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Stephen Michael Waltar

Estate planning Attorney at Bellevue, WA

5.0   6 reviews

also known as Steve Waltar

  • Licensed for 29 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1994
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Stephen

Learn Stephen’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    confidential questionnaires sent out, in depth client consultation, review of goals and existing plan (if any), complete drawings of various options, design of appropriate plan, flat fee for services, includes legacy planning as well as estate planning

    30 years, 2,000 cases

  2. Probate
    Most probates are quoted as a flat fee but hourly fee agreements may also be undertaken. Mr. Waltar has taught courses on probate to attorneys and paralegals and has an experience paralegal on staff who has handled hundreds of probates throughout King and Snohomish counties.

    30 years, 50 cases

  3. Trusts
    Trusts are to estate planning attorneys like clubs are to golfers. Do not put your trust in money, put your money in trust. Trusts can provide for management, probate avoidance, and lots of control. Irrevocable trusts can avoid estate taxes and provide asset protection. Legacy Wealth Trusts provide the strongest protection for a person or family.

    30 years, 1,000 cases

  4. Wills and living wills
    Wills are a huge part of our practice but are only one part of a good estate plan. Wills may be the primary Estate Planning tool or when used with Living Trusts, they are essentially back-up tools. Powers of Attorney and various other incapacity planning tools are necessary and beneficial to supplement wills.

    30 years, 2,000 cases

  5. Elder law
    Although I traditionally tried to stay clear of Elder Law planning, my clients and their parents have demanded that I add this area of practice to help families care for aging and disabled. In October 2009, Mr. Waltar got accredited before the Veteran's Administration to do Veteran's planning. This is an important and underserved area of the law to provide pension, aid and attendance to those that served our country during a time of war.

    19 years, 10 cases

I've written a book entitled, "Smart Estate Planning in Washington--What You Really Need to Know."  For more information, you can preview it at

Mr. Waltar was born in Boston, Massachusetts but grew up in eastern Washington.  He moved to Seattle in 1980 to attend college where he graduated from Seattle Pacific University, cum laude, earning dual degrees in English Literature and Religion in 1984.  He received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1988.  Mr. Waltar returned to Seattle and attended law school at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.  The school was acquired by Seattle University during the three years of his attendance.  That means he has two Juris Doctorate diplomas for the price of one—from the University of Puget Sound and Seattle University School of Law. 

Mr. Waltar was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1994 and is also admitted to practice in United States District Court, Western District of Washington.  He is also a member of the American Bar Association.  Prior to establishing his own law firm, Mr. Waltar spent four years at an exclusive Estate Planning law firm in Seattle.  He founded Stephen M. Waltar, PS in 2000 and is the principal shareholder. 

Mr. Waltar limits his law practice to areas associated with Estate Planning, including trusts, estate tax law, wills, probate, asset protection planning, business succession planning, charitable giving, and disability planning.  He is a popular and entertaining speaker at Estate Planning seminars and has taught both professionals and lay people Estate Planning and charitable giving.  Mr. Waltar has given hundreds of seminars and talks.  He has taught various college courses as an adjunct professor at Seattle University and the University of Washington.  Mr. Waltar has published numerous articles and has spoken to many private and public employees, as well as to community, civic and religious groups.  He has been a co-host and guest on various radio programs.  Mr. Waltar is a widely acclaimed speaker and seminar leader in the field of Estate Planning.  He is appreciated for his ability to reduce complex legal principles into understandable concepts.  He often says he has the “Mind of an Attorney and the Heart of a Pastor.” 

He and his wife and two daughters live in Kirkland, Washington.  Mr. Waltar enjoys getting away to ski at their condo in Sun Valley, Idaho.  He enjoys playing most sports and coaching girls’ basketball. 

His book can be purchased from his office, via his website, and the University of Washington Book Store in Seattle or Bellevue.


Photos and videos


Legacy Estate Planning, LLC
2320 130th Avenue NE
Suite 230
Bellevue, WA, 98005

Estate Planning lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Jack and Mary | December 1, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
An Estate Planning Law Firm
We felt he was very thorough and professional. We are extremely happy with the way they put together our living will and trust and would recommend him to anyone.
Posted by anonymous | July 21, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable and experienced
Stephan Waltar is very knowledgeable and experienced in estate planning. He is the author of two books on the subject, both of which I read and found to be clearly written and very helpful. I felt that he wrote these books because he truly cared about people being well protected and informed. He and his staff were easy to communicate with, any questions were answered fully and we received prompt responses to any emails. We were provided with a 3" binder made personal for us that clearly organized all of our info and documents on our estate planning, medical directives, power of attorney, ect. A digital copy is kept securely as well. We felt like it was money well spent to have our estate set up by a legal expert rather than a one size fits all computer program. it is complicated and it is essential that it be done properly. When we were at our bank to transfer our account, the manager had to call the legal department to walk her thru the process, as even for someone who works in the financial field it was complicated. One our side we had been provided by Mr. Waltar's office with all the correct legal documents and it was easy. In the future as laws change it is also good to know that we have a legal expert to confer with who will keep us updated and our plans on track.
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Posted by Arty | October 10, 2010
Great Easy experience
Stephen and his staff made our Estate Planning an easy task. This is something that my wife and I put off for years; and Stephen made it painless. Don't put off your Estate Planning anymore - help your loved ones to stay out of probate court!
Posted by Michael | September 20, 2010
First Time Estate Plan
Steve and his staff were extremely helpful and responsive during the entire process. He also had great advice and put together a very comprehensive plan for me and my family. I definitely recommend Steve Waltar and his team if you are looking to put together a comprehensive estate plan.
Posted by anonymous | July 5, 2010
review for Stephen Waltar
We consulted him for estate planning. He was well informed, thorough and professional. He took the time to answer our questions.
Posted by Henk Dawson | June 11, 2010
Kind and Reliable
Stephen helped me with my estate planning. I found him to be personable, kind, and well informed.
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AVVO RATING 9.3 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Attorney
  • Legacy Estate Planning, LLC
  • 2000 - Present
  • Managing Attorney
  • Stephen M. Waltar, PS
  • 2000 - Present
  • Weekly Radio Show Host of "Legacy Planning"
  • Legacy Estate Planning, LLC
  • 2016 - 2017


  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Master of Divinity
  • 1998
  • University of Puget Sound School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1993
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1984


  • Pro Law Firms (aka CLC) (employer benefit program)
  • 2016 - Present
  • American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Executive Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • East King County Estate Planning Council
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Client Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Academy Fellow
  • American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • 2017


  • CLE Coursebook
  • Grantor Trusts from Start to Finish
  • 2016
  • Book
  • Legacy Wealth Planning
  • 2012
  • American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Legacy Wealth Estate Planning Seminar
  • 2010
  • American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Smart Estate Planning In Washington
  • 2009
  • American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys & Stephen M. Waltar, PS
  • Legacy Wealth Planning Seminar
  • 2008
  • Book
  • Smart Estate Planning in Washington
  • 2008
  • Institute for Paralegal Education
  • Advanced Issues in Probate for the Paralegal in Washington
  • 1999
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Industry Update
  • 7 Costly Mistakes
  • 2016
  • Ruth's Chris
  • Wills and Trusts
  • 2010
  • Kirkland Marriott Courtyard
  • Legacy Wealth Estate Planning
  • 2010
  • Estate Planning for 2010 and Beyond
  • Legacy Estate Planning
  • 2010
  • Legacy Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • 2009
  • Estate Planning for Certified Financial Planners
  • Preparation for the CFP Exam
  • 2009
  • Why Most Estate Plans Don't Work
  • Estate Planning Myths
  • 2008
  • Estate Planning for Financial Planners
  • Estate Planning for CFPs
  • 2008
  • Advisors Continuing Education
  • Washington Overview of Probate and Trusts
  • 2008
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (10)
Given (4)
Endorse Stephen
Estate planning Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Other
"I was first introduced to Steve through the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. Subsequent to that I have had meetings with a financial planner with whom Steve has had mutual clients. The planner's experience with Steve is very similar to mine. Steve is well versed in estate planning and how to help clients determine what is most important to them and then how to best implement a plan that achieves the clients' goals. I have found Steve to be a sincere lawyer who truly wants the best for his clients. I recommend him to anyone looking for an estate planning lawyer in Washington state."
Estate planning Attorney | May 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stephen is a fellow member of the American Estate Planning Attorneys. His reputation with clients and knowledge of sophisticated estate planning stategies is unparalleled in his area."
Estate planning Attorney | Mar 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stephen Waltar is an exceptional attorney. His main practice areas are Estate Planning, and the preparation of Wills and Trusts. He has been an excellent resource for me and my practice, and I do not hesitate to refer him when the occasion arises."
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I know Steve through the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. Steve is extremely passionate about his work and an excellent attorney. I highly recommend him for any and all of your estate planning needs."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Stephen and I are both members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, which is a professional organization of highly trained attorneys practicing exclusively in estate planning law. We share ideas, experiences, and education with each other. Stephen is an excellant attorney and I would recommend him to any of my clients who needed estate planning work in the Seattle area."
Estate planning Attorney | Aug 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. They are an expert in the field of estate planning."
Estate planning Attorney | Aug 02
Relationship: Other
"Steve is a fellow member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and an extremely knowledgeable professional in the fields of estate planning and elder law. He is always helpful in sharing his expertise with other members of the Academy and has been recognized by his fellow attorneys for his efforts. He will provide excellent service to any client fortunate enough to retain him."
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. I have know Steve for many years through our common association with the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. Steve is experienced with a wealth of knowledge in the field of estate planning and elder law. His dedication and hard work makes him one of the premier estate planning attorneys in Bellevue, Wa."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. I have known Steve a number of years through the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. He is a dedicated professional and cares deeply for his clients. I would be very comfortbale referring a client to wokr with Steve."
Estate planning Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. I have known Steve for several years. We have collaborated on several estate planning issues. He is easy to talk to and an excellent estate planning attorney."
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