Kari Brotherton

Kari Brotherton

Attorney and CPA


Kari Brotherton is the Chair of Ryan Swanson’s Estate Planning & Probate Practice Group. As an attorney and a CPA, Kari’s practice focuses primarily on estate and tax planning. She helps prepare standard estate planning documents for a broad range of clients, including Wills, durable powers of attorney, health care directives and revocable living trusts. Kari also provides comprehensive wealth and estate tax planning services, including the use of tax-saving trusts, limited liability companies and charitable organizations.

Kari’s estate administration experience includes assisting those tasked with administering the estates of loved ones. Estate administration in Washington State includes court-supervised and non-intervention probate, as well as non-probate administration, including under Revocable Living Trusts. She prepares income tax returns for a decedent, his or her estate, and any trusts established. Kari also prepares gift tax returns and federal and state estate tax returns.

Kari’s work in the business department includes business planning and advice, including starting and restructuring businesses, business transactions, succession planning, and compensation planning; tax research and problem solving; reviewing accounting records and advising on various tax matters; and advising on corporate governance for profit and nonprofit corporations. Kari also helps form nonprofit organizations and assists them in applying for tax exempt status.


  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Idaho State Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants (WSCPA)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants (AAA-CPA)
Honors & Awards
  • Named to Washington Rising Star® list (2017)


Kari was born in Walla Walla, Washington. She moved to Seattle in 1984, spent time in Pullman and Spokane, and moved back to Seattle in 1999. Prior to joining Ryan Swanson, Kari worked in a CPA firm and as CFO of her family’s automotive business. Both careers provided her with extensive experience in a myriad of issues that are raised with closely held businesses and succession planning. Kari’s work in a number of family transactions also provided the catalyst for her career in estate planning.

She lives in Magnolia, a community that she loves and has become deeply connected to. Kari enjoys spending time with her daughter as well as with her family and friends.