Attorney Profiles

David V. Andersen

206-547-1400, andersen@holmancahill.com

Practice Areas

Adoption, Guardianship, Estate Planning, Probate

Education

  • Seattle University School of Law, J.D. (Law Review: Research & Technical Editor)
  • Stanford University, A.B. (History)
  • Law Clerk, Washington State Court of Appeals, Div. II, 1981-83

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow: American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
  • Member: Real Property, Trust & Estate Sections of the American, Washington, and King County Bar Associations
  • Rated AV by Martindale Hubbell

Civic/Community Activities

  • Past ( LVR Girl's Soccer Coach, Roosevelt Jazz Band Boosters - Board)
  • Bethany Presbyterian Church, elder

My goal is to provide quality legal services to individuals and families who are asking for help often at very critical and sensitive times.

About half my practice focuses on family formation through adoption, and the other half concentrates on legal matters toward the other end of life's cycle: estate planning, guardianship, and probate.

Adoption: I consider myself a "legal obstetrician" who has represented adoptive parents, birth parents, and agencies in over 2,000 adoptions of all types -- independent, agency, foster-to-adopt, step-parent, international re-adoptions, and adult adoptions. I provide legal services in the emerging field of artificial reproductive technology. And I represent Amara Parenting & Adoption Services.

I've chaired or co-chaired the WSBA CLEs on Adoption law for the past 20 years, authored the chapter on Adoption Law for the WSBA FAMILY LAW DESKBOOK, and presented on different area of adoption law at various CLEs.

Guardianship: I've represented professional and non-professional guardians for over 20 years. A significant number of recent cases are "minor guardianships," where a non-parent needs to be appointed as guardian for a minor. The typical case, however,  involves someone with an incapacity from birth or an aging parent beginning to show signs of needing help. I have previously served as Guardian ad Litem in approximately 100 guardianship cases. I've taught basic guardianship law and procedure at several Estate Planning and Guardianship CLEs. And I currently volunteer on an advisory committee for Bridge Ministries.

Estate Planning: Ben Franklin once quipped that nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. Some people do not want to face up to this eventuality. If they don't, they are making the choice to have their estate distributed according to Washington's laws of "intestate succession," where their estate is given to their "next of kin." Why not be responsible and make choices that may avoid unnecessary taxes, that result in distributions appropriate to your loved ones' particular situations in life, and that lets you make specific charitable bequests.

I average between 45 and 50 new estate planning cases a year. Estate planning may involve the use of wills, trusts (either living or testamentary), durable powers of attorney, community property agreements, and health care directives. It also involves making the estate plan congruent with the way investments are held and with beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and other accounts.

Often someone will call and ask if I can do a "simple will." My response is that there is no such thing as a simple will. Though it may not cost much, every will is significant. And every person's situation in life is unique.

Probate: Probate is the legal process of transferring assets to the appropriate persons according to Washington's law and the terms/directions in the decedent's will, if there is one. Probate is not a dirty word in Washington, where the process is quite streamlined, quick, and usually very inexpensive.

In my spare time, my wife and I host gatherings of international students; we are active in our church; we enjoy reading, traveling and attending local theater. I collect baseball memorabilia, and I love talking on the phone with our three grown children, who are in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Houston.