Monday, October 16, 2017

Defining Divorce in the State of Washington.

As with most states, divorce has its own nuances in the Evergreen State.  Remember the days when you had to state a reason why you wanted to end your union with your spouse and then defend it in divorce court?  Those times created strife within a household as people grew apart and the minor children suffered in the process.

Here are some steps in the Washington State divorce process –

1.  It begins when you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
2.  The next step is to serve the petition or to have your spouse accept service.
3.  If both parties agree to all of the issues it is considered an uncontested divorce.
4.  Temporary orders may be filed to address certain specific issues.

In the Seattle area people have been represented in divorce proceedings for decades by Bellevue Family attorney Lyle M. Clark.  Divorce law is one of his areas of practice, as is Social Security Disability law.  We invite you to visit his website at and see if an appointment at his 40 Lake Bellevue office would be right for you.  Call (425) 452-3092.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloween Events and Festivities in Seattle

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"Seattle & Washington Halloween Events, Parties, Costumes, Contests, Haunted Houses, Pictures"




Sunday, October 8, 2017

SSI vs. SSD.

No, this is not the next big Star Wars movie.  These are the acronyms that stand for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability (Also known as disability insurance benefits).  SSD is available to those that have accumulated a sufficient number of “work credits”.  SSI is available to those that may have never worked enough or not at all.

Supplemental Security Income is “need based”.  The funds come from a general tax fund NOT a trust fund…so they should last through our lifetimes.  Do you qualify for SSI?  Here is an important point…you must have under $2000 in assets ($3,000 if married).  When do benefits begin?  The answer is on the first month after you submit your application.

Knowing the ins and outs of SSI, SSD, and, oh yes another one abbreviated SSDI (we will delve into that later) can be complicated.  Lyle Clark is a Seattle area attorney that will help you navigate through these Social Security waters.  Why not give him a call and arrange for a meeting at his Bellevue office by calling (425) 452-3092.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Oktoberfest Northwest

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Oct. 6-8, 2017 - Washington State Fair Events Center - Puyallup

Friday, September 15, 2017

SSD and Your Family.

This is not some disease - Quite the opposite.  It may be a lifesaver for your family’s financial future.  It is the abbreviation for Social Security Disability.  Recently in this space we defined SSI which is Supplemental Security Income.  Let us take a quick look at disability income and its importance to your future.

SSDI, (often abbreviated as SSD) is a Social Security program that pays out monthly benefits if you become disabled BEFORE you reach retirement age and simply cannot work regularly. Some people know it as "workers disability."  How do you qualify?  Well, you must have worked at a job for a number of years and paid social security taxes.

If you are under-employed or unemployed due to a debilitating condition it is probably time to look into SSD for your family’s future well-being.  In Washington State and particularly in Bellevue, Attorney Lyle M. Clark may have the answers that you seek.  He is a Bellevue, WA social security disability lawyer.  Call him today at (425) 452-3092.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig, Sept 8th - 24th

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Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig
September 8 – 24, 2017
950 Main Street
Edmonds, WA 98020
Thursday – Saturday at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm
Single show tickets: $25 for Junior, Senior & Military; $28 for Adults 19 – 59

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Short SSI Tutorial.

What does SSI stand for?  In every state in the union it is provided for by the federal government under the Social Security Act.  The SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income.  The purpose of the program is to provide income to people who do not have sufficient earnings credits to qualify for regular Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI).  For millions of Americans this may be the difference between abject poverty and a comfortable subsistence.  So, let us get to the root of the matter and find out who qualifies.

According to the Social Security Act, "disability" means the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by diagnosis of any medically recognized physician or mental impairment which can be expected to last for an extended period of not less than 12 months or result in death.”  After meeting this medical standard, applicants for SSI must also prove that they meet certain financial limitations. For example, there is a limit of $2,000 on liquid assets, such as cash, money in the bank, CD’s, IRA’s and the like.

That is rather specific, isn’t it?  To find out if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income you should seek the advice of an attorney.  In the Seattle area Lyle M. Clark has been an SSI lawyer for more than three decades.  He may have answers to your social security disability questions.  Give him a call at (425) 452-3092 for a possible appointment at his Bellevue office.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's back to school for Seattle - know these dates!

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 Get ready for Back to School Seattle!!  Here are the school calendar dates you should know about! 

Relax…Your Lawyer should be Your Friend.

The second most stressful thing about the legal system after appearing in court is hiring the right attorney.  You are looking for someone who listens and is empathetic about your particular case and what you are going through.  You need guidance through the rigors of the legal system.

When you are in their office you want to be sitting across the desk from someone who has empathy for your particular situation.  At this point, you don’t need some hard-hitting, loud talking lawyer.  You are looking for a compassionate friend who understands the ins and outs of the legal system.

That person exists in the Seattle area.  He is Bellevue, Washington lawyer Lyle Clark.  Attorney Clark has spent the last 40 years of his life aiding Washingtonians in pursuing cases involving social security, family law, and constructing wills and probate for his constituents.  Why not give Lyle a call and see if he is right for you at (425) 452-3092.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Upcoming Events in Seattle, August 2017

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Use the Seattle Area Calendar of Events to plan your next family adventure or date night! 

Wills and Estate Planning.

Who among us does not procrastinate when it comes to this matter?  The very idea of addressing the issue forces us to face our own mortality.  If we had the exact date when you were scheduled to shuffle off this mortal coil, perhaps there would be no sense of urgency in making sure that your estate has been properly allocated by YOU while you are of sound mind.

Estate planning goes much further than just doing a will.  Here is why.  It not only deals with the precise distribution of your assets, but it also follows the wishes that you have for the people that you care about most.  In the long run, it may go a long way in determining a smaller tax bill, court costs, and fees that your loved ones could pay. You may wish to plan for powers of attorney or directives to physicians.

We should all think about the inevitable.  If you are a baby-boomer, for example then you have spent decades acquiring wealth and possessions.  Isn’t it time to consider where all of that will be going when you are gone?  For over four and a half decades Lyle Clark has been a Seattle area will and estate attorney.  Call him for an appointment at his Bellevue office at (425) 452-3092.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Notice of a Motion for Non-Intervention Powers in a Probate Proceeding

RCW11.68.041?  Wait, I’ll help you out.  I know your head must be spinning like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”.  What does that mixture of letters and numbers mean?  There is a great deal to unpack here.  It refers to the advance notice of the hearing on a petition for nonintervention powers referred to in the probate act.

In the State of Washington, “non-intervention powers” are available to a personal representative who is granted non-intervention powers in a will.  A surviving spouse or domestic partner is also entitled to non-intervention powers when there is no will.  In all other cases, if the petitioner wishes to obtain nonintervention powers, the personal representative shall give notice of the petitioner's intention to apply to the court for nonintervention powers to all heirs, all beneficiaries of a gift under the decedent's will, and all persons who have requested, and who are entitled to, notice under RCW 11.68.041.

We invite you to Google this particular code in the State of Washington and do some of your own preparatory research.  For professional advice please call Seattle area probate attorney Lyle M. Clark, Jr.  He will explain the particulars of Washington’s RCW 11.68.041.  His phone number at his Bellevue office is (425) 452-3092.

Bruno Mars in Tacoma, WA!

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Come see Bruno Mars in Tacoma!
July 24, 2017 - Monday   7:30 PM 
Tacoma Dome

Monday, July 3, 2017

Divorce in Washington.

Every state has slightly different rules as it pertains to the divorce process.  It would be prudent to understand what qualifies as grounds for divorce in the Evergreen State.  The only legal way to commence a divorce in our state is to file a petition declaring that the marriage is irretrievably broken and requesting that it be dissolved.  You can also request other relief in your Petition.  You must then have a Summons and your Petition served on your spouse by a process server or by an adult other than yourself. Alternatively, your spouse can accept service and can also join in the Petition.  The court will then consider your requests.

In most cases, Washington state divorce courts will “rubber stamp” your declaration that the marriage is irretrievably broken, but not in all cases.  Washington law provides for what is known as “conciliation”, which is sort of like mandatory marriage counseling designed to explore whether the marriage can be saved. If conciliation fails, the marriage dissolution proceeding continues.

Not that a divorce has to be difficult in this state, but it does require proper legal representation.  This is, after all, not the state of Nevada!  One of the Seattle area’s most accomplished divorce attorneys is Lyle Clark.  He has devoted the majority of his 37 years of legal practice to sorting out the ever-changing divorce laws of Washington State.  Give him a call at (425) 452-3092.

Friday, June 30, 2017

4th of July Events in Seattle!

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As always, we have a large list of Seattle July 4th weekend events including parties, dinners, shows, etc. In 2017, July 4th falls on a Tuesday, so there will be celebrations and large events all weekend!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Divorce or Legal Separation.

It’s been a while since we have discussed this, but as we head into summer you may be thinking about one of the above.  So, which is better for you AND any children involved?  If you wish to put off a divorce for now you must NOT just abandon your household.  Applying for a legal separation may be appropriate.  This is where love might be the trump card!  If you want to remarry you certainly cannot do it during a legal separation.

In the State of Washington, if you are granted a legal separation the court will not dissolve the marriage.  Unlike a marriage dissolution proceeding, there is no 90-day waiting period before a decree may be entered.  A decree of legal separation may subsequently be converted to a decree of dissolution of marriage, but not for six months after the legal separation has been granted.  As in a marriage dissolution proceeding, the court may divide your community and separate property, adopt a parenting plan, and award child support and maintenance.

It is important to consult with a professional family attorney in the Seattle area who has dealt with the pros and cons of these two choices.  That man may well be Bellevue, WA divorce and legal separation lawyer Lyle M. Clark.  Get to know your options from a nearly 4-decade veteran of family law by calling (425) 452-3092.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Make Your Father's Day Plans

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"Father’s Day takes place on June 18, 2017 and there will be many Seattle & Washington events brunch & dinner, music, art walks, & more."


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Summer Guide for Seattle

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"Planning out your summer? Use this interactive guide to find activities around Seattle, May through August 2017, from festivals to pool time to Fourth of July activities."


Meet a Seattle Area Family Attorney.

Knowing a quality family lawyer is like knowing a great medical practitioner.  When you find one with decades of experience and success you tend to feel much more comfortable.  We see these “high powered” divorce lawyers on TV and wonder…are they all cutthroat?  That is not the case most of the time.

Lyle Clark Jr. is a Seattle native.  He graduated from Washington State University as a proud member of “Cougar Nation”.  His beginnings were humble as an intern prosecuting misdemeanors for the city of Lacey.  One day, he set out on his own as a sole practitioner in the city of Bellevue.

Today, Seattle family attorney Lyle Clark can look back at four decades of service to the people of the Evergreen State.  An English major in college, he is an avid reader…and, yes he is great in the Shakespeare category on Jeopardy!  Get to know a man who has practiced for decades as a passionate family lawyer by calling (425) 452 3092.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Make Your Memorial Day Plans!

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"Some things to do on Memorial Day 2017 Seattle include camping, fishing and golfing. Want to do something at night in Seattle for Memorial Day 2017? Check out the Seattle Nightlife Guide or the Seattle Restaurants Guide."

I’ve Never Seen that Before.

These are five words you never want to hear from your doctor, your mechanic, your plumber, or your dentist.  The same is true from your divorce attorney.  When and if that time comes in your life you don’t want to be sitting across the desk from someone who appears to be a “deer in the headlights”.  You need a steady, experienced veteran.

There are plenty of choices among family attorneys.  Anyone with a law degree can “hang up a shingle” and choose this branch of the law in which to practice.  Many are called…few are chosen.  One thing about family law in Washington State is that it has changed over the decades and you want to hire someone who has experienced those changes.

One of the best veteran family attorneys in the Seattle area is Lyle Clark.  Consider Attorney Lyle Clark very carefully at this critical juncture.  He has over four decades of experience as a Seattle metro divorce attorney.  Visit his website at then call for a consultation at his Bellevue office (425) 452-3092.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Plan Your Mother's Day in Seattle!

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Mother’s Day takes place on May 14, 2017, & there will be many Seattle & Washington events including brunch and dinner specials, music, theater, art walks, & more.

Monday, May 1, 2017

What is the meaning of Irretrievably Broken?

Some states use the phrase “irreconcilable differences” as legal grounds for obtaining a divorce.  Washington State is different. When our legislature adopted the Marriage Dissolution Act in 1973, the intent was to remove fault from the legal proceedings to the fullest extent possible.  Thus, the only grounds for dissolution of a marriage is that it be irretrievably broken.

Washington thus did away entirely with what had until then been the legal grounds for divorce:  infidelity, cruelty, or abandonment.  It is simply time to part company and seek a happier life.  Let’s look at the dictionary definition of irretrievable.  It means “impossible to regain or recover.”  Divorce is not the end of the world … just the end of a chapter.

In the State of Washington we use this term rather than “no fault” although they essentially mean the same thing.  Take a deep breath and make the call that you may have been putting off thinking that things would improve.  Call Bellevue WA marriage dissolution attorney Lyle Clark.  Attorney Clark will guide you through the process.  His number is (425) 452-3092.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cinco De Mayo in Seattle 2017

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"Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride while it is also another great reason to party! Much like St Patricks Day and Oktoberfest, Cinco de Mayo in Seattle Washington has several events and parties at local restaurants & bars."

Don’t Blame Me…Okay?

That is the essence of no fault divorce.  Marital wrongdoing (such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment) is no longer required to terminate a marriage.  Rather, both parties agree that the demise of their marriage is neither’s fault.  The petitioning party simply must assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The court will grant the divorce without either party showing evidence that the marital contract was breached unless the responding party petitions for conciliation, which is, in effect, court-ordered marriage counseling to explore whether the marriage can be saved.

It all began during many of our lifetimes.  In 1970 Governor Ronald Reagan signed no fault divorce into law in the state of California.  Washington followed in 1973.  It took 40 years, believe it or not, before New York became the last state to ratify it.  However, only 17 states even today are TRUE no fault divorce states; though some others allow no fault as an option. 

To find out if this is a viable option for YOU, call someone who has been handling these cases since 1977.  He is veteran no fault divorce attorney Lyle Clark.  Lyle maintains an office at 40 Lake Bellevue Suite 100, in Bellevue, Washington.  He will arrange an initial consultation with a phone call to (425) 452-3092.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Egg Hunts!

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"Hop on down to the Seattle Children’s Museum for lots of Easter fun! For two days, 4,000 plastic Eco eggs will be hiding amongst the Museum’s exhibits just waiting to be found! At the end of each egg hunt, children will turn in their eggs (as many or few as they want) for special prize bags."

Your Children’s Best Interest.

I am sure that nearly everyone agrees that when a marital union comes to an end thoughts turn to the best interests of the children.  This is not lip service.  It is a very real concern about not only how they will react initially, but the profound long-term impact of living without both parents being under the same roof.

The term “best interests” stems from deliberations that family courts undertake to decide what actions to take to best serve a child in the long run.  Topics such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing will be discussed.  The mental and physical health of each parent may come into play as well as financial stability.

If you must go through this do not do it alone.  You may wish to seek the advice of a veteran family attorney in the Seattle area.  For the last four decades Bellevue, Washington family attorney Lyle Clark has assisted individuals during this stressful process.  Please call Attorney Lyle Clark at (425) 452-3092.

Monday, March 13, 2017

SSI for Those Under 18.

Most of the time when we think of SSI (Supplemental Security Income) we think of people who have been in the workforce and are now in need of financial assistance.  SSI is financed by general funds of the US Treasury and not based on your prior work history like we have come to know Social Security.

SSI beneficiaries are also eligible for medical assistance known as Medicaid (Not Medicare).  This pays for a myriad of health issues such as hospital stays, prescription drugs, visits to the doctor, and other various health-related expenses.  To begin, you should secure The Child Disability Starter Kit.  Read this first.

The next step is to contact the right attorney to guide you in this process.  Why?  Because the legal issues surrounding a child’s disability claims may become quite complex.  The right choice is Seattle area SSI attorney Lyle Clark.  For decades, he has helped families navigate through the legal system.  Call for a consultation at his Bellevue, WA office at (425) 452-3092.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Million Man Waiting List.

You may have heard of the Million Man March.  And recently, millions gathered in Washington, DC to protest the inauguration of the new president.  You may not have been a part of any of that, but you may now be effected by this new euphemism: the Million Man Waiting List.  It is something of which you may need to be aware.

For some, it may be the stuff of nightmares.  You or a loved one may have been permanently injured in an auto accident or have a serious medical condition or mental illness.  You can no longer work for a living and your only recourse is to apply for disability insurance benefits or SSI.  Then you go to the Social Security office and find out that the average wait time is more than a year and a half if your initial application is turned down and you need to appeal!

You must take action, or struggle without any visible means of support.  That is when you decide to call Seattle area disability attorney Lyle M. Clark, Jr.  Attorney Clark has spent the last four decades fighting for the “little guy” who needs to receive his or her rightful benefits to survive.  Arrange an appointment at his Bellevue, WA office by calling (425) 452-3092.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Poor Old Social Security.

Earlier this month we addressed the question of whether or not Social Security is going broke.  If you recall we told you it is not.  We spoke of increased longevity and more women in the workforce.  We also informed you that trust funds are in better shape than some folks would have you believe, though there will be a short-fall in the retirement fund in about 20 years and much earlier in the disability fund.

As always, politics plays a part and it becomes complicated as things often do when politicians get involved.  One of the Presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders, made some noise when he proposed raising the ceiling on earnings subject to the payroll tax from the current level of $118,500 to $250,000. This solution has its problems, as do others. Raising the ceiling should be part of the solution to the long-term funding of Social Security.

Social security will affect nearly all of us and those of us who are Baby Boomers are acutely interested in its near future.  As it pertains to this topic, as well as wills and probate, no one in the Seattle area is better equipped to discuss it with you than Bellevue, WA Social Security attorney Lyle Clark.  Call him today at (425) 452-3092.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Is Social Security Going Broke?

Hey “baby boomers” and “gen X’ers”, that ought to get your attention.  Be honest, it is something we have all thought about.  Those of us “lucky” enough to be born before 1953 are already receiving or are about to receive those life-saving monthly checks from Uncle Sam.  Is the future potentially worrisome?

The short answer is NO!  As it stands here in early 2017 the Social Security trust funds are “in the black”, and the retirement trust fund will remain so for at least the next 20 years.  (The disability fund is solvent for only about five years.) But what about after that?  All of the trust funds are poised to go into the red unless some important measures are in place to restore their solvency.  They won’t go broke, but they will become unable to pay full benefits for about 20 to 25 years.  This is due to the fact that some unforeseeable demographic changes have occurred since Social Security was first created. Women are now more prevalent in the workforce, people are living longer, and the Great Recession of nearly a decade ago reduced the payroll tax contributions to Social Security.

We’ll talk more about this at a later time because it impacts us all…young and old alike.  If you need thoughtful advice about social security, wills, trusts, probate, and other family financial matters here is a great place to turn.  Visit  Please give Attorney Lyle Clark a call and arrange for a free consultation in his Bellevue WA office at (425) 452-3092.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Termination of Disability Benefits.

Maybe you were under the mistaken belief that Social Security disability means “total disability”.  Now you are all set … the benefits will continue indefinitely.  Surprise!  That is not correct.  Disability means that the claimant has a medical condition that prevents him or her from working.  Thus, benefits are payable only so long as you remain unable to work.   Social Security performs continuing disability reviews periodically to assess ongoing eligibility.

For most people, continuing disability reviews occur every three years.  If you are deemed medically able to resume work, your benefits may be terminated.  Reviews may occur earlier than three years if the Social Security Administration believes that your condition is likely to improve sooner.

Legally, the burden of proof regarding your continued claim of disability lies with SSA, and the agency often makes mistakes in applying the rules for terminating benefits.  You may elect to continue receiving your benefits while you appeal, but you must make the election within ten days.  If you receive a termination notice you should contact a disability attorney immediately.   Call an attorney who knows the ins and outs of social security disability claims in the State of Washington.  You can’t afford to waste another minute!  Contact Social Security disability attorney Lyle Clark at (425) 452-3092.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Do Trusts Shield Estates From Creditors?

Most trusts used in estate planning are known as “revocable” living trusts.  These are flexible planning tools that have advantages in some situations.  Unlike other states where probate procedures are cumbersome and expensive, though, probate avoidance is usually not a good reason to create a trust in Washington State.  One major advantage of a revocable living trust is that the person(s) creating the trust can remove assets from the trust whenever they like.  Since that is the case, however, creditors can force the creators of the trust to remove assets from the trust to satisfy debts.  This is not the case when the trust is irrevocable.  The problem with that is that when you make a trust irrevocable, you no longer own the assets and cannot remove them from the trust, even though you may be entitled to receive income from the trust as a beneficiary.

While a trust may not be needed to avoid probate in Washington State, there are some situations where a revocable living trust may be a good planning tool. For example, if you own property in more than one state, placing your assets in trust could avoid two probates.  Additionally, if you are approaching the point where you will be needing assistance in managing your assets, a trust would allow you to give directions for how your assets will be managed and define the powers and duties of the trustee.

Whatever your situation may be, it is important to understand your options when creating an estate plan.  Choosing the right estate planning attorney is very important.  For over 35 years that man in the Seattle area is Bellevue, Washington trust and will lawyer Lyle Clark.  Start the New Year right by making sound decisions about your future.  Call attorney Clark today at (425) 452-3092.