Protecting Your Children and Their Inheritance

When a person passes away and their minor children inherit assets, the children are not simply handed the money.  They are legally not old enough to handle it.  So, the court appoints a “conservator” or “guardian of the estate” to manage the child’s assets.  The conservator pays a lawyer to handle the affairs of the […]

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Cremation? Burial? Who Makes the Call?

Do you want to be buried?  Where?  Have you already paid for a burial plan?  Do you want to be cremated?  Do you want your ashes buried in a specific place?  Kept?  Scattered?  Or do you want your body donated to science? There is a lot that you can say about what happens to your […]

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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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Plan to Make Your Wishes Legally Enforceable

“In his Will, he left me enough money to pay for his tombstone.  Ha.  And I had him buried at sea.” – Scrooge, Mickey’s Christmas Carol Why ask someone else to fulfill your wishes when you can do it yourself through your estate plan? It is a common estate planning error to leave money to […]

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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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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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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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Divorce, Part 2 of 7: Divorce Guts Your Will or Trust

If you’re like most married people, your spouse was the key to your estate plan.  You nominated your spouse to be your personal representative (the person who carries out your Will with the court).  You also left everything (or almost everything) to your spouse. In Oregon or Washington, your divorce automatically invalidates the provisions in […]

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