What We Do
McKarcher Law specializes in estate planning and estate administration for Idaho and Washington clients. We prepare will-based or trust-based plans that include powers of attorney for property and health care, health directives, and other related documents. We advise trustees and personal representatives in administering estates, whether through a court-based probate or private trust administration.
- Identifying and minimizing the risk of disputes
- Planning for income and capital gains taxes
- Planning for estate taxes, if applicable
- Providing asset protection for beneficiaries
- Professional administration, if desired and appropriate in the situation
Some believe their situation is “simple,” or that they just need a “simple” will. But consider, for example:
- Some may not have any assets subject to federal or state estate (or “death”) tax. In our experience, however, many Washington residents do not realize that a combined marital estate of $2.2 million or more that is administered with “simple” planning will likely expose the surviving spouse to Washington estate tax and all the tax filings and administrative cost that come with it. This is because each spouse’s $2.2 million Washington “exemption” must be used at his or her death or it is lost forever.
- Nearly everyone has significant income and capital gains tax exposure of which they are unaware, including issues arising from tax-favored IRAs or other retirement accounts.
- Those who gift assets to children before death often create unfortunate tax outcomes for the recipients. In many cases, it is far better (and just as straightforward) to give the relevant asset at death.
Who We Are
Admissions to Practice
- Washington, DC
- Washington State University, B.A., summa cum laude
- The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with highest honors, Order of the Coif
- Clements, Brown, & McNichols, P.A., Lewiston, ID, Associate
- Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC, Associate
- CenterStone Executive Search, Inc., Seattle, WA, Vice President, Operations
Joshua D. McKarcher
Josh was born and raised in Clarkston, Washington. He attended Washington State University, worked for a consulting firm for several years, and then moved to Washington, DC to attend law school at The George Washington University. After several years as an associate lawyer with Covington & Burling LLP, in Washington, DC, he moved with his family back to his hometown, where he practiced at Clements, Brown, & McNichols, in Lewiston, Idaho, before opening McKarcher Law PLLC in Clarkston.
In law school, Josh served as an intern for a federal district judge, was Managing Editor of The George Washington Law Review, and graduated Order of the Coif in the top 2% of his class. At Covington & Burling, he argued and unanimously won a precedent-setting case involving corporate bankruptcy before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (Link here.) At Clements, Brown & McNichols, he twice argued and won before the Idaho Supreme Court (links here and here); and he was hired by a national banking association to draft and file an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief in a business bankruptcy appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, arguing a position that prevailed with the court. (Link here.)
Josh’s background informs his holistic approach to estate planning and administration: an opportunity to minimize risk, reduce strain on loved ones, and increase beneficiaries’ flexibility, particularly regarding income tax and asset protection.
Admissions to Practice
- Idaho State University, B.A., Political Science
- University of Idaho College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- Farm Bureau of Idaho, Assistant to the Vice President of Human Resources and Operations
Mary E. Paulus
- University of Idaho, B.S., Broadcasting and Digital Media
Damian works full-time in our Clarkston, Washington office and is often the first point of contact for our clients.
Damian was born and raised in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, where he focused on multimedia production and visual communication.
His diverse work experience includes KLEW-TV and Jeda Media Group in production, video, and media roles; and the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter.
Damian brings what McKarcher Law desires most in its people: deep satisfaction in helping others and serving the community, an eye for details and design, kindness, curiosity, and a penchant for troubleshooting and research. Outside the office, Damian is most excited by animals, baseball, the warm months, “art,” wondering, and exceptional food and drink.
Damian M. Thornton
George Mason University, B.A., Foreign Languages
Jenny was born and raised in Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Jenny and Joshua married in 2004, and then moved in 2005 from Clarkston to Washington, DC to continue their respective educations. After graduating from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Jenny began her career working for a smaller Virginia law firm that advised public charter schools.
Jenny later moved to Gilbert LLP, a large law firm based in downtown DC that advised multi-national companies and others as corporate insurance policyholders. She loved her job supporting teams of partners and associate lawyers in a fast-paced environment.
After several years committed to rearing two now-school-aged McKarcher boys, Jenny has re-entered law firm work to manage firm administration and assist as needed with client services.