Buying/Selling A Business In Washington State: A Process

Most closely held business owners are not familiar with the process associated with buying or selling a business. The process is comprised of four general steps: conversation, letter of intent, definitive documentation and closing. Conversation The first step in the process is the initial conversation between the buyer and the seller.  A simple conversation can spark interest and help both sides become aware of the potential for a deal. Both sides are then responsible for acquiring the information necessary to understanding the business being bought or sold.  The buyer needs to know what they are purchasing, and the seller needs...Read More

Fiduciary Duties Of Escrow Holders In Washington State

An escrow holder owes fiduciary duties to all parties to the escrow, and owes the same duty of fidelity that an agent or trustee owes to its principles.  Parties to escrows frequently misunderstand these duties.  It is not an escrow holder’s job to sort out ambiguities of a contract between the parties; rather, the escrow holder’s duties are defined by the actual escrow instructions given by the parties.  An escrow holder also cannot prefer one party over the other, or disclose one party’s confidences to the other without consent.  Escrow holders are not to be arbiters of disputes between parties,...Read More

Estate Planning After Divorce In Washington State

In the midst of divorce proceedings, the effect of those proceedings on existing estate planning documents and whether the estate planning documents should be replaced are probably not high on a person’s list of things to consider.  Under Washington law, a Will signed during marriage that gives property or powers to a spouse is revoked as to that spouse when the parties divorce, unless the Will expressly provides otherwise.  However, in Washington, the Will is not revoked as to relatives of that spouse who may be named in the Will.  Sometimes, a Will includes a bequest to a relative of...Read More

Five Danger Zones Of Management Training

Five key moments occur between management and employees that simultaneously are the most vulnerable to danger and offer the most opportunity to build a positive relationship. Beth Van Moppes calls these The Five Danger Zones of Management. These interactions happen when an employee is the most exposed and thus the most wary of management. As a result, how you, the manager, handle the situation, can make or break the relationship. Break it and it could become a large part of that employee’s lawsuit against your business.   The Five Danger Zones are: Hiring Performance Management (Spontaneous & Planned) Complaints Leave & Accommodations Terminations...Read More

Management Anti-Harassment Training

If you are an employer or a manager, the flood of #MeToo news should have you thinking about potential pitfalls hiding in your workplace culture. Training your managers and yourself is your best tool for uncovering issues and preventing others from developing. It is also your best defense against lawsuits. Here’s how Beresford Booth can help: On Tuesday, October 16th, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Beth Van Moppes will be conducting a 90-minute Management Anti-Harassment Training Class. You can attend from your own office via a real-time interactive video broadcast or you can attend on-site at our offices in Edmonds. Cost is $100.00 for the 1st attendee from your business; $75.00...Read More

NW Lawyer On WSBA Panel With Beth Van Moppes: “Decoding The Law,” Sexual Harassment & #Metoo

Elizabeth Van Moppes participated in a panel conversation hosted by the Washington State Bar Association (“WSBA”) this past March. Carrie Blackwood, Jamal Whitehead, Marilyn Watkins, and Ceci Lopez also participated, ensuring that all sides of the discussion were present for a lively afternoon. A primary focus of Ms. Van Moppes's contribution included what to expect if you are participating in a workplace investigation. Excerpts from that panel (“Sexual Harassment --- How is #MeToo transforming the workplace?”) are featured in WSBA’s July publication of NWLawyer. Article from NWLawyer Watch the entire discussion in Recorded Webcast

Elizabeth Van Moppes Co-Featured In July Primerus Young Lawyers’ Newsletter

Elizabeth Van Moppes is co-featured in the “Words to the Wise”, a practical advice column for new attorneys, July 2018 Primerus Young Lawyers’ Newsletter. Learn more about what made Beth become an employment law lawyer, her philosophy on client care, and more! View July 2018 Primerus Young Lawyers’ Newsletter (starts on page 4) Beresford Booth is a member firm of Primerus, an international society of top-rated independent law firms.

The Myth Of Gift Tax In Washington State

“I want to gift some money to my kids, and avoid estate tax, but I know you can only give $15,000 in a year.” Clients say this regularly. But the gifting cap is a myth! In the vast majority of cases, the term “gift tax” is a misnomer. Only the very wealthiest are at risk of paying actual gift tax during their lifetimes. This is how gifting and gift tax works in Washington: Washington estate tax (i.e. death tax) applies to the estate of a single person, or the case of a married couple, the 2nd spouse to die. It triggers...Read More

Congratulations To Our 2018 Super Lawyer Timothy E. Steen

Timothy E. Steen has been named to the Washington Super Lawyers list as one of the top business litigation attorneys in Washington for 2018.  No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. This is Tim’s sixth consecutive year to be selected to the list as a Super Lawyer.

Elizabeth Van Moppes To Present “Employment Law Issues” At The NBI Seminar On July 24, 2018

Business Law: Top Challenges is presented by the National Business Institute on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. Elizabeth (Beth) Van Moppes will be presenting at the live seminar. Her presentation title will be “Employment Law Issues” and will encompass FLSA challenges, independents contractors, handbooks, and other legal issues that are faced when advising business clients. Want to learn more? 800-930-6182 or