Client Newsletters – 2007

By December 15, 2007 No Comments

 

February 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

I hope that you all survived our crazy Seattle weather last month, and are doing well. Let’s hope for a warmer and calmer February!

As many of you have likely noticed, I am now mailing all invoices rather than sending them by e-mail. We’ve noted that sometimes e-mails can get buried in your inbox or SPAM filter, or may not even be received at all due to transmission errors. Mailing invoices appears to be a more reliable way to ensure you receive the bills sooner, so that you have time to review them and submit payment prior to the due date on the 15th. I hope that this change is convenient for all of you. If you have any questions, please let me know.

As you have likely also noticed, I’ve changed the format for these monthly letters as well. Please let me know what you think! I am always appreciative of feedback from my clients in all areas of my practice.

As I’ve previously mentioned to all of you, I plan to take two “mini-vacations” early in 2007. On February 15th – 19th the office will be closed, and I will be enjoying some sunny weather! I will be visiting two dear friends of mine in Huntington Beach, California. I plan to officiate their wedding ceremony in June. This trip, in addition to allowing me some much needed vacation time, will also be a time that I can assist them in planning their wedding. It should be a lot of fun!

During this period, I will be unavailable. If you have an emergency, please contact Lisa Vargo, an attorney working with my office, at (206) 595-4816 or lisa@staceyromberg.com. For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to work with Lisa, she has been practicing law for twenty years and offers a wide variety of solid legal experience. Lisa and I went to law school together, and I am pleased that she chose to work with my office! I don’t anticipate that any emergencies will arise during my absence, but if an emergency does come up, Lisa will be able to provide very capable representation and assistance.

The office will also be closed on March 16th – March 19th, when I will be in Phoenix visiting my niece.

 

March 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

On a personal note, I am pleased to report that I had a fabulous five-day vacation in February visiting friends in Huntington Beach, California. It was 83 degrees one day! I particularly enjoyed visiting the recently renovated Griffith Observatory and the Getty Villa in Malibu. It was also my first vacation, to my recollection, in the seven years that my office has been open, that I was able to take time off without handling client matters. Thanks to all of you for helping me achieve that goal! It was very positive and healthy to be able to take a true break.

As I mentioned in prior newsletters, my office will be closed March 16th – March 19th. I will be in Scottsdale visiting my niece, who is the assistant news producer at a local TV station there. I’m looking forward to more warm weather and cactus league baseball! During this period, I will be unavailable. If you have an emergency, please contact Lisa Vargo, an attorney working with my office, at (206) 595-4816 or lisa@staceyromberg.com. To provide advance notice, my office will also be closed on the following dates: May 11th, and June 14th – 18th.

On March 9th, I have been invited to speak at a continuing legal education seminar, the 5th Annual Animal Law Conference. I will be training attorneys at the conference on practice development, and will also participate in a panel discussion. On this day, my office will be closed and I will be unavailable due to my involvement in this event.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France

 

April 2, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

On a personal note, as many of you noticed, my office was not closed on March 16th – 19th as stated in my last newsletter. I unfortunately caught a bug last month, labeled as “viral bronchitis with pneumonia traces,” so was unable to travel to Scottsdale as planned. I am feeling much better now, and appreciate the good wishes I received from many of you when I was sick! My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: May 11th, and June 14th – 18th.

On March 9th, I was a speaker at the 5th Annual Animal Law Conference in Seattle. I attended this full day continuing legal course, and enjoyed learning more about this emerging practice area.

A new law governing custodianships will go into effect shortly. In your estate planning documents, many of you have made gifts to minor children or grandchildren using custodianships created under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (“UTMA”). The establishment of custodianships is simple and inexpensive compared to transfers made by a trust.

Currently, Washington requires these accounts to terminate once the minor reaches age 21. Under House Bill 2380, which was signed by Governor Gregoire on March 24, 2006 and becomes effective on July 1, 2007, this age was extended to age 25. A wide variety of assets can be transferred to minors by the use of custodianships, including real property, money, insurance and annuity contracts, securities, and partnership interests. Once the transfer is made, the custodian must manage the custodial assets using the same standard of care as applicable to other fiduciaries, such as a trustee. The custodian may invest the custodial funds in a 529 plan, to assist the minor in paying higher education costs. The custodian must maintain accurate records, and provide them upon request of the minor (if over 18), or the minor’s parents or legal representative.

Tax issues may exist depending on your selection of a custodian, and whether you choose to extend the custodianship beyond age 21.

If you have any questions about this new law, or wish to discuss adding a custodianship to your Will or revising your Will to extend a custodianship to age 25, please feel free to contact my office.

“When you think you can’t . . . revisit a previous triumph.” Jack Canfield

 

May 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: May 11th, May 28th (Memorial Day), May 31st – June 1st (see below), and June 14th – 18th. On May 11th, I’m looking forward to traveling to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit my mother on Mother’s Day. It’s one of the prettiest spots in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition, Lisa Vargo will be out of the office May 4th – May 10th. She will be on vacation, visiting family in Idaho.

On May 31st, I will be a speaker at the Small Business Institute, which will be held on May 31st and June 1st in Seattle at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. I will be co-presenting with David Liatos of CPA Seattle, P.S., an accountant who is works extensively with small businesses. We will be speaking on Choosing the Right Entity Formation. This two day event, sponsored by the King County Bar Association, has numerous speakers covering a wide range of topics of interest to small businesses including drafting a business plan, business finance, technology, and marketing. On June 1st, the event will be concluded with a networking reception. My office will be closed on May 31st and June 1st due to my attendance at this event. If you would like any more information about the Small Business Institute, please feel free to contact me or else visit the following website: http://ww2.kcba.org/CLE/clecontent.src#52.

“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.” T.S. Eliot

 

June 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

As you have likely noticed, our invoices are in a new format this month. In May, my office switched to Billing Matters software in order to better address all financial issues related to client billing and expenses. I hope that the new format is more understandable for all of you. If any of you have comments or questions concerning the new billing format, please let me know.

The upgrade to Billing Matters was a part of an office wide software and hardware upgrade which occurred last month. These upgrades will enable us to perform our work more efficiently and effectively, which will in turn benefit all of our clients. As part of this change, we now have the following new office e-mail addresses: Lori Mason – lori@staceyromberg.com, Andrea Logan – andrea@staceyromberg.com; and Lisa Vargo – lisa@staceyromberg.com.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: June 14th – 18th; July 4th; and July 26th through 30th. This month, I will travel to Huntington Beach, California to perform the wedding ceremony for a close friend from college and her long time beau. I will also be taking a short trip down to San Diego. It should be fun!

While in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho last month, I read an interesting article by Glenn Ruffenach, in the May 13th Spokesman review. He cites a study in which 502 couples were asked about retirement plans. On average, these couples were married for 24 years and were nine years away from retirement. Each spouse was questioned individually. He states, “Partners in 41% of the couples interviewed gave different answers when asked whether at least one spouse will work in retirement. Wives and husbands in more than one-third of the couples (35%) differed when asked about each other’s expected retirement ages. . . . When asked about whether their nest egg would allow them to lead a comfortable, or less-than-comfortable, existence, 37% of the couples surveyed had wives and husbands giving different answers.”

Please make sure that you are discussing these vital issues with your spouse or domestic partner on an on going basis! Estate planning should be an integral part of these discussions. Please let me know if my office can provide assistance.

“To be a leader, you must stand for something, or you will fall for anything.” Anthony Pagano

 

July 2, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

As I reported last month, my office has undergone major software and hardware upgrades recently. I spent an incredible amount of time in May and June on these issues, and as a result our office has a backlog of work to be completed. If your file fits into this category, please know that I am greatly appreciative of your patience! As I knock on my wood desk, I am pleased to report that the computer related issues have been substantially resolved, and the office is ready to start enjoying the efficiencies brought about by making these changes. Also, I am hopeful that the July invoices will be in an improved and more understandable format than they were in June – our first month in implementing a new software product.

On June 25th, I presented a program for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Jump Start Your Business Workshop Series.” My class was well attended, vocal and enthusiastic! If you have any interest in local SBA workshops, please see their website at www.sba.gov/. In particular, I would encourage you to attend Biz Fair 2007, which is coming up on September 8, 2007 at the Renton Technical College.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: July 4th; July 26th through 30th; and August 9th – 13th. This month, I will fly to Chicago to meet my boyfriend Brent, and then we will drive to Indianapolis to attend the semifinals and finals of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. This men’s tournament is part of the U.S. Open Series, and will be nationally televised on the Tennis Channel and NBC. I would love to see Andy Roddick and James Blake play!

“Courage is facing your fears. Stupidity is doing nothing.” Todd Bellemare

 

August 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

As you may have read, beginning on July 23, 2007, couples began registering as domestic partners with the State of Washington. This newsletter will provide a short overview of the new law. All same-sex couples, and any different-sex couple with at least one partner being age 62 or older, can register as domestic partners so long as they meet the following criteria: (1) both partners are at least 18 years of age; (2) they share a common residence; (3) neither partner is in a marriage or a domestic partnership with another person; (4) both partners have the legal capacity of consenting to the domestic partnership arrangement; and (5) the partners are not close blood relatives.

In order to register, both partners must sign a “Declaration of State Registered Domestic Partnership” form, which requires notarization of the signatures. This form may be found on line at: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/. It is also available in person at the Washington Secretary of State’s office in Olympia, and at the county clerk’s offices of the various counties.

By registering, domestic partners do gain certain legal rights. However, these rights do not equate to the same legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. Most significantly, in terms of estate planning, the new law amends RCW 11.04.015 to allow registered domestic partners to enjoy the same inheritance rights as spouses under the laws of intestate succession (meaning when there is no Will). The new law also grants registered domestic partners certain rights related to health care, such as decision making, the right to receive medical information about your partner, and hospital visitation rights. If you have any further questions about this new law and how it may affect your estate planning goals, please feel free to contact my office.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: August 9th – 13th and September 20th – 21st. This month, I look forward to spending a few days in Sun Valley, Idaho. I’m originally from Idaho, and really enjoy the summers in Sun Valley – lots of tennis, biking, good meals, and catching up with old friends.

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

 

September 4, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

September, as well as being the start of fall, is a time for celebration! September 25th will mark my 44th birthday (please note that I am still in my “early” 40’s!). And, I am very excited to tell all of you that September 20th marks the 8th anniversary of the start of our law office! I am so pleased to have a mature and extremely enjoyable law practice. Most importantly, I am very grateful to all of you for being incredible clients, who made this benchmark possible, and who also make practicing law fun. It’s easy to work hard when your clients are responsive, smart, and good team players. So thank you everyone! Lori, Lisa, Andrea and I are all very appreciative.

On September 8th, I am pleased to again be a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Biz Fair 2007,” which will be held in Renton, Washington. I will be the featured speaker in two sessions – “To Form or not to Form a Business Entity” and “Business Law Essentials.” For more information, please see www.bizfair.org.

On October 2nd, I will be speaking at the 52nd Annual Estate Planning Seminar, sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association. This seminar is the premier estate planning seminar in the Pacific Northwest, and features prominent national speakers. It will be held in Seattle at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. For more information, please see www.wsba.org.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: September 20th – 21st; and October 18th – 22nd. In September, I look forward to spending two vacation days at a yoga retreat in Leavenworth, Washington. This retreat is sponsored by one of our clients, NW Community Yoga, www.nwcommyoga.com.

“Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and stay with it until it’s done right.” Walt Disney

 

November 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

On November 7th, I will be training soon-to-be-lawyers, who have passed the Washington State Bar Exam but have yet to be sworn in, as part of the Bar’s Preadmission Education Program. I look forward to being part of that process! It’s hard to believe that I was sworn in to the Bar 19 years ago . . .

My office will be closed on November 2nd. I will be visiting my mother in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. My office will also be closed on November 12th (Veteran’s Day), November 19th, November 22nd – , November 23rd (Thanksgiving), and November 30th. On November 30th, as a former college tennis player, I look forward to spending the day cheering our U.S. Davis Cup team to victory over Russia in the Davis Cup finals in Portland! In December, my office will be closed on December 25th.

On January 1, 2008, Andrea Logan’s billable rate will increase from $115.00 per hour to $125.00 per hour. Lisa Vargo’s billing rate will be increased from $205.00 per hour to $220.00 per hour. My billing rate will stay the same. If any of you have any questions or concerns about this rate increase, please feel free to contact me.

Hearty congratulations to two of my clients! Dena Levine, of DML Insurance Services, Inc., is the winner of the 2007 Member of the Year Award for Women Business Owners (WBO). And With a Little Help, Inc. is a recipient of the 2007 Mayor’s Small Business Award.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” Napoleon Hill

 

December 4, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

In December, my office will be closed on December 25th. In January, my office will be closed on January 1st for New Year’s Day, and on January 21st in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

I’m looking forward to 2008, which marks my 20th year practicing law! I am very excited to reach this benchmark in my practice. I’m so fortunate to be working with such great clients, who make practicing law a pleasure.

As a general reminder, I know how busy all of you are during this season. It tends to be a time when bills are put to the side. I would greatly appreciate it if you could pay your December invoice no later than the due date of December 15th. As a reminder to all business clients, this expense, if paid this year, will be tax deductible on your upcoming federal return!

Attached is a copy of an article I co-authored with Lori Rath, a colleague practicing here in Seattle, entitled “Proposed Changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct that Govern Advance Payment of Flat Fees.” This article will be published on the front page of the December issue of the King County Bar Bulletin, which is distributed to all attorneys in King County. It addresses proposed changes to our ethical rules. I hope you find it of interest.

In appreciation for your friendship and business, I wish all of you a happy, warm and safe holiday season!

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” Dr. Samuel Johnson

 

 

 

ary 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

I hope that you all survived our crazy Seattle weather last month, and are doing well. Let’s hope for a warmer and calmer February!

As many of you have likely noticed, I am now mailing all invoices rather than sending them by e-mail. We’ve noted that sometimes e-mails can get buried in your inbox or SPAM filter, or may not even be received at all due to transmission errors. Mailing invoices appears to be a more reliable way to ensure you receive the bills sooner, so that you have time to review them and submit payment prior to the due date on the 15th. I hope that this change is convenient for all of you. If you have any questions, please let me know.

As you have likely also noticed, I’ve changed the format for these monthly letters as well. Please let me know what you think! I am always appreciative of feedback from my clients in all areas of my practice.

As I’ve previously mentioned to all of you, I plan to take two “mini-vacations” early in 2007. On February 15th – 19th the office will be closed, and I will be enjoying some sunny weather!I will be visiting two dear friends of mine in Huntington Beach, California. I plan to officiate their wedding ceremony in June. This trip, in addition to allowing me some much needed vacation time, will also be a time that I can assist them in planning their wedding. It should be a lot of fun!

During this period, I will be unavailable. If you have an emergency, please contact Lisa Vargo, an attorney working with my office, at (206) 595-4816 or lcvargo@comcast.net. For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to work with Lisa, she has been practicing law for twenty years and offers a wide variety of solid legal experience. Lisa and I went to law school together, and I am pleased that she chose to work with my office! I don’t anticipate that any emergencies will arise during my absence, but if an emergency does come up, Lisa will be able to provide very capable representation and assistance.

The office will also be closed on March 16th – March 19th, when I will be in Phoenix visiting my niece.

March 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

On a personal note, I am pleased to report that I had a fabulous five-day vacation in February visiting friends in Huntington Beach, California. It was 83 degrees one day! I particularly enjoyed visiting the recently renovated Griffith Observatory and the Getty Villa in Malibu. It was also my first vacation, to my recollection, in the seven years that my office has been open, that I was able to take time off without handling client matters. Thanks to all of you for helping me achieve that goal! It was very positive and healthy to be able to take a true break.

As I mentioned in prior newsletters, my office will be closed March 16th – March 19th. I will be in Scottsdale visiting my niece, who is the assistant news producer at a local TV station there. I’m looking forward to more warm weather and cactus league baseball! During this period, I will be unavailable. If you have an emergency, please contact Lisa Vargo, an attorney working with my office, at (206) 595-4816 or lcvargo@comcast.net. To provide advance notice, my office will also be closed on the following dates: May 11th, and June 14th – 18th.

On March 9th, I have been invited to speak at a continuing legal education seminar, the 5th Annual Animal Law Conference. I will be training attorneys at the conference on practice development, and will also participate in a panel discussion. On this day, my office will be closed and I will be unavailable due to my involvement in this event.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France

 

April 2, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

On a personal note, as many of you noticed, my office was not closed on March 16th – 19th as stated in my last newsletter. I unfortunately caught a bug last month, labeled as “viral bronchitis with pneumonia traces,” so was unable to travel to Scottsdale as planned. I am feeling much better now, and appreciate the good wishes I received from many of you when I was sick!My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: May 11th, and June 14th – 18th.

On March 9th, I was a speaker at the 5th Annual Animal Law Conference in Seattle. I attended this full day continuing legal course, and enjoyed learning more about this emerging practice area.

A new law governing custodianships will go into effect shortly.In your estate planning documents, many of you have made gifts to minor children or grandchildren using custodianships created under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (“UTMA”). The establishment of custodianships is simple and inexpensive compared to transfers made by a trust.

Currently, Washington requires these accounts to terminate once the minor reaches age 21. Under House Bill 2380, which was signed by Governor Gregoire on March 24, 2006 and becomes effective on July 1, 2007, this age was extended to age 25. A wide variety of assets can be transferred to minors by the use of custodianships, including real property, money, insurance and annuity contracts, securities, and partnership interests. Once the transfer is made, the custodian must manage the custodial assets using the same standard of care as applicable to other fiduciaries, such as a trustee. The custodian may invest the custodial funds in a 529 plan, to assist the minor in paying higher education costs. The custodian must maintain accurate records, and provide them upon request of the minor (if over 18), or the minor’s parents or legal representative.

Tax issues may exist depending on your selection of a custodian, and whether you choose to extend the custodianship beyond age 21.

If you have any questions about this new law, or wish to discuss adding a custodianship to your Will or revising your Will to extend a custodianship to age 25, please feel free to contact my office.

“When you think you can’t . . . revisit a previous triumph.” Jack Canfield

May 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: May 11th, May 28th (Memorial Day), May 31st – June 1st (see below), and June 14th – 18th. On May 11th, I’m looking forward to traveling to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit my mother on Mother’s Day. It’s one of the prettiest spots in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition, Lisa Vargo will be out of the office May 4th – May 10th.She will be on vacation, visiting family in Idaho.

On May 31st, I will be a speaker at the Small Business Institute, which will be held on May 31st and June 1st in Seattle at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. I will be co-presenting with David Liatos of CPA Seattle, P.S., an accountant who is works extensively with small businesses. We will be speaking on Choosing the Right Entity Formation. This two day event, sponsored by the King County Bar Association, has numerous speakers covering a wide range of topics of interest to small businesses including drafting a business plan, business finance, technology, and marketing. On June 1st, the event will be concluded with a networking reception. My office will be closed on May 31st and June 1st due to my attendance at this event. If you would like any more information about the Small Business Institute, please feel free to contact me or else visit the following website: http://ww2.kcba.org/CLE/clecontent.src#52.

“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.” T.S. Eliot

 

June 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

As you have likely noticed, our invoices are in a new format this month. In May, my office switched to Billing Matters software in order to better address all financial issues related to client billing and expenses. I hope that the new format is more understandable for all of you. If any of you have comments or questions concerning the new billing format, please let me know.

The upgrade to Billing Matters was a part of an office wide software and hardware upgrade which occurred last month. These upgrades will enable us to perform our work more efficiently and effectively, which will in turn benefit all of our clients. As part of this change, we now have the following new office e-mail addresses: Lori Mason – lori@staceyromberg.com; Andrea Logan – andrea@staceyromberg.com; and Lisa Vargo – lisa@staceyromberg.com.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: June 14th – 18th; July 4th; and July 26th through 30th.This month, I will travel to Huntington Beach, California to perform the wedding ceremony for a close friend from college and her long time beau.I will also be taking a short trip down to San Diego. It should be fun!

While in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho last month, I read an interesting article by Glenn Ruffenach, in the May 13th Spokesman review. He cites a study in which 502 couples were asked about retirement plans. On average, these couples were married for 24 years and were nine years away from retirement. Each spouse was questioned individually. He states, “Partners in 41% of the couples interviewed gave different answers when asked whether at least one spouse will work in retirement. Wives and husbands in more than one-third of the couples (35%) differed when asked about each other’s expected retirement ages. . . . When asked about whether their nest egg would allow them to lead a comfortable, or less-than-comfortable, existence, 37% of the couples surveyed had wives and husbands giving different answers.”

Please make sure that you are discussing these vital issues with your spouse or domestic partner on an on going basis! Estate planning should be an integral part of these discussions.Please let me know if my office can provide assistance.

“To be a leader, you must stand for something, or you will fall for anything.” Anthony Pagano

July 2, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

As I reported last month, my office has undergone major software and hardware upgrades recently. I spent an incredible amount of time in May and June on these issues, and as a result our office has a backlog of work to be completed. If your file fits into this category, please know that I am greatly appreciative of your patience! As I knock on my wood desk, I am pleased to report that the computer related issues have been substantially resolved, and the office is ready to start enjoying the efficiencies brought about by making these changes. Also, I am hopeful that the July invoices will be in an improved and more understandable format than they were in June – our first month in implementing a new software product.

On June 25th, I presented a program for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Jump Start Your Business Workshop Series.” My class was well attended, vocal and enthusiastic! If you have any interest in local SBA workshops, please see their website at www.sba.gov/wa/seattle/index.html.In particular, I would encourage you to attend Biz Fair 2007, which is coming up on September 8, 2007 at the Renton Technical College.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: July 4th; July 26th through 30th; and August 9th – 13th.This month, I will fly to Chicago to meet my boyfriend Brent, and then we will drive to Indianapolis to attend the semifinals and finals of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. This men’s tournament is part of the U.S. Open Series, and will be nationally televised on the Tennis Channel and NBC. I would love to see Andy Roddick and James Blake play! For more information, see www.rcatennis.com/ .

“Courage is facing your fears. Stupidity is doing nothing.” Todd Bellemare

 

August 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

As you may have read, beginning on July 23, 2007, couples began registering as domestic partners with the State of Washington. This newsletter will provide a short overview of the new law. All same-sex couples, and any different-sex couple with at least one partner being age 62 or older, can register as domestic partners so long as they meet the following criteria: (1) both partners are at least 18 years of age; (2) they share a common residence; (3) neither partner is in a marriage or a domestic partnership with another person; (4) both partners have the legal capacity of consenting to the domestic partnership arrangement; and (5) the partners are not close blood relatives.

In order to register, both partners must sign a “Declaration of State Registered Domestic Partnership” form, which requires notarization of the signatures. This form may be found on line at: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/. It is also available in person at the Washington Secretary of State’s office in Olympia, and at the county clerk’s offices ofthe various counties.

By registering, domestic partners do gain certain legal rights. However, these rights do not equate to the same legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. Most significantly, in terms of estate planning, the new law amends RCW 11.04.015 to allow registered domestic partners to enjoy the same inheritance rights as spouses under the laws of intestate succession (meaning when there is no Will). The new law also grants registered domestic partners certain rights related to health care, such as decision making, the right to receive medical information about your partner, and hospital visitation rights. If you have any further questions about this new law and how it may affect your estate planning goals, please feel free to contact my office.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: August 9th – 13th and September 20th – 21st.This month, I look forward to spending a few days in Sun Valley, Idaho. I’m originally from Idaho, and really enjoy the summers in Sun Valley – lots of tennis, biking, good meals, and catching up with old friends.

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

 

September 4, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

September, as well as being the start of fall, is a time for celebration! September 25th will mark my 44th birthday (please note that I am still in my “early” 40’s!). And, I am very excited to tell all of you that September 20th marks the 8th anniversary of the start of our law office! I am so pleased to have a mature and extremely enjoyable law practice. Most importantly, I am very grateful to all of you for being incredible clients, who made this benchmark possible, and who also make practicing law fun. It’s easy to work hard when your clients are responsive, smart, and good team players. So thank you everyone! Lori, Lisa, Andrea and I are all very appreciative.

On September 8th, I am pleased to again be a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Biz Fair 2007,” which will be held in Renton, Washington. I will be the featured speaker in two sessions – “To Form or not to Form a Business Entity” and “Business Law Essentials.” For more information, please see www.bizfair.org.

On October 2nd, I will be speaking at the 52nd Annual Estate Planning Seminar, sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association. This seminar is the premier estate planning seminar in the Pacific Northwest, and features prominent national speakers. It will be held in Seattle at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. For more information, please see www.wsba.org.

My office will be closed on the following upcoming dates: September 20th – 21st; and October 18th – 22nd.In September, I look forward to spending two vacation days at a yoga retreat in Leavenworth, Washington. This retreat is sponsored by one of our clients, NW Community Yoga, www.nwcommyoga.com.

“Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and stay with it until it’s done right.” Walt Disney

 

November 1, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

On November 7th, I will be training soon-to-be-lawyers, who have passed the Washington State Bar Exam but have yet to be sworn in, as part of the Bar’s Preadmission Education Program.I look forward to being part of that process! It’s hard to believe that I was sworn in to the Bar 19 years ago . . .

My office will be closed on November 2nd. I will be visiting my mother in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. My office will also be closed on November 12th (Veteran’s Day), November 19th, November 22nd – , November 23rd (Thanksgiving), and November 30th.On November 30th, as a former college tennis player, I look forward to spending the day cheering our U.S. Davis Cup team to victory over Russia in the Davis Cup finals in Portland! In December, my office will be closed on December 25th.

On January 1, 2008, Andrea Logan’s billable rate will increase from $115.00 per hour to $125.00 per hour. Lisa Vargo’s billing rate will be increased from $205.00 per hour to $220.00 per hour. My billing rate will stay the same. If any of you have any questions or concerns about this rate increase, please feel free to contact me.

Hearty congratulations to two of my clients! Dena Levine, of DML Insurance Services, Inc., is the winner of the 2007 Member of the Year Award for Women Business Owners (WBO). And With a Little Help, Inc. is a recipient of the 2007 Mayor’s Small Business Award.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” Napoleon Hill

 

December 4, 2007

NEWS FROM THE DESK OF STACEY L. ROMBERG

In December, my office will be closed on December 25th. In January, my office will be closed on January 1st for New Year’s Day, and on January 21st in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

I’m looking forward to 2008, which marks my 20th year practicing law! I am very excited to reach this benchmark in my practice. I’m so fortunate to be working with such great clients, who make practicing law a pleasure.

As a general reminder, I know how busy all of you are during this season. It tends to be a time when bills are put to the side. I would greatly appreciate it if you could pay your December invoice no later than the due date of December 15th. As a reminder to all business clients, this expense, if paid this year, will be tax deductible on your upcoming federal return!

Attached is a copy of an article I co-authored with Lori Rath, a colleague practicing here in Seattle, entitled “Proposed Changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct that Govern Advance Payment of Flat Fees.” This article will be published on the front page of the December issue of the King County Bar Bulletin, which is distributed to all attorneys in King County. It addresses proposed changes to our ethical rules. I hope you find it of interest.

In appreciation for your friendship and business, I wish all of you a happy, warm and safe holiday season!

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” Dr. Samuel Johnson

Call Now Button(206) 784-5305