M. John Way


John Way takes taxes seriously. He brings a unique perspective to tax and estate planning law. Whether assisting businesses or individuals, he guides his clients through the labyrinth of federal and state tax regulations, estate and succession planning, business transitions, and trust issues. With a background as a litigator and corporate consultant, John approaches each client’s legal issue with the heart of an advocate and the mind of a businessman.

John advises private business owners throughout the entire business lifecycle from formation, operation and growth, through eventual transition out of the business, whether by sale, reorganization or liquidation. Tackling all phases of wealth preservation and estate planning, he creates customized strategies for the most complex situations. John also represents clients in their dealings with the IRS and state and local taxing authorities, including the Washington Department of Revenue.

John is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Washington’s School of Law, teaching in the Masters in Taxation program. He is the current Chair of the American Bar Association Real Property Trust and Estate Section's Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group, a Past President of the South Puget Sound Estate Planning Council, a Fellow with the American Bar Foundation and a former City Council Member.



  • Advises family offices and business owners regarding multi-generational estate, business succession and tax
  • Works with families to mitigate tax and business costs resulting from incomplete or ineffective planning post-death and resolve
  • Worked with successful business owner to establish basic estate planning immediately while creating and implementing a succession plan that is diversifying his estate while providing for the ongoing success of his
  • Advised business owner to obtain forensic accounting of records and valuation of company prior to going forward with certain management and financing agreements, successfully avoiding costly long-term involvement with predatory
  • Advised client regarding tax domicile and residency for income tax purposes, authored opinion letter finding substantial authority for establishment of domicile and residency in Washington, avoiding over $1 Million in Oregon tax.
  • Helped taxpayers with federal tax liability of over $1.5 Million reach settlement for $54,000.

Memberships & Awards


  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Section, Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Washington State Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Washington State Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trusts Section
  • Oregon State Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Uniform Laws Commission Study Committee on the Uniform Health Care Decision Act, American Bar Association Liaison
  • American Bar Foundation, Member
  • Estate Planning Council of Seattle, Member

Resources & Ideas

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Estate & Business Succession Planning – Two Sides of the Same Coin, Kitsap Estate Planning Council Annual Meeting
January 30, 2020

Tips for Successful Estate and Succession Planning for Farmers and Ranchers, Washington Dairy Farmers Annual Meeting
December 3, 2019

Estate & Succession Planning, Ties to the Land presentation in conjunction with WSU Forestry Extension
September 28, 2019  

Charitable Giving Strategies and Donor Advised Funds, Washington Planned Giving Council Annual Meeting
September 24, 2019

Charitable Giving Techniques in Estate Planning, Kitsap Estate Planning Council Annual Meeting
January 31, 2019

Successful Estate Planning Tips, Washington Cattlemen’s Organization Annual Meeting
November 8, 2018

Ties to the Land: Succession Planning for Landowners
August 11, 2018

Stop Living in a Fantasyland - Special Needs Planning Updates Attorneys Need to Know, American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trusts and Estate Section Spring Symposium
May 10, 2018 Orlando Florida

Construction Value: Avoiding Tax and Legal Missteps for Contractors 
September 20, 2017



  • WEBINAR REPLAY | Schwabe Aldrich Tax Update Webinar
    WEBINAR REPLAY | Schwabe Aldrich Tax Update Webinar
    February 25, 2021

Community Activities

Community Activities

  • University of Washington’s School of Law, Adjunct Professor (2015-2019)
  • South Puget Sound Estate Planning Council, Past President
  • Tumwater City Council, former member (2013-2014)




U.S. Tax Court

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Illinois State Courts

Oregon State Courts

Washington State Courts

Outside The Office