The process of estate planning can be stressful, daunting, and confusing. At Southwest Portland Law Group, our goal is to eliminate the unknown and alleviate the uneasiness that comes with planning your will. We provide comprehensive estate planning solutions, with a straight-forward explanation of the options at your disposal – to help inform your decision making, and efficiently design the right plan for you.
Plan Your Legacy
Estate planning is the process of proactively ensuring your wishes are in place so they can be carried out seamlessly when the time comes. Without a clear and detailed estate plan, family members risk spending time and money in court to settle the allocation of assets. By establishing a comprehensive estate plan, confusion over asset allocation can be eliminated, guardianship for children is unquestionable, and taxes and court fees are minimized.
Estate Planning Essentials
Last Will and Testament
Within your will it’s possible to provide detailed instructions for disposition of personal and real property upon death. In addition to creating clear instructions, we provide guidance on selecting an executor of the estate, waive the bond requirement, establish compensation for the executor, and include specific guidelines for disposition of remains, as well as last wishes.
Durable Power of Attorney
Power of attorney makes it possible to appoint an agent to act on your behalf for financial purposes. An agent can handle banking, pay bills, deal with contracts, buy and sell a property, and more. With power of attorney, clients have the option of providing an agent with immediate control, or creating a document to specify that the power becomes effective upon incapacity.
In Oregon, the advance directive is a statutory document that combines the traditional living will, and the healthcare power of attorney. The living will portion of an estate plan allows you to give directions with regard to medical care in the event of incapacity, while the healthcare power of attorney names an agent who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Without the advance directive document, those caring for an incapacitated person are forced to seek appointment as a guardian in order to make healthcare decisions. Guardianship is a separate court proceeding, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Revocable Living Trust
Trusts are incredibly powerful estate planning tools. A revocable living trust ensures full control over property as though it is your own, and upon incapacity or death, controls transfers to the successor trustee – allowing for seamless transition of power over your property. The primary benefit of creating a trust, is that the ownership exists within the trust rather than the individual. As a result, the need for probate is eliminated, due to ownership of the substantial assets being associated with the trust rather than a single person.
The successor trustee has the ability to manage the assets and distribute them, free of any formal court proceeding. With a properly drafted trust, property can be transferred within a month or two, at a significantly lower cost due to the elimination of probate. Additionally, through more complex trust provisions, tax exposure can be better managed and minimized. More about Living Trusts
Estate Planning Costs
Our pricing approach for estate planning is to ensure clients know what to expect from the start. We traditionally charge a flat fee to ensure legal fees do not fluctuate throughout the course of our engagement, eliminating surprises in billing and fees upon project completion.
Our most basic estate plan for individuals and joint estates includes a will, power of attorney, and advance directive. Our basic estate plans start at $750 for an individual, and $1,300 for a joint plan. Throughout our consultation and evaluation phase our team may determine that your estate plan should include a trust. If a trust is pursued as a part of your estate plan, additional fees will range from $300 to $1,750 dependent upon the complexity, and whether the plan is individual or joint. Additional services, such as amending an existing trust, re-titling multiple properties, or amending business documents to conform to your new estate plan, are billed on an hourly basis.
Give us a call to get a fee estimate on your estate plan.