Estate Planning Attorney John E. Poffenbarger Estate Planning Attorney John E. Poffenbarger

John E. Poffenbarger, Shareholder

DIRECT: 206-224-8084

LEGAL ASSISTANT: Jennifer P. Clautier


John Poffenbarger heads the firm’s Trust & Estate Planning Department. He is experienced in a wide range of areas including the preparation of wills and trusts, estate and trust administration, estate and gift tax matters with the IRS, planning and formation of limited liability entities and other advanced estate planning strategies, as well as shareholder and buy-sell agreements and business succession planning.

John has been selected as one of Washington’s Super Lawyers many times. He has also been named in Best Lawyers in America.

In addition, John has handled estate matters for some of the Seattle area’s most prominent musicians, and in that connection has been interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine.

Prior to his legal career, John was a Tax Specialist with KPMG Peat Marwick.

Publications & Presentations

  • Author, “Family Limited Partnerships and LLC’s,” Washington Partnership and LLC Deskbook,  Chapter 23  (WSBA 3rd Edition, 2020)
  • Author, “Estate Planning for the Creative Person,” 61st Annual Estate Planning Seminar, Estate Planning Council of Seattle and the University of Washington School of Law, co-presenter (November 2016)
  • Author, “Succession Planning and ‘Buy-Sell’ Agreements For Closely-Held Businesses,” Washington CPA 59(2), (Fall 2015)
  • Author, “Family Limited Partnerships and LLC’s,” Washington Partnership and LLC Deskbook, Chapter 22 (WSBA 2nd Edition, 2010)
  • Author, “Family Limited Partnerships and I.R.C. Section 2036,” WSBA Real Property, Probate & Trust Section Newsletter (Winter 2004)
  • Author, “Family Partnerships – Recent Developments,” WSBA Real Property, Probate & Trust Section Newsletter (Spring 2000)
  • Author, “The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: (Some) Relief for the Family Enterprise,” Puget Sound Business Journal (November 1997)
  • Author, “Succession Planning for Closely Held Businesses,” Puget Sound Business Journal (November 1996)
  • Author, “Successful Estate Planning with a Family Limited Partnership,” Northwest Woodlands magazine (Summer 1993)
  • Author, “Highlights of the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1990,” WSBA Business Law Section Newsletter (March 1991)
  • Author, “General Utilities Repealed: Why Small Businesses Should be Accepted,” 65 Taxes 604 (September 1987)

John is also a frequent speaker on estate and business planning topics.

Awards & Unique Recognition

Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® work in Trusts and Estates (2021-2024)

  • J.D., University of Washington School of Law
  • B.S., cum laude, University of Oregon

  • Washington State Bar
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

  • American Bar Association
    • Real Property, Probate and Trust Section
    • Tax Section
  • Washington State Bar Association
    • Partnership Law Committee
    • Estate and Gift Tax Committee
  • King County Bar Association
    • Seattle Estate Planning Council