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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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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Organize Your Affairs With a Professional Organizer

My clients often are excited that they have organized their affairs and simplified things for their kids. I hope that consideration carries over to their homes. Every estate planning attorney has experienced difficult situations in which a personal representative (usually the decedent’s kid) has got to deal with a house that is overflowing with STUFF. […]

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Post-Death Status Updates?

I am constantly impressed by the new tools that technology provides.  Social media gives us an especially effective way to convey our affection for our loved ones or our congratulations for reaching a milestone.  Some of the tools discussed in this article take “reach out and touch someone” to a new level. http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/22/tech/social-media/death-and-social-media/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

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