An attorney who takes care of business

Dan Cadagan helps clients arrange their affairs so that they may focus on their own work and families with the least amount of legal worries, confident that what they are working so hard to build will not be lost or taken. Services provided may include:

  • Estate planning
    • Wills
    • Living trusts
    • Testamentary trusts
    • Powers of attorney
    • Healthcare directives
    • Living wills
    • Community property agreements
  • Retirement planning
  • Probates
  • Generation transitions
  • "C" Corporations
  • "S" Corporations
  • Agriculture
  • Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
  • Commercial transactions
    • Leases
    • Sales
    • Contracts
About Dan Cadagan III Dan Cadagan

Dan J. Cadagan III is a native of Spokane, Wash. His law practice emphasizes agricultural law, small businesses, and estate planning, with related corporate, commercial, real estate and probate matters. Most of his clients are family farms and ranches, although his largest single client is a multi-million dollar software company.

He started slopping hogs and cleaning chicken coops at the age of eleven, and got through college and graduate school working for a wheat-pea-barley outfit near Walla Walla, Wash.

Dan has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Washington (1971), a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University (1974) and his law degree is from Gonzaga University School of Law (1986). He was admitted to bar in 1986, Washington, U.S. District Court (E. WA), and U.S. Claims Court, and is a Member of the Spokane County, Washington State and American Bar Associations. [Lieutenant, USNR., 1971-1983, Vietnam combat veteran].

In addition to doing the legal work for several non-profit organizations, he has also sat on a number of local non-profit boards, including Planned Parenthood, Family-a-Fair, Spokane Downtown Rotary, and the Inland Northwest Land Trust. Dan was chairman of the Spokane Downtown Rotary Club's construction of the Rotary Riverfront Fountain in downtown Spokane's Riverfront Park.

Professional: Dan is an accomplished attorney who has been involved in the business community for 35 years. He is a member of the Spokane Rotary Club 21, and was a member of the Exchange Club while living in Walla Walla, Wash.

Experienced: Dan has been practicing law for more than 25 years. While he no longer handles litigation matters, he has appeared before judges in Spokane, Whitman, Lincoln, Adams, Grant and Douglas counties.

Trustworthy: Dan coordinated with contractors, an artist, and the City of Spokane to build the Rotary Riverfront Fountain in Spokane's Riverfront Park. He also helped raise over $1M for the construction and placement of the Fountain.


Current Position

1997 – Present: Attorney, Solo Practice; Spokane, Washington

Previous Legal Positions

1996 – 1997: LineSoft Corporation; CEO / In-House Counsel; Spokane, Washington

1995 – 1996: Lukins & Annis, P.S.; Senior Associate; Spokane, Washington

1984 -1995: Underwood, Campbell, Brock & Cerutti, P.S.; Intern, Associate, Partner; Spokane, Davenport, Sprague, St. John, Wilbur, Ritzville, Washington.

Admitted To Practice

Washington State, 1986; U.S. District Court (Eastern WA), 1987; U.S. Claims Court, 1986.

Professional Memberships

American Bar; Washington State Bar, and Spokane County Bar Associations

Areas of Law Emphasized

Agricultural and Commercial Closely Held Businesses; Estate Planning & Probate


Juris Doctorate: 1986, Gonzaga University School of Law.

Master of Arts: 1974, Agricultural Economics, Washington State University.

Bachelor of Arts: 1971, Economics, University of Washington.


Environmental Impact Statement, Economic Development Impact of An Expanded Wine Grape Industry in Washington, (with others) Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 1974.

Supply Response in the U.S. Concord Grape Industry, 1974.

Article -- September 26, 2014


By Dan J. Cadagan III

Besides a Will and Power of Attorney, more and more estate planning clients want to discuss, and sign, an "Advance Directive". An Advance Directive is a person's statement, signed when they are mentally competent to make such decisions, of what kinds of "life sustaining procedures" they wish to have used, continued, withheld or withdrawn in the event they might ever go into a "terminal" or "permanent unconscious" condition such that the only way to keep them alive is by artificial means. In Washington, an Advance Directive is referred to as a "Health Care Directive" ("HCD"), and a specific form is set out in the statutes [RCW 70.122.030(1)]. Before some changes were made in the state law it was called a "Directive to Physicians", and before that, a "Living Will". In many other states it is still referred to as a "Living Will". Washington residents who signed a "Living Will" or a "Directive to Physicians" should consider updating it to make sure it complies with the current Washington law.

These days medical science seems to be able to keep even "brain dead" individuals alive almost indefinitely. While many people have a religious or other personal aversion to authorizing someone else, even a spouse, the right to order termination of life support, many others find the concept of being a terminal "vegetable" equally, if not more abhorrent; not only for what it might do to the finances of the family, but also because they do not want to prolong the emotional trauma to family and friends. The purpose of an Advance Directive, by whatever name, is to give the family, and the medical team, directions on how they are to proceed in such a situation.

The Washington statute defines "terminal condition" as, "an incurable and irreversible condition caused by injury, disease, or illness, that would within reasonable medical judgment cause death within a reasonable period of time in accordance with accepted medical standards, and where the application of life-sustaining treatment would serve only to prolong the process of dying." It defines a "permanent unconscious condition", as "an incurable and irreversible condition in which [the patient is] medically assessed within reasonable medical judgment as having no reasonable probability of recovery from an irreversible coma or a persistent vegetative state." Washington law specifically states that the termination of "life-sustaining treatment" doesn't stop the administration of medication to relieve pain. Furthermore, the HCD form set forth in the statute allows the signer the choice of whether or not to continue Nasogastric tube feeding and hydration.

While the statute states that a HCD may include other specific directions, it does not provide any details about what kind of directions may or may not be allowed. As such it is not clear whether directives would be acceptable as to the use, withholding or withdrawal of such techniques as electrical or mechanical resuscitation, mechanical respiration, or a directive as to the use of tissues or organs for transplanting. Nor does the HCD form have any provisions as to naming person(s) that are to have the authority to make other medical decisions for the patient. As such, I suggest my clients should also have a "Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care" [DPA/HC].

Many estate planning lawyers still also prepare a document called a "Living Will" for their clients, in addition to the HCD, for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is somewhat of an abbreviated combination of the HCD and DPA/HC, so it not only states the client's preferences for 'pulling the plug', and other directives, but in the same document also names whom they have designated to make other medical decisions for them if they can't. Also, because so many other states still use the term "Living Will" for their "Advance Directives", if there is a problem in one of those states and a hospital there is looking for a document with the title they are used to, providing one entitled "Living Will" may get the process going more quickly. A "Living Will" is also a better place than a Will to give directives regarding funeral, burial or cremation arrangements because, very often, the Will may not be looked at, or even found, until after the family has already had the 'service'.

Health Care Directives and "Living Wills" are generally quite inexpensive; especially considering the money and anguish they might save the family later. At least the family will KNOW what the patient's wishes were, one way or the other.

DISCLAIMER: The material in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This article represents the opinion of the author only as to the general nature of the subject matter covered. It may not be construed as providing legal advice for any personal situation, or as constituting any attorney - client privilege. The author does not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance on the information provided. For personal application the reader needs to contact their own competent legal counsel.