At Northwest Legal we have significant experience preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and other estate planning documents for individuals and families. We work closely with our clients to understand their goals and objectives for the future of their loved ones and their assets, then outline the various estate planning tools and options to best achieve their goals.
Estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; everyone should have a unique plan that is tailored to their specific needs. We provide personalized estate plans that accomplish the important goals of protecting inheritances for your heirs, minimizing estate taxes, avoiding the probate process where possible, and ensuring that your wishes are carried out when you are gone.
Our estate planning services also include assisting our clients with asset protection strategies such as tax credit shelter trusts and legal tax avoidance, as well as establishing special needs trusts. From a simple last will and testament to a comprehensive estate plan, and everything in between, a Eugene estate planning attorney can assist you.
Whatever the size of your estate, you need a written plan for what happens to your property after you are gone. Having a will or trust in place will bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones. We will help you determine which is right for you.
A will is a document in which you specify what is to be done with your property after you die. A trust is a legal agreement under which you grant control over property to a person or institution (the “trustee”) for the benefit of a third person (the “beneficiary”). A wills and trusts attorney can advise you of the different purposes and benefits of each option.
Estate planning is a lifelong and dynamic process, so we also assist our clients with updating their wills following major life events, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, new or growing business endeavors, or a substantial gift or inheritance.
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to give another person (an “agent”) the right to act on your behalf, as to financial decisions. A general power of attorney does not limit the power given to the agent while a specific power of attorney does. A “durable” power of attorney means that it does not have an end date. A durable power of attorney is useful because if you later become unable to handle your own business affairs, the agent simply takes over.
Also known as an advance directive or a living will, a medical directive is a document in which you set forth instructions as to your treatment preferences should you become unable to make healthcare decisions yourself. We can assist you with the preparation of an advance directive, including the appointment of a healthcare representative to act on your behalf.
Another important estate planning document is the HIPAA Authorization. HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was enacted by Congress to increase medical privacy for individuals. Every medical provider must have a written authorization to release medical records to anybody that is not the patient, including a spouse or other family members.
Sometimes known as a “bypass trust,” a credit shelter trust allows married couples to reduce or eliminate the Oregon Inheritance Tax, which taxes estate larger than $1 million. We can assist clients with setting up a credit shelter trust, which has the additional benefits of shielding funds in trust from creditors, protecting the children’s inheritance if the surviving spouse remarries, and avoiding administrative headaches.
The purpose of a special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, is to provide a means of additional support for a person receiving government assistance, without jeopardizing the benefits he or she is receiving. At Northwest Legal we are well-versed in Oregon’s special needs trust rules and can help you determine whether you or a loved one are eligible for such a trust, as well as whether it makes sense for you and your family.
We are experienced in strategies to help our clients reduce or avoid Oregon’s estate tax, including bypass trusts, lifetime giving, life insurance trusts, and leaving property to a surviving spouse or registered domestic partner.
In addition to important tax advantages, philanthropy benefits many individuals and families from both legacy and personal fulfillment perspectives. We can help you easily incorporate your philanthropic goals into your estate plan.
With offices based in Eugene, Oregon, Northwest Legal assists businesses, families, and individuals in Eugene-Springfield and throughout Oregon. We primarily serve communities in Lane, Benton, Linn, and Douglas Counties, including Albany, Corvallis, Florence, Oakridge and Roseburg, Oregon. For more information on our Oregon wills & trusts services, we welcome you to contact us at (541) 357-8417 or fill out our online contact form.