New Laws in Effect for 2017: Social Media After Death

As of January 1, a new law is in place allowing certain fiduciaries to have limited access to a person’s online user accounts. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act addresses access to digital data when a user dies or is incapacitated.  The Act allows a fiduciary, such as a personal representative, trustee, or conservator, to access certain content and p...
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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...
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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...
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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If you had a will in place and then got married, your will may have been revoked!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...
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ICYMI: What is a Conservator?

A conservator is an adult appointed by the court to handle the financial affairs and property owned by another person because that person is unable to do so.  Reasons for a conservator to be appointed may be that someone is a minor, has a mental illness, has a disability, or suffers chronic intoxication. A conservator may be appointed for a child or for an adult.  Common sit...
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ICYMI: What is a Guardian?

A guardian, in the simplest terms, is an adult who is appointed by the court to care for and/or make important decisions for someone else.  Guardians can be appointed for children and for adults who are unable to handle their own affairs. A guardian for a minor child (an unmarried person under the age of 18) has the responsibilities of a custodial parent, except that the gua...
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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

What is a Conservator?

A conservator is an adult appointed by the court to handle the financial affairs and property owned by another person because that person is unable to do so.  Reasons for a conservator to be appointed may be that someone is a minor, has a mental illness, has a disability, or suffers chronic intoxication. A conservator may be appointed for a child or for an adult.  Common sit...
Read More

What is a Guardian?

A guardian, in the simplest terms, is an adult who is appointed by the court to care for and/or make important decisions for someone else.  Guardians can be appointed for children and for adults who are unable to handle their own affairs. A guardian for a minor child (an unmarried person under the age of 18) has the responsibilities of a custodial parent, except that the gua...
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Estate Plan Tip: Leave a List of Electronic Accounts and Password Information

The next five blog posts will focus on estate plan tips that may complement traditional estate plan documents and address important topics that they are not meant to include. Estate planning documents, such as a will, trust, healthcare directive, and power of attorney, all have legal significance.  However, these documents may be supplemented by other documents to help your ...
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Power of Attorney – Immediately Effective or “Springing”

A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing someone to act in your place for financial, business, legal and/or private affairs.  You, as the “grantor”, execute a power of attorney appointing an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.”  A power of attorney can be limited to certain powers, such as real estate and business transactions, or be quite expansive to include day-to-day f...
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Picking an Agent for Your Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing someone to act in your place for financial, business, legal and/or private affairs.  You, as the “grantor”, execute a power of attorney appointing an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.”  A power of attorney can be limited to certain powers, such as real estate and business transactions, or be quite expansive to include day-to-day f...
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Estate Planning Basics

The estate planning process helps people plan for a variety of scenarios to make their wishes known when they may be unable to direct their own care or financial matters, or after they have died. Many people think that estate planning only involves making a will and only becomes necessary after death.  However, a comprehensive estate plan can also include planning for your h...
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Elderly Family Members and Competency Concerns for Estate Planning

It is not unusual to have adult children contact an attorney in order to line up estate planning for their parents.  They do this for many reasons – concern about helping their parents as their health declines, wanting to make sure a plan is in place to reduce family drama when a parent passes away, or simply to ensure that a parent’s wishes are followed. When working with a...
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Year End Estate Plan Review

As 2015 draws to a close, it is a perfect time to review your estate plan (or get one in place)!  An easy place to start is to evaluate whether updates may be needed due to changes in family and financial status. Some starting questions to consider: Family Changes: Have you gotten married or divorced in the past year? Did you have additional children (through birth ...
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You (Finally) Called an Attorney to Create an Estate Plan – Now What?

It is very common for estate planning attorneys to get calls from people who have been meaning to get their estate plan together for quite some time.  I often meet with parents of young children, who have been thinking about getting documents in order since they knew they were pregnant, but are now getting around to it when their kiddo (or kiddos) are toddlers or older.  It is ...
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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...
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Key Terms in Estate Planning

Legal terms can often be confusing to people who are unfamiliar with “legalese.”  For people tackling estate planning for the first time (or even for the second or third time), it can be difficult to understand which terms are interchangeable and what each term means. A helpful outline of commonly used terms is: Agent Person who is authorized to act for another; ofte...
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