Our Practice


Our attorneys possess decades of combined legal experience, which make us well-suited to handle your needs regardless of how complex or challenging your situation. We are ready to assist you with legal issues affecting your life and your family as well as your business, your property and your future.

+ Adoptions

Adoption, is at heart, creating a family. It means that for all intents and purposes, the child (or children) is the legal heir and legal child of the adopting parent(s). That means that if the adopting parent dies the child can inherit the parent’s property as though the child was actually born to that parent. If the adopted child is in a family that splits due to divorce, then one parent may have a duty to pay child support to the custodial parent. The saying is that “you get the benefit and the burden” when you adopt a child.Becoming an adoptive parent is an important decision and choosing to adopt has lifelong impacts on children, their birth and adoptive parents, and extended families.

There are many types of adoptions. We primarily assist clients with:

  • Step-parent adoption – By far, the most common type of adoption occurs when a stepparent adopts the child from his or her partner’s previous relationship. The non-custodial parent will have to terminate his or her parental rights to allow the stepparent to adopt the child.
  • Second-parent adoption – A second parent adoption allows an individual to adopt his or her partner’s biological or adopted child without terminating the latter’s parental status.
  • Adult adoptions – This adoption legalizes and solidifies relationships between an adult and someone he or she looks to as a parent, often times a step-parent who for many reasons was unable to adopt the child during the child’s minority.

If you are considering an adoption, we can help. Whether you are hoping to adopt as a step-parent or through other means, it is important to understand all your rights and responsibilities, how the process is conducted, what you need to do to be prepared and what you can expect each step of the way.

Your attorney will:

  • Help you work on an adoption plan that suits your family’s needs;
  • Draw up the necessary paperwork and file with the proper agencies;
  • Help you understand and prepare for the state-required post-placement study;
  • Offer counsel and options should speed bumps occur; and
  • Represent your best interests throughout the proceedings.

+ Business

Whether you are just starting out in business or have been operating for several years, a business owner is forced to wear many hats. We help you to understand and take care of the legal needs of your business. We take a proactive approach so that you are getting your business set up appropriately from the beginning with the goal of minimizing potential problems in the future. This way you can keep your attention focused on your business.We advise business owners and companies in the following areas:

  • Business Entity Formation
  • Sole Proprietors
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • Corporations and S-corporations
  • Corporate Governance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Contract Review and Preparation
  • Franchises

+ Estate Planning

Estate Planning is one of the most personal areas in the law. It is our aim to make sure that your last wishes and intentions are honored and enforceable. The decisions that you make today can have a far reaching impact on your life, the lives of your loved ones, and your business.Every estate plan is unique. Our estate planning attorneys take the time to listen to your personal goals and objectives and also to address your concerns. We will work with you to create a plan tailored to your needs and wishes. We can help you prepare a plan that makes sure your family and loved ones are protected and cared for after your death. We also help to make sure that your estate plan is comprehensive to protect your during your lifetime. We make the planning process simple, so you can easily get this important task completed.

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions
  • Health Care Directives, Living Wills, POLST, Advance Directives
  • Elder Law and Guardianship
  • Charitable Giving
  • Community Property Agreements
  • Transfer on Death Deeds

+ Family Law

Family law matters are some of the most serious and emotionally charged matters that you will ever face. There is a lot on the line: your family dynamics, your children, your assets, and your income.We practice all areas of family law, which may include:

  • Divorce, Legal Separation, or Invalidity of Marriage.
  • Committed Intimate Relationships
  • Division and Valuation of Assets and Debts, including businesses, retirements, and real property
  • Paternity/ Parentage establishment and disestablishment
  • De Facto Parentage
  • Establishing Parenting Plans or Residential Schedules
  • Non-parent Custody
  • Relative Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Military Issues
  • Relocation
  • Modification of Parenting Plans, Child Support, and Spousal Support
  • Post-Secondary/College Support
  • Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders
  • Enforcement of Court Orders
  • Collaborative Law
  • Hague Convention (International Abduction)
  • Mediation
  • Prenuptial, Postnuptial, Co-habitation, and Separation Agreements

We limit our practice to Pierce County so you can rest assured we know the “ins and outs” of the local court. However, our years of Family Law courtroom experience have taught us the best and most durable outcome for your family may not be obtained from court/litigation. The Judge or Commissioner has a very limited snapshot of your family and a limited amount of time during which he or she must make a decision. Your legal matter may be best resolved through alternatives to litigation such as the Collaborative Law process, mediation, or private arbitration. We are knowledgeable and experienced in negotiating all of these alternatives.

+ Guardianship

The Guardianship process is designed to assist people who are vulnerable or at significant risk of harm by having a guardian appointed by a court to manage their affairs.A person may be considered incapacitated if they are at significant risk of harm because of a demonstrated inability to adequately manage their property or financial affairs. In that instance a Guardian of the Estate may be appropriate.

A person may be considered incapacitated if they are at significant risk of harm because of a demonstrated inability to adequately provide for their own nutrition, health, housing or physical safety. In that instance a Guardian of the Person may be needed. Some incapacitated persons may need the assistance of both a Guardian of the Person and Estate.

Our attorneys can assist you in determining whether guardianship may be appropriate to assist a friend, relative, or neighbor who may be disabled or incapacitated because of mental deterioration, developmental disability, physical incapacity, or a mental illness.

We help families petition the court to appoint a guardian who then assumes the rights of the incapacitated person, and makes decisions regarding the person’s daily life.

We can assist family members who seek appointment as the guardian and aid them in fulfilling their obligations and responsibilities, as well as assist families who want to have a certified professional guardian appointed to assist their loved one.

Our attorneys can assist you with the following:

  • Petitions for Guardianship
  • Full or Limited Guardian of the Estate
  • Full or Limited Guardian of the Person
  • Guardians for Minor Children
  • Annual of Triennial Accountings

+ Landlord Tenant

An action for unlawful detainer (eviction) arises when a landlord wants a tenant to move out because they no longer have the legal right to occupy the premises for some reason. Washington State law requires parties to follow very specific procedures for this type of lawsuit, which is also commonly referred to as an eviction, so it is always important to have the assistance of an experienced Landlord Tenant attorney.We assist clients, Landlords only, with unlawful detainers In Pierce County. We provide assistance from issuing and serving notices (3-day, 10-day, and 20-day, etc.) through obtaining a Writ of Restitution. Generally, we provide these services on a flat fee basis. Please call our office at 253-759-0070 to inquire about our services.

+ Probate

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time. It is common to feel overwhelmed and lost about what to do next or how to handle an estate. Our probate lawyers help people with trust and estate issues after a person has died. Probate is the term used for the process of bringing closure to a decedent person’s estate. This includes resolving and settling the decendent’s debts, and transferring assets to the appropriate heirs and beneficiaries.Our attorneys are available to answer your questions about what happens next. Our attorneys can assist you through a wide variety of situations that can arise after the death of a loved one.

This can include:

  • How to file a Last Will and Testament
  • What to do if there is no Will
  • How to get appointed as the Personal Representative, Administrator, or Executor of an Estate
  • How to transfer assets properly
  • How to handle and close accounts of the decedent
  • How to determine which assets need to go through the probate process
  • How to properly and fairly deal with creditors
  • Determining who receives what parts of an estate
  • How to handle the estate in compliance with Washington state law

+ Real Estate

Our attorneys can assist you with a variety of your legal needs that impact your real estate. Whether you are buying, selling, renting or occupying your real estate, our attorneys can help you deal with the many different legal issues that may arise in these situations. The lawyers at Tuell & Young represent both residential and commercial clients deal with the following areas:

  • Commercial leasing
  • Easements
  • Evictions
  • Foreclosures
  • Landlord Tenant (representing Landlords)
  • Purchase and Sale Agreements
  • Residential Leases