Oregon Adding Non-Binary Option to Licenses and Identification Cards

Starting in July, Oregonians who would like to have a non-binary gender option on their official identification cards and driver's licenses will be able to make the switch.  Oregon is the first state in the nation to allow residents to identify their gender as "X," rather than "M" or "F." The change stems from a court ruling last year that recognized someone as non-binary an...
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ICYMI: After A Loved One’s Death – Watch Out For Scams

Very Tall Trees
Scammers are out there and even death isn’t enough to keep some slimy individuals from trying to make a quick buck.  If a loved one recently died, it is important to remain vigilant to guard their identity, protect against unfounded claims, and even protect their home.  Even though your family is grieving, it is important to remember that there are some criminals who prey on th...
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ICYMI: Finding Long Lost Relatives And Friends

Changes in the season and holidays can often be a reminder of people who are no longer part of your circle – not just people who have passed away, but also family and friends who have fallen out of touch for a wide variety of reason.  Maybe someone moved away, maybe there was an argument that had lasting effects, maybe time and distance just got in the way, or maybe you are try...
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Safety Planning 101

Woman holding a sparkler
When people are in violent and/or abusive relationships, it may seem impossible to leave.  Besides fearing for their own safety, people often fear for their kids, loved ones, pets, etc.  For some people, developing a safety plan can be helpful.  A safety plan can help someone consider strategies and plans for staying safe. Comprehensive safety plans include considerations fo...
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ICYMI: 5 Things to Consider for a “Successful” Break Up

Everyone has been involved in a break-up.  Maybe it wasn’t even yours – you may have been pulled into the drama of the demise of a family member or friend’s relationship – but everyone can put themselves in the shoes of someone whose relationship is ending.  Chances are you even know people whose break-ups you have admired – they seem to maintain their cool, keep things togethe...
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Tackling Technical Difficulties

Technology is the best… and the worst.  It makes communication easier, but also reduces face-to-face interaction and nuance.  It makes it easy to share documents and information, but also limits learning how to figure things out on your own. Last week I had a technical issue that made my heart drop to the floor.  I was talking with someone who said they sent me an e-mail – w...
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Estate Planning in Pop Culture News

While most of us aren’t rich and famous, we often hear about those who are and what happens when they pass away.  As these stories can attest, sometimes being rich famous doesn’t mean you have all your ducks in a row: Prince: Prince died unexpectedly over a year ago and no will or estate planning documents have surfaced.  The “Purple Rain” singer was famous for his control o...
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First Mother’s Day for a New Mom

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day as a mom, which is kind of weird to consider.  My daughter is a bustling 8 ½-month-old who is active and on the move, so I don’t get a lot of down time to consider the fact that I’m a mom too deeply. That being said, I do have a few reflections as my first Mother’s Day has come (and now gone): I can’t sleep. Is that the baby moving?  ...
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“You’re such a good dad.”

I am not proud of it, but I have to take a deep breath every time someone compliments my husband on being a “good dad” to our daughter.  First, let me be clear that he is a good dad.  In fact, he’s a great dad – engaged, diaper changing, swim class attending, interactive, stroller pushing, awesome all around dad. But… that’s what he’s supposed to be.  After all, he’s a dad –...
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Balancing Legal Work with Parenting

As anyone who has had a baby knows, expectations that are put on parents can be overwhelming and exhausting.  In particular, parents who work face a number of hurdles in trying to balance their work life with their home life. The legal industry can be particularly unwelcoming to parents, particularly moms.  This is a little shocking considering that women make up roughly hal...
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Charitable Giving as Part of Your Estate Plan

Many people donate to charity each year, but fewer make arrangements to donate to charity as part of their estate plan.  If you are interested in making a gift, whether big or small, to a charity, there are a number of ways you can support your favorite causes. Make gifts throughout your lifetime. While you are alive, you can support causes you believe in and make donation...
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Lawyer Trust Accounts

Lawyer Trust Accounts, sometimes also called Client Trust Accounts, are used by lawyers to hold client payments and retainer funds that are provided in advance of work being performed. Attorneys hold unearned client funds in such accounts.  The funds remain in that account until work on a matter is invoiced (or, in some cases, a matter is completed entirely).  Attorneys cann...
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ICYMI: How to Find Low Cost Legal Services

I get asked all the time if I am taking pro bono (aka free) or reduced-fee cases.  With the economy still bouncing back and with people in all economic ranges needed legal assistance, the demand for low-cost legal services is high and there is an urgent need that needs to be filled. While I do take pro bono and reduced-fee cases from time to time, I, like most attorneys, can...
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ICYMI: Four Easy Starting Points to Finding an Attorney

When a matter arises and you need to consult with an attorney, how are you supposed to find one that meets your needs?  With a few easy steps, you can start to narrow down the field: Do you have work benefits that include discounted legal services? If you don’t know, check with your Human Resources Department.  If you have access to some kind of legal employee assistance p...
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What the Courts Can and Can’t Do For You in Family Law

Emotions are often running high and feelings are raw and exposed when relationships are being dissolved.  Oftentimes one or both of the parties may feel that they have been treated badly and wronged in some kind of way.  Maybe someone lied or cheated, maybe someone feels betrayed, maybe hurts have been tracked over a long period of time and both people have irreparably thrown a...
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When The Small Stuff Is The Emotional Big Stuff

An issue that often arises in both family law and estate law contexts is what to do with a personal property upon the demise of a relationship or the death of the owner.  Tangible items, whether valuable in a monetary sense or not, often have emotional value and can often become symbols of greater family conflicts. When a relationship ends, it is often necessary for the part...
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ICYMI: Neighbors Driving You Nuts? Try Community Mediation!

As the weather warms up and people start heading outdoors, neighborhood interactions increase, which means that friction can also occur.  Whether it’s your neighbor’s barking dog, a fallen fence, or noise issues, it is common for disputes to arise. For people interested in addressing these issues through a neutral and low-cost (even free) forum, community mediation providers...
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Tax Reminder!

The tax deadline is swiftly approaching!  If you are overwhelmed at the thought of tackling your returns, here are some (free) resources to help you file your returns on time: City of Beaverton Tax Assistance Program – Offers free tax preparation and filing assistance to low-income Beaverton residents. Review their website to get hours, location details, and information on...
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ICYMI: One Simple Step to Start Your Estate Plan

Thinking about crafting an estate plan, or revising one you currently have, can be daunting and overwhelming.  If you aren’t ready to tackle the whole process, there is a simple step you can take on your own that can yield big benefits for your beneficiaries.  All it takes is a little legwork on your end, costs you nothing, and can ensure that the people you want to inherit you...
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