Frequently Asked Questions

Are you the right attorney for me?
I do wills and estate planning, probate, real estate advice, including purchase and sale agreements, leases, easements, and co-ownership agreements. I do not do LLCs. I have narrowly focused my practice areas, so that I may stay current on the areas in which I work. My approach is to listen carefully to your needs, and to give you information that will generate options for you to consider. We will then choose the appropriate documents or course of action for you to pursue.

Some work is charged by the project. See answers to the question about costs below. Some work is charged by the time I spend. This includes time on the phone, responding to e-mails, and in-office appointments. Time to schedule appointments and to determine whether I am the right attorney for you is not charged. Feel free to call on a Tuesday or Friday if you have more questions about whether an appointment is appropriate.

If you want an attorney available in the office Mondays through Fridays, I am not the appropriate attorney for you.

How much do wills/estate documents cost?
I charge $250 per hour for the time we spend in ascertaining what is most appropriate for you. This includes phone calls, meetings, email responses and document review of documents you provide. In addition, there are preparation of document charges. Here are some examples of average charges for the documents I prepare:

Simple Will$150-$200
Simple Trust Will$175-$250
Living Will$40
Power of Attorney$90
Credit Trust Will/Disclaimer Trust Will$330

How can I get in touch with you?
E-mail is a very good way to communicate (marciamellinger@gmail.com). You could also call the office on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you would like to talk with me, it is best to call early on a Tuesday or Friday, and let me know when you are available for a return call.

What are your qualifications?
One of the things that I have enjoyed about the practice of law, is the ability I have had to re-invent my practice over the years. I worked for Legal Services directly out of law school. Early in my career, I did lots of litigation including real estate, domestic relations, and criminal work. I also worked in consumer protection and bankruptcy, and had an office practice including wills and estate planning. I have been a mediator over forty years, and had an escrow business for fifteen years. My strength is in understanding why you are seeking legal advice, and then working with you to create appropriate, common sense solutions.

I have owned real estate with other people and have experienced the pleasures and challenges of being a homeowner, co-owner, and landlord.

I graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1974, and received my Bachelor's in Psychology there in 1971.

What is your office setup?
My office is next door to Lake Real Estate. Since I do not have a reception area at the office, Lake Real Estate is kindly allowing me to use their office as a reception area. When you come into the Lake Real Estate office, just let them know you are there to see me and they will let us know you have arrived. Mail and document delivery, and pick-up of information I have agreed to leave for you will also occur at the Lake Real Estate office. The address of Lake Real Estate is 7801 Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle, Wa. 98103.

What are you doing when not in the office?
I value time for family (including my family-by-choice, originally through the foster care system) and friends, and volunteer activities including habitat restoration (active with Green Lake Stewards), consultations about native plants to homeowners through the Washington Native Plant Society, and work with environmental organizations. I especially enjoy meeting people, being outdoors hiking and walking, gardening, fabric art (including teaching workshops on re-purposing and upscaling clothing), staying current on my practice focus areas, and learning new things.