Prince Doesn’t Name Heir; Civil War Ensues

“A source with firsthand knowledge of the discussions about Prince’s estate said the initial meeting between the siblings was contentious and ended in shouting.” Once again, a celebrity has passed away without an estate plan and disaster will ensue as Prince’s estate goes through probate, the court process of passing title to his heirs. http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/02/entertainment/prince-estate/index.html […]

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Doctors Die Differently

“‘Do everything you can for him, Doc’ is a phrase with far-reaching implications….  There comes a time for every person when his or her identity is gone, and the quality of life should be valued more than the mere presence of it.” A recent CNN article highlighted that 88.3% of doctors have stated in an […]

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Divorce, Part 5 of 7: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

A beneficiary designation is a way to cause an asset to pass to a beneficiary you’ve named.  The process for the beneficiary to claim this asset is much simpler and faster than probate.  Also, beneficiary designations are not usually affected by your Will. Divorce may prevent your ex-spouse from receiving your assets if you die.  […]

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Estate Planning = Control

We have all heard the “Serenity Prayer”:  “O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.” No one can look into a crystal ball and know what the future holds, but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless to […]

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Take Great Estate Planning Tips One Step Further

This recent article from The New York Times is full of great tips, and some of them can be taken one step further:  http://nyti.ms/1uF4AkS. It is usually best to keep everything related to your estate plan in one place.  Make sure that the people who are supposed to carry out your estate plan know where […]

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Divorce, Part 4 of 7: Update Your Advance Directive

Your Advance Directive (sometimes also called a Health Care Power of Attorney) is a document that gives the person you name (your “Agent”) legal authority to make your health care decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.  It may also state your wishes regarding end-of-life care (tube feeding and life support), organ […]

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Another Clever Idea for Ashes

The Bios Urn is a clever idea that is currently available out of Europe.  I’m sure that it will catch on in the US, at least in Oregon.  You select a tree variety or other plant and mix it with soil from the area in which it will be planted.  As the tree grows, its […]

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Diamonds Are Forever

Over my years as an estate planning lawyer, I’ve heard many individuals express creative wishes as to the disposition of their remains.  If someone decides that they wish to be cremated, naturally, the next question is what they want to happen with the ashes – the “cremains”.   Should they be kept in an urn, buried, […]

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An Estate Planning Lesson from Downton Abbey

***Spoiler Alert for Season 4, Episode 1*** If you’re a fan of the show Downton Abbey, you know how important estate planning can be.  The family employs a battalion of butlers and maids, but what they really need is an estate planning attorney.  The plot has demonstrated several instances of how an estate plan – […]

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Divorce, Part 3 of 7: Update Your Power of Attorney

Your Power of Attorney is a document that gives the person you name (your “Agent”) legal authority to deal with your assets. In Oregon, divorce does not automatically revoke an ex-spouse’s appointment as your Agent (it does in Washington).  It is very important to revoke your Power of Attorney and to sign a new one. […]

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