Estate Planning Lawyer Near Me
Oregon Estate & Elder Law has offices in Lake Oswego and Salem. Our team of attorneys specializes in elder law and provides a variety of services including Medicaid eligibility, veteran benefits, and probate. Our estate planning attorneys can help you understand the planning options available and determine the plan that meets your and your family’s needs.
Estate Planning Process
A properly designed estate plan prepares for nearly every aspect of life. It supports and protects you, your dignity, your loved ones, and your hard-earned assets. An estate plan is a set of documents that commonly includes a Will, possibly a Revocable Living Trust, and critical documents including a Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, HIPAA Release. These documents help individuals and couples plan for and deal with illness, incapacity, and death. They also play an essential role in reducing estate taxes, providing for a smooth transition of your assets to your beneficiaries, and supporting minor children.
You may begin the estate planning process by thinking about the following things:
1. Important People and Organizations in Your Life
Give some thought to the people you might include in your planning in roles such as medical or financial decision-makers. Where would you like your assets to go on your passing? Consider backup people if your first-choice person was unavailable.
Family and Friends: Who are your loved ones? This includes spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and other relatives or friends. Are there other people in your life that you would like to make sure are taken care of or thought of?
Pets: Don’t forget about your pets. For many, pets are like family. Because pets are dependent on you for their care, it is important to make a plan for pets too.
Organizations: Are you involved in any churches, charitable organizations, special causes, or schools (colleges or universities)? You can make a gift upon your passing to a group or cause you are committed to. Even a small contribution can have a significant impact.
2. Your Assets
You don’t need to have exact values of your assets, but an estimate of their value is helpful. Make a list of the assets you own by yourself, jointly with others, through a trust or some other arrangement. Do you own the following:
- Real Estate
- Life Insurance (death benefit)
- Business Interests
- Retirement Accounts
- Personal Property
- Expected Inheritance
3. Your Road Map
The final step as your start to plan is thinking through your incapacity or death. Who do you imagine stepping up or stepping in to help at that time? Is there anyone you want to prevent from being involved?
Incapacity: If you are incapacitated and unable to take care of your day to day activities, who would you like in charge of the following:
- Medical Decisions
- Care for Your Minor Children
- Ability to Talk to Your Doctors
- Financial Decisions
- Care For Your Pets
Death: Upon your passing, how would you like your plan to take care of the following:
- Funeral Arrangements
- Provide Asset Protection
- Avoid Probate
- Supporting Loved Ones Battling Addiction
- Distribute your Assets
- Charitable Gifts
- Minimize Estate Taxes
- Protecting Children
Estate Planning Cost
The cost for a Will and other estate planning documents can depend on a client’s specific needs. If a client only needs a Will alone, the price will be a few hundred dollars. However, we often prepare a set of estate planning documents for our clients that includes other critical documents like a Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, and HIPAA Release. An estate planning attorney in Lake Oswego can help you determine what documents you will need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Call Oregon Estate and Elder Law today to speak with one of our attorneys.