authority your designee has. 
This document gives direction about the type of medical treatment you want in certain circumstances.  It allows you to inform medical providers and loved ones of your desires in the event you are unable to do so at the time medical decisions are being made.  
Typically, property a married couple acquires is considered community property, meaning each owns one-half of the property.  A Community Property Agreement converts all property to community property, unless specified otherwise.  It helps avoid a probate for a surviving spouse by passing all assets to the surviving spouse efficiently and inexpensively.   
Estate plans are important to insure that you are taken care of through your life and that your estate is handled as you wish.  At Hanis Irvine Prothero, we are committed to helping you prepare and understand these documents and other documents that may be beneficial to you and your loved ones as you plan for the future.
Pat Headshot
Estate Planning Attorney Patrick Hanis