Blog

Estate Planning for Blended Families – Five Tips for Success

Estate planning for blended families can be quite challenging and can make spouses wish they had signed a premarital agreement to address these concerns prior to getting married. For example, if a woman with two children marries a wealthy man with two children of his...

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Are You Making These Four Common Estate Planning Mistakes?

Most estate planning mistakes tend to fall into one of several categories. Every estate plan has unique features, but the same problems and mistakes recur. Each of the classic mistakes is avoidable. With an awareness of some of the potential pitfalls, you can save...

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Legal Documents to Consider When Your Child Turns 18

A child’s 18th birthday is momentous. Your child can register to vote, serve on a jury, marry without parental consent, and own property without a named conservator. At 18, your child may also apply for a credit card and decide to spend spring break in Florida with...

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Gifts of Art to Museums and Other Nonprofits

The Portland Art Museum (“PAM”) has received about 90% of its art from individuals seeking to make a meaningful donation and to give back to their community. It’s impossible to walk through PAM without seeing contributions from many local families, starting with the...

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Four Things to Know if an Executor isn’t Doing Their Job

An executor of an estate is responsible for carrying out the wishes of a decedent, paying the bills, filing taxes, and distributing assets appropriately. The executor has a responsibility to do so in a timely manner and to act in the best interest of the...

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Estate Tax and Gift Tax Developments

The IRS recently announced the 2018 estate tax exemption and annual gift exclusion amounts, and both are rising due to inflation. As a background, the federal government imposes a tax at death of any US person who has at least $5,000,000, as adjusted for inflation. To...

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Beware of Unintended Consequences of Beneficiary Designations

A beneficiary designation is when you name a specific person to receive your assets when you pass away. Retirement accounts, annuities, life insurance, pay on death accounts, all require beneficiary designations. You make these designations outside of traditional...

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Oregon Estate Planning: The Basics

Basic Estate Planning Are you considering creating or updating your estate plan?  Here is some helpful information to help you understand the basics about estate plans. What is an Estate Plan? An estate plan is a set of documents that provide instructions regarding...

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Conservatorships vs. Guardianships: Learn the Basics

Who can serve as the guardian or conservator? A court will honor the protected person’s express wishes for who he or she would like to serve as guardian or conservator, if possible. Usually a family member will serve as guardian or conservator, but he or she must be...

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Care and Estate Planning for Alzheimer’s Patients

Originally published in the Portland Business Journal on March 14, 2016. Co-written with Tracy Morgan, executive director at the Alzheimer's Association's Oregon Chapter.  Since 1982, the Alzheimer's Association has invested more than $350 million in more than 2,300...

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Tax Law Lessons: The Drawbacks of GoFundMe Accounts

Originally published in the Portland Business Journal on August 24, 2016 On Oct. 1, 2015, Chris Mintz was shot seven times while trying to protect others from the gunman at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg The day after the shooting, his cousin set up a GoFundMe...

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Tax Law Lessons: Mark Zuckerberg’s Charitable Pledge

Originally published in the Portland Business Journal on March 11, 2016 Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has pledged to put 99 percent of his stock in Facebook toward advancing human potential and promoting equality. The value of his stock currently stands at...

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Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples: What You Need to Know

More Americans are not marrying, although some couples choose to live their lives together and remain unmarried. The decision to not marry can have some surprising, unexpected outcomes with regard to estate planning and inheritance considerations. Here are a few...

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What Happens to My Facebook Page if I Die?

Facebook is now making it easier for users to plan for their online afterlife. If a Facebook user passes away and does not provide Facebook with any instructions prior to death, the family of the decedent may contact Facebook and request that the account be deleted....

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Portland Estate Planning: Beneficiary Designations

People often will believe that their intent as expressed in their estate planning documents will govern all distributions made at their death. This is simply not true. As do-it-yourself estate planning becomes more common due to online forms, it is expected that...

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International Wills

This article is co-authored by Marisol Cordero-Goodman The validity of an international will has been the subject of much discussion and debate among Estate Planning Practitioners.  So much so that practitioners at several international conventions have discussed...

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