Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys
Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys

staff

Phillip R. George

Elder Law Attorney

Phil is a true son of the Pacific Northwest and understands the needs of Washington families. Phil spent his younger years in logging communities in western Washington and southeast Alaska, the son of a log scaler and a fifth-grade teacher.

After graduating High School in Everett (Go Seagulls!) Phil received his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University and began working at the Boeing facility in Everett as an Industrial Engineer. Several years passed, and Phil found himself in a position to follow his dreams and become a lawyer.

In 2011 he left Boeing and enrolled at the University of Washington School of Law. While at the University of Washington, Phil began working for one of the leading Elder Law attorneys in the state. After learning and mentoring for several years, Phil decided it was time to come home to Whatcom County and help folks avoid the pitfalls of standard retirement planning. Phil and his wife live in Bellingham and had their first child, Harrison, in 2021 and welcomed their second, Grace, in 2023.

When he is not in the office, you can find Phil and his wife, along with their two children and chocolate lab, Augustus, golfing, fishing, hiking, and enjoying all that western Washington has to offer.

Elisa George

Managing Director

As the Managing Director, Elisa oversees all business operations including Human Resources, Business Development, and Community Relations.  With almost 2 decades of experience working at Marriott hotels in General Manager, and other management roles, Elisa brings highly refined leadership skills to the firm.  When the pandemic impacted the hotel industry, it allowed Elisa the opportunity to shift gears and support Phil in creating and growing Safe Harbor Legal Solutions.

Elisa was born and raised in Washington and is an alumnus of WWU.  When she and Phil first met, they were both living in the Seattle area but connected on their love for Bellingham and desire to return to this great community.  They dreamed of building a family and growing a business, and almost 10 years ago took a leap of faith and made the move back “home”.  Now with 2 small children and a growing business, they are living out their dreams of being a family focused business run by family!

Sheila Spelger

Office Manager

Sheila’s return to our team is warmly welcomed, especially considering her previous experience working alongside Phil in Elder Law & Estate Planning. We consider ourselves fortunate to welcome her back as she brings a wealth of excitement and expertise to our business operations and growth. Before rejoining us, Sheila served as an Executive Assistant to the Tax Director and Line of Business Leaders at Larson Gross (2020-2023). She is an alumna of North Seattle Community College and Gene Juarez Academy & Advanced Training Salon.

Apart from her professional pursuits, Sheila takes pride in founding the award-winning photography company, Sheila Carson Photography, established in 2009. She is also a devoted mother to two adult children, three cats, and a dog. Her daughter recently graduated from Whatcom Community College, while her son is currently serving in the US Coast Guard. Outside of work and family commitments, Sheila indulges in her passions for hiking, camping, and embarking on road trips with friends and family.

Celina Tate

Paralegal

Celina has worked for large companies and small nonprofit organizations, in creative capacities as well as administrative and coordinator roles. She holds a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Paralegal Studies from Whatcom Community College. She began her paralegal career in the field of immigration law, which was a sensible fit, having herself gone through the process of immigrating to the U.S. from Canada several years ago. Now, at Safe Harbor, she has found another great fit, doing what she loves – helping people through processes which may seem daunting but can be simplified with guidance and accompaniment. She also loves using a good spreadsheet or infographic to help illustrate processes and track progress. Her focus is on probate, property transfers, and long-term care.

She wishes she could fit the Bellingham mold and say she spends all her free time kayaking, hiking, and running in the mountains with her dog, but she doesn’t actually have a dog. You’re more likely to find her at home in her kitchen, laughing with her kids, on a long walk with an audiobook, or engaged in passionate conversation with friends about how to better the world. But if you invite her on a hike, she’ll totally say yes!

Cynthia Rodriguez

Paralegal

Cynthia’s professional journey began with a brief but impactful employment opportunity at a senior care center, where she discovered her affinity for working with the elderly. This experience instilled in her a sense of compassion and desire to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Following this realization, she transitioned to working for an estate planning attorney, where she spent the next two years learning about estate planning and the probate process.

She is currently pursuing paralegal studies at Whatcom Community College. Outside of her academic and professional schedule, she is an avid outdoor enthusiast. You can often find her exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest through activities such as hiking, kayaking, playing tennis and disc golf. She also enjoys practicing yoga to maintain balance and mindfulness in both her personal and professional life.

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