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  • Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning

  • Protecting Seniors from Exploitation

  • Adult Protective Services Matters

  • Probates

  • Will Contests

  • Trust and Estate Litigation

  • Establishing Guardianships

  • Contesting Guardianships

  • Guardian Ad Litem Appointments

  • Elder Law

  • Health Care Directives and End of Life Decision Making

  • Powers of Attorney

  • Medicaid and Nursing Home Issues

  • Mental Commitment Law

  • Real Estate

  • Elder Law Mediation

At the Law Office of Neil R. Sarles, we help clients plan for the future, we represent individuals in probates, and we advocate for clients facing legal controversies in guardianship, trust, estate, elder law, and Adult Protective Services matters. 

Attorney:  Neil Sarles

Attorney Ruth Apahidean

Paralegal:  Robert (Bob) Conrad

Counties Where We Practice:

King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Skagit, Whatcom, and Spokane Washington.



Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning

We draft wills, trusts for minors, tax shelter trusts, special needs trusts for disabled beneficiaries, child support trusts, trusts for step-children, living trusts, education trusts, retirement trusts, financial and health care powers of attorney, mental health powers of attorney, health care directives (also know as living wills),  burial instructions, and spousal agreements. We focus on estates of less than $11 million. 

Protecting Seniors from Exploitation

We advise seniors, and when necessary, advocate their cases in court when someone is alleged to have abused, neglected or financially exploited a vulnerable adult. 

Adult Protective Services Matters
We help individuals defend against allegations of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. 
Probate and Will Contests
We probate wills. When advisable, we help clients avoid probate. We guide executors through all aspects of probate administration, including the sale or transfer of real estate, the preparation of Federal and Washington State estate tax returns, the funding of trusts, and the handling of creditor claims. We associate with outside counsel to investigate and prosecute wrongful death claims. We assist trustees with trust administration, and we help clients with will challenges.     
Elder Law Mediation
We provide mediation services for seniors and families in legal conflict. 
Trust and Estate Litigation
We represent clients in all manner of trust and probate estate litigation. We help executors and trustees defend against beneficiary challenges, and we represent beneficiaries challenging the actions of executors and trustees.  
Establishing Guardianships
We file petitions on behalf of families and others seeking to establish guardianships. We help guardians administer guardianships. 
Contesting Guardianships
We defend seniors who choose to  contest guardianship proceedings filed against them.   
Elder Law
We address the myriad legal needs of seniors and their families, including addressing issues related to legal capacity, powers of attorney, long term care insurance, Medicaid eligibility, end-of-life decision making, POLST forms, assisted living and nursing home placements, reverse mortgages, bill paying problems, abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.   
Health Care Directives and End of Life Decision Making 
We draft living wills, health care directives, burial preference forms, so called "ethical wills," and end-of-life decision making documents. 
Mental Commitment Law
We represent individuals and families dealing with involuntary detention based on an alleged mental illness.


Professional Legal Representation

We have over 50 years of combined legal experience. We primarily address the legal concerns of seniors and their families, as well as the needs of probate, guardianship, trust, and power of attorney fiduciaries and their beneficiaries. We strive to provide excellent service to our clients on a wide range of complicated and sometimes contested legal issues. We can help you plan for your heirs in our office, and we can advocate for your interests in the courtroom. We will do our best to represent you with competence, integrity, and compassion.


Home Appointments; After Hours Appointments

We can accommodate home appointments for elderly or disabled clients. We can schedule after hours appointments if needed. 

In Office Legal Consultations

Be informed. We schedule in office consultations. Call to schedule an appointment.


GAL Appointments

We accept GAL appointments.
Mediation and Arbitration
We mediate and arbitrate Elder Law controversies.
Speaking Engagements
We are available to speak at your health care organization, conference, hospital, assisted living facility, senior center, or place of worship.  



Significant Appellate Cases as Amicus


In Re Harris, 98 Wn.2d 276, 654 P.2d 109 (1982)(establishing the right to a hearing prior to non-emergency mental health detentions); In Re Schuoler, 106 Wn.2d 500, 723 P.2d 1103 (1986)(establishing the limited right to refuse electroconvulsive therapy);Harper vs. State, 110 Wn.2d 873, 759 P.2d 358 (1988) reversed 489 U.S. 1064 (1990)(case arguing for the limited right to refuse psychiatric medications).


Legislative Activity

Mr. Sarles was the principal drafter of what became RCW 11.88.090(2)(authorizing mediation in guardianship matters).


Mr. Sarles was involved in the drafting of RCW 74.34.135(regarding VAPA Orders).


Mr. Sarles testified on behalf of the KCBA Guardianship and Elder Law Section in support of RCW 11.96A (TEDRA).


Selected Publications and Presentations:


Title 26 and Title 11 Guardianships (CLE credited private presentation, May 4, 2018).


Selected Proceedings to Protect the Vulnerable Adult, Guardianship and Elder Law Section Meeting (KCBA, July 21, 2017).


The Power of Attorney as a Less Restrictive Alternative to Guardianship in Washington, 2017 GAL Training (KCBA, April 6, 2017).


Add a Dash of APS to a Teaspoon of VAPA, a Tablespoon of Guardianship, and a Cup of RCW 9A.56, and Stir: Charging Decisions and the Impacts on Proceedings to Protect the Vulnerable, Advanced Guardianships, (KCBA, 2016).


Examination of the AIP and the Medical Report, 2012 Title 11 Guardianship Training (KCBA, 2012).


Lawyers, Doctors, and the Termination of Life Support: Integrating Living Wills and POLSTs (Physician Ordered Life Sustaining Treatments), Elder Law at the Crossroads: Medicaid, Medicare and Medicine (WSBA, 2006)(with Sharmon Figgenshaw, ARNP, CHPN).


Living Wills and the POLST (Physician Ordered Life Sustaining Treatment): What are the Limits of An Individual's Right to Terminate Life Sustaining Treatment, Advanced Issues in Elder Law: Looking for Wisdom in all the Right Places (KCBA, 2006).


Discovery Under CR35 and Access to Medical Records, Advanced Guardianships III (KCBA, 2005).


Guardianships, Basic Issues of Elder Law in Washington (NBI, 2005).


Ethics: The Power of Attorney, Basic Issues of Elder Law in Washington (NBI, 2005).


Debt Issues in New Guardianships, (with Stanley E. Perdue, J.D.) (WSBA, 1996).


Settlements for Minors and the Disabled - Guardian ad Litems, Their Selection

and Use; Fee Considerations; Use of Trusts, Evidence and Settlement (with William Dussault) (WSTLA, 1986).


© 2018 - 2024 by Law Office of Neil R. Sarles The images on this website are

copyrighted and may not be downloaded or reproduced.

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Neil R. Sarles
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Ruth Apahidean
Robert "Bob" Conrad

Neil R. Sarles is a 1972 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a 1975 graduate of the University of Toledo School of Law, in Toledo, Ohio. In the 1970s Neil worked for Ralph Nader to establish a public interest research group (PIRG) in New York. As a law student Neil worked for FLOC, a migrant farm labor organization.  After law school Neil practiced law in San Francisco, California. He later took a position with Legal Aid at Eastern State Hospital, a mental hospital located near Spokane. Neil has practiced law for over 40 years. He has written and lectured in the areas of elder law, guardianship, and end-of-life decision making. Neil is admitted to practice in all Washington courts, and in the United States Supreme Court. He is a former member of the Harborview Mental Health Center Board, and a former president of the Board of Directors of Orion Industries, a non-profit company that trains handicapped workers for the aerospace industry. He is married, has three sons, coaches youth basketball, and lives in north Seattle.

Ruth Apahidean began working with Neil Sarles in December 2022. She graduated from the University of Washington magna cum laude, majoring in History and English in 2015. She attended the University of Washington School of Law, obtaining her Juris Doctorate in 2019. After she was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2020, Ruth worked on personal injury, real estate, estate planning, and probate matters. Her practice focuses on elder law, estate planning, probate, and related matters. She is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Ruth is a member of the King County Bar Association. She has volunteered at Neighborhood Legal Clinics: Elder Law Clinic, Washington First Responder Will Clinic, and Tacomaprobono Community Lawyers. Ruth is the Bar Talk Columnist for the KCBA Bar Bulletin. Previously, she was a member of the City of Enumclaw Human Services Advisory Board.

Robert "Bob" Conrad joined the Law Office of Neil R. Sarles in December, 2015. Prior to that he worked as a paralegal and manager with leading solo practitioners, boutique practices, and Seattle’s largest law firms, where he accumulated extensive knowledge and experience in civil litigation and Washington civil practice. Bob graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1989, and worked as a college instructor before embarking on his paralegal career. Bob also holds a PMP and has attended numerous legal continuing legal education seminars. Bob was born and raised in the Seattle area. Rarely to be found more than a few miles from the water, he sails as often as possible during his leisure time. Father of three, he enjoys spending time with family and learning from his four grandchildren.





114 2nd Ave. S., Suite 108, Edmonds, WA 98020

Tel:  206-682-1771


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