About My Philosophy

How long are we on this planet? Maybe 100 years if we are lucky. We should at least try to do some good for others while we are here. That just makes sense. It is the golden rule.

The professional areas that I have chosen to do some good in people’s lives are to help resolve or avoid disputes that involve our mortality or disabilities, the impact on their loved ones, the impact on their businesses and the reduction of tax consequences in the process. Some or all of these issues affect everyone without exception. The community involvement areas where I have contributed my time are set forth in my Curricula Vitae below.

In working to solve clients’ problems, I have found that one of the biggest challenges that they have is finding the time. The time pressure of managing all the issues in our daily lives can be overwhelming. Getting the children to school, making health care appointments, home and appliance repairs, maintaining a household, two parent working families, single parent families, qualifying for government benefits, dealing with a disabled relative and more just takes up more and more of our time and there are only 24 hours in a day. This pressure creates what is probably the biggest malaise of our age, anxiety.

I use as much technology as I can to reduce this pressure. Emails, telephones, PDF files, the internet and the like can really reduce the time pressure that resolving legal issues can cause. In the right circumstance, I have made home visits when clients have a hard time coordinating their calendars to get into my office or are house bound. I have even drafted estate plans based on phone calls and emails with the client and have not met the client face to face until we meet to review the documents, and often execute them at that time. I find clients appreciate getting their estate plan or legal issues resolved with just one meeting since it reduces the time pressure on their daily lives.

Another observation that I would like to share with you is what I have experienced as a substantial obstacle in dispute resolution to getting a good result for a client. That obstacle is the best result. This is true in both the ounce of prevention and the pound of cure world of dispute resolution. This is true whether a client is drafting an estate plan or involved in litigation. You always seek the best result when you start to resolve a client’s challenges. That is especially true when the opposing side just takes an inherently unreasonable stance in hopes of getting a favorable concession. But at some point, you have to consider the cost of legal services versus the result you desire. A fixed attachment to what you think is the right result is rarely as successful an approach as you might expect.

My final thought that I would like to share with you is what I often tell my clients. The stress of dealing with mortality issues for you and your family, acting as a fiduciary (attorney in fact, successor trustee, personal representative), dealing with disabled loved ones, being involved in litigation and the like, can be very stressful, especially if you have battling family members or associates. It is hard to make the best decisions that you are capable of if you are laboring under a mountain of stress. We all like to think that we can handle our problems without help, but usually our problems impact others as well, not just ourselves. When your decision impacts others and not just yourself, you need to be at your best. I remind my client’s that they need to talk with their physician when these problems arise so that they can give themselves the chance to be at their best while they navigate through the stress.

Curricula Vitae of Robert E. Millsap

Education

  • Tax: Masters in Tax 1992, Golden Gate University in Seattle, Washington.
  • Legal: J.D. 1984, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene, Oregon.
  • Undergraduate: B.A. 1977, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana; University of Bath, England, Spring Semester 1976.

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the State of Washington, November 1984
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, June of 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, September, 1987
  • U.S. Tax Court, April 1994
  • AARP Legal Services Network
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Elder LawAnswers Member (2003-04)

Employment

  • Millsap Law Firm, P.S., Seattle, Washington, 2001 to present.
  • Lyons Law Offices, Seattle, Washington, 1999 to 2001.
  • Law Office of Robert E. Millsap III, P.S., Seattle, Washington, 1993 to 1998.
  • Hansen, Leonardson & Associates, Woodinville, Washington, 1991 to 1993.
  • McCune, Godfrey & Emerick, Seattle, Washington, 1990 to 1991.
  • Woodley & Thurston, Kirkland, Washington, 1985 to 1990.
  • Hoffman, Morris, Guistina & Fox, Eugene, Oregon, 1983 to 1984.
  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Eugene, Oregon, 1982 to 1983.

Legal Experience

Estate and Succession Planning: Draft wills, powers of attorneys, health care directives, anatomical gift statements, community and separate property agreements, revocable and irrevocable trusts, life insurance trusts, gift statements, buy sell agreements; charitable trusts, family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and engage in gift, charitable, income tax and estate tax planning; and medicaid planning.

Probate: Probate wills, transfer nonprobate assets, fund trusts, prepare 706 and 1041 returns; prepare nonjudicial trust amendment agreements, prepare affidavits of successor, collect and distribute assets to heirs.

Business Formation: Plan choice of entity (S and C corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorship, LLC and PLLC), draft formation documents, maintain corporate formalities, draft employment agreements, educate clients on maintenance and tax issues.

Purchase and Sale of Business: Advise clients on advantages of asset versus share sales; analyze tax consequences and timing issues; assist in allocating purchase price, conduct liability assessment; draft documents.

Litigation: Partnership accountings; non-competes; injunctions; dealership terminations; lender liability cases; wage claims; contract disputes; UCC litigation; collection cases; unlawful detainers; quiet title action; foreclosures; lease litigation.

Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and 11 petitions; relief from stay hearings, pre-bankruptcy workouts and creditor claims.

Community Activities

Both past and present: Board of Directors for the Washington Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 2011 to ?, President of the Friends of Francois (A charity that feeds the homeless); Washington State Bar Association and member of Elder Law section; Neighborhood Block Watch, Block Captain (1995-2000); Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, member of sales and development roundtable; Business Success Network Club, Vice President; Notre Dame Alumni Club of Western Washington, Board of Director and Chairman of Social Concerns Committee; Christmas in April Association of Seattle, Board of Directors (now Building Together); Past President of an NAIC Investment Club; Baseball Coach and Basketball coach for Wallingford Boys and Girls club for four years.

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7016 35th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98115-5917
(206) 583-2740 Phone