We will not over-complicate your situation — sometimes all we need to do is provide a detailed, specific letter explaining successor trustee duties and answer any questions you have. However, if you are the trustee or administrator for an estate that is or may be worth more than $1 million (including any life insurance payout), it is crucial to speak with an experienced lawyer about administration of a revocable living trust — or other type of trust — and affairs that can include:
• Preparing a comprehensive inventory of assets
• Properly filing specific types of tax returns
• Distributing assets properly under the law and heading off potential for future disputes
• Dealing effectively with necessary real estate transactions, insurance issues and business succession matters — whether addressed in a will or trust or not
Many people we assist with estate planning return to check in with us from time to time, because attorney Phil Hingson is an approachable, helpful resource who can help them answer their questions. In addition, we counsel many existing and new clients when someone becomes incapacitated or passes away — whether their needs involve getting the estate through probate or dealing with trust administration.
Even if you believe a person’s estate was carefully planned and all documents are in order, we urge you to contact an attorney as soon as your are able after these kinds of difficult events. We will explain your obligations and answer any questions, whether the estate involved is limited or substantial. Under some circumstances, if you see us promptly, we also find legal ways to preserve assets and avoid excessive taxation.
We frequently work with people who have been told or led to believe that having a will is sufficient to prevent their surviving family members or other heirs from having to deal with probate. This is simply not true. Having a will alone does not mean your estate will not go through probate.
The Oregon probate process is not in place solely to deal with estates of those who die without a will or trust (intestate succession) — or even to accomplish other useful things such as resolving disputes and creditor claims.
Probate is required when there is no other legal way to transfer title to assets. For example, if you were to pass away with a house in your name alone, your will may specify that the house should go to your surviving spouse or a child — but you are not alive to sign over the deed.
If you are dealing with an estate that must go through probate, Portland attorney Phil Hingson can provide capable, efficient representation at a reasonable rate. Under certain circumstances, we have also been able to apply specific legal tools to avoid probate even after the property owner has passed on. When you contact us, you can be confident that we will look at all the alternatives and be able to take the best available action according to your needs.
A properly drafted will primarily accomplishes two very important things:
• It allows you to name who you want in charge of your estate after you die.
• It allows you to specify who you want to receive money, property and other assets you leave behind.
In comparison to some other states, Oregon has a fairly complex, intensive and sometimes costly probate process. Probate is necessary for transferring title of the decedent’s property and settling debts with creditors. Recognizing this may add incentive to take the estate planning steps necessary to avoid or minimize probate, such as setting up a revocable living trust or other type of trust.
We believe every adult — regardless of whether he or she is wealthy or has limited assets — should have a will, financial power of attorney, and advance directive. If this is all you need, we can assist you efficiently and cost-effectively. We also handle many probate cases for people who must usher someone’s estate through this process.
With many years of experience in this area, estate lawyer Phil Hingson is adept at drafting revocable and irrevocable trusts addressing specific challenges, including:
- Tax planning to maximize assets passed on to loved ones
- Needs of “blended families” with children from multiple marriages
- Inclusion of specific language to help preserve assets for children having difficulties in life
We help many clients in a range of financial situations — from smaller to multi-million-dollar estates — identify appropriate solutions for protecting assets and carrying out their wishes. Attorney Phil Hingson has extensive experience in trust administration.
To arrange a personal, caring consultation with a lawyer who can clearly explain your options for your estate planning needs, please call or e-mail us today.
A revocable living trust (RLT) is an excellent solution for many people who want to avoid probate and minimize the potential for disputes while still keeping control of assets during their lifetime. Our firm is an excellent resource for creating an RLT or one of many other types of trusts that may be appropriate, such as:
• An income cap trust, often used as one planning tool to help people receiving needed Medicaid benefits and planning for long term care without exhausting critical assets
• Insurance trusts that may help preserve assets by setting aside money to pay estate taxes
• A special needs trust enabling you to leave money to heirs on needs-based government assistance without disqualifying them from receiving benefits
Perhaps the most common reason people choose to set up a trust, rather than only a will and durable power of attorney, is to save their survivors and heirs the time and costs of probate. We have drafted trusts to accomplish this goal, carefully tailored to clients’ individual needs. Please contact us to speak with Phil Hingson, a lawyer determined to create a trust that accomplishes your objectives.
Contrary to what many people believe, having a will alone is not sufficient to avoid the probate process in Oregon — and, while in place for many good reasons, probate can take months or even more than a year depending on circumstances. Legal costs well into the thousands of dollars may be incurred even on a fairly routine case.
At The Hingson Law Firm PC, we work with many northern Oregon families that have a need to provide for the future of an adult or child with special needs. Attorney Phil Hingson has extensive knowledge of various types of trusts, and he is ready and willing to help you identify, develop, and execute a comprehensive estate plan that accounts for this need.
To explain your situation and its various nuances to an attorney who cares and will explain your various legal options in plain English, so that you can make a confident decision, please contact us at 503-213-3916 today.