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Karen R. Bertram


Karen R. Bertram

Karen’s practice focuses on all matters involving trusts and estates. Part of her practice emphasizes estate planning for estates of all sizes, as well as probate and trust administration and preparation of federal estate tax returns. She serves as a fiduciary for trusts and estates, and has substantial litigation experience in trust and estate disputes. Ms. Bertram also serves as an expert witness, arbitrator and mediator in trust and estate litigation matters. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America for both Trusts, Estates, and Trust and Estate Litigation and has been named a “Top Lawyer” in estate planning in Seattle Met Magazine and the Puget Sound Region by Seattle Business Magazine. She has been designated by her peers as a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2000, has consistently been named one of the top 50 women lawyers and among the top 100 lawyers in Washington by Washington Law & Politics.


Bar Memberships

  • Washington
  • United States District Court, Western Washington
  • United States District Court, Eastern Washington
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


  • Seattle University, J.D., magna cum laude, 1992
  • Notes & Comment Editor, University of Puget Sound Law Review
  • University of Washington, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 1986

Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
  • Member, WSBA Real Property Probate & Trust Section,
    Executive Committee
  • Member, WSBA Real Property, Probate & Trust Section,
    Trust & Estate Litigation Subcommittee
  • Member, King County Bar Association
  • Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Section
  • Member, Seattle Estate Planning Council
  • Chair, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts
    Endowment Investment Committee


  • “TEDRA: Looking at a Case in the Rearview Mirror” 2016
  • “Advising Clients in a Shifting Environment” 2015
  • “Applying Washington’s Slayer Statutes to the Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults” 2014
  • “Solving Problems in Estate and Trust Administration” 2013
  • “The Litigation that Lurks When You Procrastinate” 2013
  • “Trust and Estate Disputes: A Procedural Roadmap When Everyone is Kung Fu Fighting” 2011
  • “Ethics for Estate Planners” 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010
  • “Overview: Your Client’s Fiduciary Obligations” 2008
  • “Update on Relationship Claims in Estates” 2007
  • “Practical Applications of TEDRA” 2007
  • “TEDRA – How is it Working/Claiming Tortious Interference with Inheritance” 2004
  • “Challenges to Joint Tenancies and Other Non-Testamentary Dispositions” 2004
  • “Litigating Will Substitutes” 2004
  • “Challenges to Joint Tenancies and other Non-Testamentary Dispositions” 2003


  • Washington Estate Planning and Probate Deskbook, Washington State Bar Association, 2017, Chapter 12, Estate Administration
  • Washington Estate Planning and Probate Deskbook, Washington State Bar Association, 2017, Chapter 13, Trust and Estate Disputes
  • Washington Probate Deskbook, Washington State Bar Association, 2005, Chapter 9, Estate Disputes
  • King County Probate Manual, King County Bar Association, 2011, Chapter 16, Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution
  • Insurance Coverage for Pollution Liability in Washington: What Constitutes Damages under CGL Insurance Policies? 28 GONZ. L. REV. 625 (1993)
  • Washington’s Closed-Circuit Testimony Statute: An Exception to the Confrontation Clause to Protect Victims in Child Abuse Prosecutions, 15 U. PUGET SOUND L. REV. 193 (1992)

Copyright Notice | Disclaimer

 “Rigging Up” by Ted Kutscher . 2006
Frederic T. Kutscher (Ted)
Earle J. Hereford (Jay)
Karen R. Bertram
Timothy C. Burkart (Tim)
Lora L. Brown
Anna M. Cashman
Tiffany R. Gorton
A. Paul Firuz
Scott D. Benner
John S. Kutscher
Matthew N. Menzer
Susan Cartozian
Nicola Derbyshire
Maggie Hardiman
Leah Hendry
Kirstin Eastman
Anna Galicia