The 3 Legal Documents Your College Kid Needs

When your adult (18+) child is going off to college, there are three important legal documents that are important for her/him/them to execute before leaving. (Actually, anyone over age 18 needs these documents.) These documents will allow parents to help their child in the even their child has an emergency or iso other wise incapacitated and unable to manage financial and health decisions. It happens more frequently than you would think. College kids experience mental health issues, get in accidents, and get serious illnesses like meningitis. Having the correct documentation to be able to get information and act on it in vital.

How to name guardians for your kids

A huge percentage of parents who haven’t done their estate planning yet are stuck on who to name as guardians for their kids. Here in Portland, Oregon, so many people have moved here from other places, and so they might not have any family in town, and they might have moved here to get away from a family or cultural dynamic that they don’t want their kids to be a part of. This makes choosing guardians difficult.

How to protect your assets from divorces and creditors: Lessons from 'Big Little Lies'

I have been watching an HBO show called Big Little Lies, which is a fantastic show, but also has some lessons on estate planning. [Spoilers!] In a recent situation this season, a character named Renata (on the left in the photo above) learns that her husband is in trouble for insider trading, and that because of the way they own their assets as a married couple in the state they live in (California), everything they have is at risk and they must declare bankruptcy and sell off everything that the bankruptcy trustee tells them to sell—their home, Renata’s wedding ring, everything. To make matters worse, Renata finds out at the bankruptcy hearing that her husband has been procuring sexual favors from the nanny and promising her additional compensation for her services. This is all a huge blow to Renata, who came from a poor background, worked for everything she built, and is now having everything taken away due to her husband’s actions.

What to do if you get a substantial increase in income or net worth.

From time to time, I get a call from an old or prospective client who wants to know what to do now that they have run into a lot of money, either through receiving higher income or through receiving a large lump sum due to inheritance, lawsuit win, or other event. There are several key areas to keep in mind, but the overall rule is to call your estate planning lawyer and accountant right away.

Why do I need a Revocable Living Trust?

Everyone who has any assets (like a home or a retirement account or a business) has probably heard about Revocable Livings Trusts and wondered whether they need to set one up. At my office in Portland, Oregon, the main estate planning tool that I use to help my clients is a Revocable Living Trust. There are many reasons why so many of my clients choose to plan their estates with a Revocable Living Trust, rather than with a Will-based plan. Here are some of those reasons.