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Legislature may change definition of “Theft”!

The Washington State Legislature is considering a change to the definition of “Theft” as defined in RCW 9A.56.020.  Currently, Theft means

  • To wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
  • By color or aid of deception to obtain control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
  • To appropriate lost or misdelivered property or services of another, or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Olympia and Centralia.

In Washington, a person has to physically leave the store before the intervention can take place.  This has put many loss prevention and security officers at risk attempting to contact suspects outside of the retail location.

Therefore, the Legislature is considering amending the definition of “theft” for purposes of theft-related offenses to include concealing the property of another intending to deprive the other person of its use or benefit.

When House Bill 1159 was considered last year, there were concerns about inclusion of the phrase “permanently deprive,” which could make theft offenses crimes of moral turpitude. That phrase has been removed in the current version of the bill.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Centralia and Olympia

Althauser Rayan Abbarno has been representing individuals and businesses in our community for more than 70 years. For a FREE Criminal Defense Consultation with our attorneys in Centralia or Olympia, Call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com

 

 

 

I was injured at work and my employer wants to choose my doctor!

I was injured at work and my employer wants to choose my doctor!

An injured worker is not required to see a “company doctor” or the employer’s preferred doctor!  Injured workers have the right to choose their own doctor.  Injured workers also have the right to decide who, if anyone, will accompany them to the doctor.

Injured workers have the right  to decline to have the company nurse or any employer representative accompany them to the hospital, doctor, or any other medical visit. And, your employer can’t discriminate or retaliate against you.

Contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP in Centralia or Olympia

For a free injury consultation in Centralia or Olympia, call (360) 736-1301 or visit www.CenttraliaLaw.com

Local Lawyers in Olympia and Centralia!

Jakob McGhie named newest Althauser Rayan Abbarno partner!

Althauser Rayan Abbarno announces Jakob McGhie as their newest Partner

The attorneys and staff with Althauser Rayan Abbarno are proud to announce their newest partner Jakob McGhie. Jakob joins existing partners Todd Rayan and Peter Abbarno.

“I couldn’t be more excited to become a partner at the firm that has been known for high quality legal representation for nearly 75 years,” said Jakob McGhie, newest partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno. “Since I became an attorney in 2014, Todd and Peter have not only been great employers, but have also been incredible mentors. It is indescribably humbling to have earned their trust and to become their partner.”

Continue reading Jakob McGhie named newest Althauser Rayan Abbarno partner!

Peter Abbarno named the Daily Chronicle Newspaper’s Person of the Year!

Peter Abbarno named Person of the Year! 

On a recent day, United Way of Lewis County Executive Director Debbie Campbell received a surprising gift in the form of a note and $500 left in the mail.

Peter Abbarno, attorney and partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno, was named the Chronicle Newspaper’s Person of the Year!

“We would like to honor Peter Abbarno for all he does to further education in Lewis County,” read the short letter, written by a local woman who had recently lost her husband.

She didn’t know Abbarno particularly well, but his work in the community had inspired her and her late husband to contribute to a cause he supports.

To Campbell, it’s another piece of tangible, heartwarming evidence of the impacts made by Abbarno, a prolific local volunteer, Centralia city councilor and attorney who has for years dedicated his time, money and expertise to dozens of causes and organizations in both Lewis and Thurston counties.

“Peter has a heart to make our community a better place,” Campbell said. “He believes that improving a community is about solving problems and he not only gives of his time, talent and resources, he supports the good work of others with strategic brainstorming and connecting people with resources. Peter has good will in his heart, and with his energy and perseverance, he has achieved great things for our community.” Indeed, it might be quicker to name the organizations Abbarno has not volunteered his time to than those he has.

Read the story in the Chronicle: Peter Abbarno named Person of the Year

The Secure Act and your Estate Planning

Planning for retirement and estate planning are important at any age. That is why the Estate Planning attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno want our clients to have up-to-date information.  The recently passed, SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) makes changes (some retroactive) to some distributions from IRAs and 401(k) plans.

Plan Ahead for Inherited IRAs

Estate Planning Attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno help clients plan.

Before the Secure Act, if you inherited an IRA from someone other than your spouse, you were generally required to take distributions from that account, but you could stretch out those payments over your entire life.

Under the new law passed December 20, 2019, if an IRA owner dies in 2020 or after, the account’s beneficiaries must take all of the money out of the inherited IRA within 10 years after the year of the death. (Some eligible designated beneficiaries (EDBs), including spouses and minor children, are exempt from this rule.)

If you inherit a Roth IRA, there is less concern — everything that comes out of a Roth IRA is tax-free. But with a traditional IRA, you must pay income tax on any distributions in the year you take the money out.

For more information, contact the estate planning attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno in Centralia or Olympia at (360) 736-1301.

Retroactive Effect of the SECURE Act

There are some retroactive effects of the SECURE Act. In the case of a participant who died prior to 2020 and left an IRA to a designated beneficiary, on the death of the designated beneficiary, the new 10-year payout rule will now apply.

For example, assume a mother died prior to 2020 and left her IRA to her adult son. The son started a 34-year payout based on his life expectancy. The son dies in January 2020, only 12 years into the payout period. His adult daughter is the successor beneficiary. Even though there are 22 years left in the original payout period, the daughter will be subject to the new 10-year payout period, and the entire amount of the IRA must be distributed to her by Dec. 31, 2030. Under the old rules, the daughter would have been able to stretch out the payments for the remainder of the original 34-year payout period.

For more information, contact the estate planning attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno in Centralia or Olympia at (360) 736-1301.

It is now 72

Althauser Rayan Abbarno estate planning attorneys in Olympia and Centralia.

The SECURE Act replaces age 70 ½ with age 72 as the age that triggers Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from retirement accounts, such as traditional IRAs, SEPs, SIMPLEs, SARSEPs, 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans.

For more information, contact the estate planning attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno in Centralia or Olympia at (360) 736-1301.

Penalties!

The annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) is mandated by law; there are heavy financial penalties for failing to take the RMD on time. The penalty (an excise tax) is 50 percent of the amount you should have withdrawn but did not. For example, if you missed your RMD of $10,000, you owe the U.S. Treasury $5,000. There is a 50% penalty, which can be waived by the IRS if the beneficiary submits a Form 5329 and provides evidence of reasonable cause.

Call Althauser Rayan Abbarno and your CPA

There is a lot more to the SECURE Act that needs to be understood beyond this discussion.  This article does not constitute legal or tax advice for your specific situation.

If you or someone you know has questions about estate planning, call Althauser Rayan Abbarno at (360) 736-1301 for a consultation in Centralia or Olympia. Our estate planning attorneys will work with your CPA and financial planners to provide the best results for you and you family.

 

 

Use Your Turn Signal, says Supreme Court

The state Supreme Court says: yes, you must use your signal when turning or changing lanes.

RCW 46.61.305 states that “no person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided . . . a signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

The court ruled unanimously that the phrase “when required” in state law dictates that drivers must use their signal continuously at least 100 feet ahead of making a turn or changing lanes.

“This ruling will have an impact on both driving infractions, as well as, personal injury cases where liability is an issue,” said Peter Abbarno, partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno, a full service law firm in Centralia and Olympia. “This decision interprets the statutory language and should have some impact on cases of liability and probable cause.”

The ruling reverses the Court of Appeals that found a signal is required only when public safety is affected.  The decision came in the case of a Kennewick drunk driver who claimed a State Trooper had no cause to pull him over when he didn’t signal a turn.

Contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno

Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP has been representing individuals and businesses in our community since 1946. For a consultation in Centralia or Olympia call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com

 

 

Abbarno admitted to practice in the State of Oregon

This week, Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorney and partner Peter Abbarno was admitted to practice law in the State of Oregon.

“Althauser Rayan Abbarno is a local law firm established in Centralia back in 1946. For almost 75 years we represented business and individuals in our community with offices in Centralia and Olympia. Our law firm increasingly represents clients throughout the State of Washington, and receives calls from Oregon. Peter’s admittance into the Oregon Bar is a testament to our reputation in the legal practice,” said Todd Rayan, attorney and partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno.

Peter earned a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School in 2008 and a Masters of Law in Taxation from the University of Washington in 2009.

In 2010, Peter joined Olson Althauser Samuelson & Rayan, LLP, currently known as Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP.  He became partner in 2013.  Peter’s practice includes business and corporate law, landlord-tenant law, estate planning, family law, personal injury, and workers’ compensation.

For a consultation with an Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorney in Centralia or Olympia, call (360) 736-1301 or visit www.CentraliaLaw.com

 

 

Buying or Selling Property: Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) goes up January 1st!

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, ESSB 5998 made changes to the real estate excise tax program, which can have a significant impact on certain property transactions, said Peter Abbarno and Todd Rayan, partners with the law firm Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP.

The real estate excise tax is imposed at the following rates, beginning January 1st:

  • 1.1 percent if the selling price is equal to or less than $500,000;
  • 1.28 percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $500,000, but equal to or less than $1,500,000;
  • 2.75 percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $1,500,000, but equal to or less than $3,000,000; and
  • 3 percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $3,000,000.

A rate of 1.28 percent is imposed on the sale of undeveloped land, timberland, agricultural land, and water or mineral rights, regardless of selling price.

There have been a lot of land classification and REET rate questions towards the end of the year, said Peter Abbarno, attorney with Althauser Rayan Abbarno. For certain property transactions, it was very important to finalize  prior to January 1 and avoid the tax increase.

Real estate excise tax (REET) is a tax on the sale of real estate. The real estate excise tax is typically paid by the seller of the property, although the buyer is liable for the tax if it is not paid. The tax applies to the seller. The tax also applies to transfers of controlling interests (50% or more) in entities that own property in the state.

Continue reading Buying or Selling Property: Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) goes up January 1st!

Tax Considerations of a Personal Injury Case.

A person is never truly “made whole” after being injured in a vehicle collision. Pain, Suffering, Mental Stress, Medical Costs, Lost Wages, Lost Time, Lost Memories . . .

Althauser Rayan Abbarno – Experienced and Local- Olympia and Centralia – (360) 736-1301

Having experienced Personal Injury Attorneys like Althauser Rayan Abbarno with you after your injury AND before your settlement can save you time, stress, and money. A common question before settlement or trial, is whether the compensation is taxable.  It Depends!

For a Free Consultation in Centralia or Olympia call (360) 754-5844 or visit CentraliaLaw.com. 

You may have questioned whether proceeds from settlement of a lawsuit is taxable income. Whether you must include the settlement proceeds in your income depends on all the facts and circumstances in your case.  Althauser Rayan Abbarno attorneys can help!

Many settlement payments consist of multiple elements that have been allocated by the parties. For example, an agreement may include allocations to back pay, emotional distress, and attorneys’ fees.  Generally, the IRS will not disturb an allocation if it is consistent with the substance of the settled claims.

Personal Physical Injuries

Continue reading Tax Considerations of a Personal Injury Case.

Divorce: Are Spousal Maintenance or Child Support Payments Taxable?

Child support payments are neither deductible by the payer nor taxable to the recipient. When calculating gross income to see if you’re required to file a tax return, don’t include child support payments received.

Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in Centralia and Olympia at (360) 736-1301.

Under divorce, dissolution, or separation instruments executed on or before December 31, 2018, alimony or spousal maintenance payments are deductible by the payer and taxable to the recipient. When calculating gross income to see if you’re required to file a tax return, you should include alimony payments received under such an instrument.

However, under divorce, dissolution, or separation instruments executed after December 31, 2018, and under certain instruments executed on or before December 31, 2018 but later modified, if the modification expressly states the repeal of the deduction for alimony or spousal maintenance applies to the modification, those payments are neither deductible by the payer nor taxable to the recipient. When you calculating gross income to see if you’re required to file a tax return, don’t include alimony or spousal maintenance payments received under such an instrument.

Continue reading Divorce: Are Spousal Maintenance or Child Support Payments Taxable?