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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 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 and has consistently been named one of the top 50 women 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
  • Rule 39.1 Mediator, United States District Court, Western Washington
  • Arbitrator, King County Superior Court
  • 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


  • “Solving Problems in Estate and Trust Administration, the Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act" (Washington State Bar Association, August 2013. Co-presenter with Tiffany Gorton)
  • “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 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)
John S. Kutscher
Anna M. Cashman
Matthew N. Menzer
Scott D. Benner
Tiffany R. Gorton
Patty Ulman
Susan Cartozian
Kyla Trujillo
Nicola Derbyshire
Maggie Hardiman
Leah Hendry