My Process

Wills & Trusts • Estate Planning • Probate • Trust Administration

What Can I Expect?

Estate Planning in Portland, OR

The following is a summary of my approach to the Estate Planning process. For more information about Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning, please visit my Estate Planning page.

More Than Just Paperwork

Estate Planning is not simply the documents prepared by an attorney, nor is it the insurance and financial plan recommended by a financial advisor. Properly done, Estate Planning encompasses at least the legal and financial elements, but it often includes more, as Estate Planning frequently points out the need to plan in other areas.

These other areas may include:

  • Retirement
  • Estate taxes
  • Long-term health care costs
  • Business succession plan at retirement, disability or death.
  • Planning for asset protection for the client’s lifetime and for their heirs
  • Providing for a surviving spouse in the event of disability and/or death
  • Providing for a parent or a child with special needs

Multiple Entity Involvement

To meet a client’s needs and goals, it may be necessary to grow a business, increase or adjust insurance, and manage investments in a certain way. No one professional has all the answers; a team of qualified advisors, however, can provide the diverse skills and experience that are necessary for the best result.

Team Collaboration

Instead of consulting with various professionals at different times and stages in the planning (often getting different opinions from each one), many people find they benefit from having a team of advisors involved in the process from the beginning. The team approach also minimizes time and costs and, with everyone involved from planning through implementation, the advisors can work together and hold each other accountable.

An advisory team will likely include:

  • The estate planning attorney
  • An accountant/CPA
  • Insurance agent/broker
  • Investment advisor
  • A professional trustee

For business owners, a business attorney and valuation expert will probably be needed, as well as a business broker if the plan calls for the business to be sold at some point. Other advisors may also be included, depending on specific circumstances and needs.

Advisory Meetings

Several meetings are usually needed. The advisory team will first meet with the client to help identify goals and set priorities. At this stage, the advisors should be asking more questions than providing answers.

Usually, the advisors will then meet without the client to discuss how best to meet these goals, bringing their areas of expertise into the planning as they consider various legal and financial solutions. Then the team will present its recommended plan to the client and, once approved, will begin to implement the plan. From time to time, the team will meet to monitor the progress and make any needed revisions as needs and goals change.

Family Member Involvement

Involving family members will acquaint them with the members of the advisory team, help them to understand what is being done and why, and avoid confusion and distrust later. An advisory team can also provide continuity if planning provides for minor children and/or grandchildren, those with special needs and even for generations to come.

If my approach interests you, please contact my office. I will be happy to discuss my process with you in more detail.