Going to the Casino

Going to the Casino

When people go gambling with money that is not theirs, the results are rarely like the movies. The 1990s movie Empire Records was not well received by film critics. However, it has become a cult classic for fans. The movie starts with an employee of an independent music store taking money from the store safe […]

How You Can Take Charge of Your Estate Plan

How You Can Take Charge of Your Estate Plan

You may be working with an attorney to draft your estate plan, but the process is not entirely in their hands. In fact, much of what the attorney does depends on you. The attorney assists you by committing to paper the goals for your estate and how it is divided among your beneficiaries. Therefore, the […]

Going out with a Bang: Unforgettable Last Wishes

Going out with a Bang: Unforgettable Last Wishes

As you give thought to who you might want to give assets to on your passing, or where you would like to choose as your final resting place, here are a few fun examples to get you thinking: Becoming one with your work Sometimes passion for one’s work can become consuming. For Mark Gruenwald, that […]

Oregon Gives You Control Over Transfer of Digital Assets and Accounts

Oregon Gives You Control Over Transfer of Digital Assets and Accounts

So much of our business and personal lives is transacted online.  Our clients have serious concerns around how digital assets and accounts are managed after death.  You may be surprised that online service providers were not required to follow your directives after death or during your incapacity.  Who is in control: you or the online […]

Is it Time to Update My Estate Plan?

Is it Time to Update My Estate Plan?

There are many reasons to review and update your will and other estate planning documents. Below is a partial checklist of events that may prompt you to do so. Birth or Death. If a beneficiary, trustee, or personal representative named in your estate plan has died, your plan should be updated to remove the name. Otherwise […]

Preserving Family Harmony After a Death

Preserving Family Harmony After a Death

After eighteen years of helping families through probate and post death administration, I have seen many family feuds. These emotional and costly fights are rarely about big assets like retirement funds, investment accounts or real estate. Families fight about “stuff” – sentimental items, family heirlooms, jewelry, furniture, and art. Most of these items have little […]

Watch Out for the Capital Gains Tax

Watch Out for the Capital Gains Tax

It is assumed by most people that since the federal estate tax exemption was doubled in the tax bill passed late last year, many wealthy families would end up paying a lot less in taxes. However, it is not that simple. In fact, people who already created estate plans centered around the old estate tax […]

Are Your Heirs Ready?

Are Your Heirs Ready?

Everyone is aware that it is not a good idea to let minor children inherit a lot of wealth and leave them to manage it on their own. The money would likely be wasted, the children are at risk of exploitation, and the children might then lack any motivation to go to school and find […]

Probate and the Problem with Cryptocurrency

Probate and the Problem with Cryptocurrency

At the age of 21, Matthew Mellon, a member of the famous family of bankers, inherited $25 million through a trust created for his benefit. Illustrating the dangers of giving that much money to someone so young, Mellon developed costly habits, and passed away at the age of 54 on his way to rehab. If […]

Getting Organized

Getting Organized

Have you have ever needed to find a particular document but could not remember exactly where you put it? If the answer is yes, then you know how frustrating it can be to locate one piece out of a sea of documents. For example, if you need your birth certificate and the last time you […]

Reasons for Estate Planning

Reasons for Estate Planning

People who do not have estate plans often wonder why they should get one. People want to know what benefits they and their family can get by setting up an estate plan. In large part, this depends on individual circumstances. What assets a person has, how valuable those assets are, and who they should go […]

Generation Skipping Transfer Taxes

Generation Skipping Transfer Taxes

In part, the federal estate tax is designed to prevent wealth from accumulating within one family indefinitely. The idea is that as property passes down from succeeding generations in a family, the government will take a percentage of the property at each generation. People often avoid this tax with proper estate planning. One way to […]

Wills Go Through Probate for a Reason

Wills Go Through Probate for a Reason

When planning for their estates, many people consider whether it is better for them to get a will or a trust. Much of this consideration centers on the probate process because many people assume that wills and trusts do the same things. People may know that wills have to go through probate, while trusts do […]