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Foundational Estate Planning

The main goal our clients typically wish to achieve can be summed up as follows:

I want to control my property while I am alive, take care of myself and my loved ones if I become disabled, and ultimately give what I have to whom I want, the way I want, and when I want.

Furthermore, I want to save every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost legally possible.

Developing a Revocable Living Trust-Centered Estate Plan

Our office recommends Revocable Living Trusts as the cornerstone of most all foundational estate plans. A revocable living trust is a written agreement designating someone to be responsible for managing your property, It's called a living trust because it's established while you're alive. It's "revocable" because, as long as you're mentally competent, you can change or dissolve the trust at any time at your own discretion for any reason.


What does the Revocable Living Trust-Centered Estate Plan Accomplish?


  • Manage the risks in case of incapacity - minimizing the uncertainty for your family by providing clarity and precise instructions how to handle your affairs.

  • Delegate health care decisions - premptively taking control and informing loved ones how you want to handle health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable.

  • Provide for the needs of  your surviving spouse - create a plan for your spouse's future financial security through careful financial and asset protection planning.

  • Provide liquidity at death - while Probate can take 6 to 12 months to complete, during which your assets are tied up in the process (illiquid), a properly funded trust can provide immediate access to these assets to the beneficiaries. 

  • Fulfill charitable intentions

  • Promote family harmony - make sure that the battles you often hear about when someone passes away don't occur.

  • Plan for children, including those with special needs - prevent courts control of minor's assets, establishing a familial or professional trustee instead, and creatively plan for special needs children in a manner that does not disqualify them for State assistance and programs.

  • Protect assets from creditors for generations to come - during the planning process you have more control than your heirs from providing maximum protection from any creditor claims to their inheritance (also in cases of divorce).


The Foundational Estate Plan Includes:


  • Revocable Living Trust. This is the cornerstone for your foundational plan. Property is transferred to the Revocable Living Trust during your life, allowing you to continue to manage that property, while at the same time identifying a trustee to take over control for the benefit of your children (or heirs) in the event of incapacity, disability, or death. Because the trust owns the property, probate is not necessary to transfer property after the client dies.

  • Pour-Over Will. A pour-over will is a legal document that decrees that any property outside of the living trust at death be transferred to the Revocable Living Trust.

  • Financial Power of Attorney. This document is a simple and reliable way to arrange for someone to manage your finances if you unable to make decisions for yourself.

  • Advanced Health Care Directive. An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to share your wishes with your health care team if you can’t speak for yourself. An Oregon advance directive allows you to (a) identify the person you want the health care team to work with in making decisions about your medical care, and (b) generally say what kinds of medical treatment you would or would not want.

  • HIPAA Authorization. The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Act allows an individual to name a personal agent who is to be treated as if they are the individual themselves, with respect to the rights regarding the use and disclosure of health information or other medical records. Generally speaking, I suggest that individuals have this document and name their spouse and all of their children so that these family members can communicate with doctors and nurses and find out how they are doing if they are ever hospitalized or in a long-term nursing facility.

We encourage you to call our office at (541) 632-4313 to set up a free Family Wealth Assessment Planning Session. You can also reach out to us here and we can send you information to get organized prior to us meeting.

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