An Introduction to Oregon Estate and Elder Law

An Introduction to Oregon Estate and Elder Law

Oregon Estate and Elder Law was established in 2018 to assist families and seniors in Oregon with legal issues that arise with age or disability. Because Oregon Estate and Elder focuses on clients with different needs than Collier Law’s clients, a separate business was created. However, both businesses have the same attorneys and staff and share a desire to navigate clients through the estate planning process and its complexities.

Oregon Estate and Elder Law’s attorneys provide legal assistance and representation to help our clients properly plan for the devastating long-term care costs of a nursing home. The legal assistance includes irrevocable trust planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans benefits planning, special needs trust planning, and disability planning. We meet with families to explain, protect, and plan for various government benefits including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and VA Pension benefits.

In comparison, Collier Law and its staff focus on helping clients create a comprehensive estate plan and to administer that plan once it goes into effect. A typical estate plan includes a Revocable Living Trust or Last Will and Testament to direct who will receive your assets and savings upon your death. The estate plan also includes important supporting documents like a Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Directive of Health Care, HIPAA Release, and Disposition of Remains. The plan can also include tools to reduce income and estate taxes, provide for a smooth transition of a business, and support minor children.

When someone passes away, there is a process to transfer their savings and assets to their loved ones. A Last Will and Testament requires probate, which is a court-supervised process to appoint a personal representative of the estate to transfer property to the beneficiaries or heirs after the payment of the decedent’s debts. Most probate courts in Oregon will not allow a person to move forward without an attorney because the process is too complicated. Probate is also required for those who did not create a Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust, and Oregon law will dictate who receives the decedent’s assets.

A properly established Revocable Living Trust avoids probate after death. The individual who creates the Revocable Living Trust transfers personal and real property to the trust during their lifetime. The person who is responsible for managing those assets upon the death of the trust’s creator, and ultimately distributing property to the trust’s beneficiaries, is called the successor trustee. The successor trustee must follow strict guidelines set forth in the trust document and Oregon law.

Collier Law represents both personal representative and successor trustees. Our staff helps interpret the language and provisions of a Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust, and assists clients manage assets, resolve creditor claims, and distribute property in accordance with Oregon probate and trust law.

Our staff is enthusiastic about the addition of new practices areas and the ability to better serve families and seniors in our community. In 2018, we also opened a new office in Lake Oswego. The Lake Oswego office improves both businesses’ ability to serve our clients throughout Oregon and the Willamette Valley.

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