Real Estate Law

Real estate law includes a wide variety of legal issues relating to acquiring, financing, developing, managing, constructing, leasing and selling commercial and residential real property.  Nicole has been intimately involved in all facets of real estate in her experience working for a community lending arm of LaSalle National Bank in Chicago, Illinois; representing a large number of real estate developers in private practice; serving as in-house legal counsel for a large real estate development company in Whatcom County; starting and co-owning her own real estate development company with other local partners; managing various rental properties; and being involved in a large number of financing structures related to real estate investment and ownership.

Estate Planning Law

A comprehensive estate plan includes documents that take affect while you are still alive and also documents that detail what is to happen to your estate following your death.  Planning for retirement, long term care, children with special needs, disability and death are some of the many facets that come in to play when working with an individual or family on their estate plan.

Another very important aspect of estate planning is dealing with a person’s ownership interests in a business and the sale thereof in the retirement years, the transfer of a family farm to the next generation, or planning for long term wealth preservation and estate protection.

Each and every person is unique and so is there estate.  It is not a “one shoe fits all” situation and specifically tailored estate planning can accomplish a person’s individual goals during their life and manage the distribution of their estate after their death in the manner set forth by the individual.

Business Law

Business law is a general term dealing with issues ranging from the start up of a business to the ongoing management of a large corporation.  Business law encompasses a large number of state and local laws that deal specifically with certain types of business organizations, regulations on businesses depending on types, and a large number of contract issues.  Business planning includes the immediate needs of cash flow, employees, leases or property purchases, vendor contracts, insurance matters, tax matters along with long term needs related to business succession planning, sale of business interests, and other such matters.

Contracts & Negotiations

Contracts and negotiations covers a very general area of the law related to written agreements and the negotiation thereof.  Contracts can range from employment contracts, to real estate contracts, to vendor supply agreements, to contracts for the purchase of equipment, to franchise agreements and supplier agreements…the list goes on and on.  When dealing in this area of the law a large amount of time and energy can be saved if the appropriate document is drafted up front that clearly spells out the parties expectations and understandings to avoid potential future conflict.

Probate Law

Probate is the legal process of distributing assets and settling debts of an individual after their death. A decedent’s estate will usually be settled in accordance with their will if they had one.

Not all estates require probate, but many do, especially when the decedent owned real estate or other assets of particular value. The probate process varies from case to case depending on the specific estate planning that the decedent had in place during their lifetime and the level of court involvement required after death.