M. John Way


John brings a unique perspective to tax and estate planning law.  With a background working as Assistant Public Defender and later as a consultant in the corporate world, John approaches each client’s legal issue with the heart of an advocate and the mind of a businessman.

He 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 Special ‎Needs Trust Committee of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trusts ‎and Estates Section, a Past President of the South Puget Sound Estate Planning ‎Council, a Fellow with the American Bar Foundation and a former City Council ‎Member.



  • 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 business.
  • 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 partners.
  • 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 income tax.  
  • Helped taxpayers with federal tax liability of over $1.5 Million reach settlement for $54,000.

Memberships & Awards


  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Section, Chair of Special Needs Trust Committee 

Resources & Ideas

Community Activities

Community Activities

  • University of Washington’s School of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • South Puget Sound Estate Planning Council, Past President
  • City Council, former member




Illinois State Courts
Oregon State Courts
Washington State Courts

Outside The Office