Be Nice to Someone – That Will Make It Easier to Be Nice to Them Again

Ben Franklin famously said that, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”  This statement reflects the Ben Franklin effect – the idea that you are more likely to do a favor in the future for someone who you have done a favor for in the past, even more so than if they had done a favor for you. When bo...
Read More

Work-Life Balance

We look at other people and see them having it all and we wonder how they do it.  You see the parents who go to every school play, but also have very successful careers – how do they balance all of that?  Is work-life balance possible – or will one thing always require more time, effort, etc. than the other?  Are there tips and tricks you can do to help you achieve a better bal...
Read More

Sidestepping Family Drama This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving next week, family gatherings for the holiday season are about to be in full swing.  If your holidays are less Norman Rockwell and more Clark Griswold, you aren’t alone.  A psychologist who has studied family relationships found that 75% of his sample population reported at least one family member who drove them crazy and, chances are, you have someone in your ...
Read More

Grieving Outlasts Condolences

Anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one knows that the grieving process can be a tricky thing.  Grief can ebb and flow with little rhyme or reason. What people may not realize is that the loss of a loved one, and the personal ramifications, can last for years after the actual death.  In addition to the loss of the person, there is also often a loss of the support sys...
Read More

ICYMI: Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys – Trying to Keep Perspective

Not my circus, not my monkeys is often attributed as a Polish proverb.  I don’t know whether that is true or not, but I do know that I repeat that phrase in my head multiple times a day (especially on the hard days). When you are working with people in difficult and sensitive circumstances, it is very easy to fall into mirroring their emotions and getting caught up in their ...
Read More

What is a Sweetheart Will?

Romantic partners, particularly married couples, often engage in estate planning together with a common set of goals in mind.  A major goal is almost always to make sure that a surviving spouse is taken care of financially when the first spouse passes away. A “sweetheart will” describes a will where a person leaves all of their assets outright to their spouse.  After one spo...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

“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 –...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

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...
Read More

ICYMI: Creating a Safety Plan

When people are in violent 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 for vi...
Read More

ICYMI: Cohabitation Basics for Couples Who Live Together, but Aren’t Married

Romantic partners are living together all the time these days without getting married (and even without the intention of ever getting married).  There are important considerations to keep in mind when you make the decision to live with someone else, especially when you are romantically involved. Some people choose to enter into cohabitation agreements.  A cohabitation agreem...
Read More

ICYMI: Committed, but Not Married – Estate Planning Tips

Committed couples who are not legally married have a number of estate planning considerations to plan for if they want their partner to inherit from them, as well as handle their medical and financial affairs in the case of incapacity.  It is not uncommon for people to assume that their partner of many years will automatically be able to step into important roles, as well as in...
Read More

ICYMI: Newly Married? Better Revisit Your Estate Plan

If you had a will in place and then got married, your will may have been revoked!  If this is the case, your property will pass as if you had no will. In Oregon, with a few exceptions, a marriage revokes any prior wills.  The only exceptions are 1) if the will evidences intent that it not be revoked by a subsequent marriage or that it was drafted in contemplation of marriage...
Read More

Cohabitation Basics for Couples Who Live Together, but Aren’t Married

Romantic partners are living together all the time these days without getting married (and even without the intention of ever getting married).  There are important considerations to keep in mind when you make the decision to live with someone else, especially when you are romantically involved. Some people choose to enter into cohabitation agreements.  A cohabitation agreem...
Read More

Committed, but Not Married – Estate Planning Tips

Committed couples who are not legally married have a number of estate planning considerations to plan for if they want their partner to inherit from them, as well as handle their medical and financial affairs in the case of incapacity.  It is not uncommon for people to assume that their partner of many years will automatically be able to step into important roles, as well as in...
Read More

Newly Married? Better Revisit Your Estate Plan

If you had a will in place and then got married, your will may have been revoked!  If this is the case, your property will pass as if you had no will. In Oregon, with a few exceptions, a marriage revokes any prior wills.  The only exceptions are 1) if the will evidences intent that it not be revoked by a subsequent marriage or that it was drafted in contemplation of marriage...
Read More