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Criminal attacking young woman in alley. Self defense concept

How to Prove Self-Defense in a Criminal Defense Case

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Self-defense is a commonly invoked but often misunderstood defense to crimes of violence. If you were in a bar fight started by someone else or you hit someone while they were trying to rob you, and you were subsequently arrested for criminal assault, you might have a self-defense argument. Below, we explain the self-defense… Read More »

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Pretext Traffic Stops

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Police are meant to pull people over only when they have cause to believe an infraction or crime has been committed, or when they otherwise have specific authority to do so (such as at a designated checkpoint). Many police officers, however, use traffic stops as a pretext to search for something else–a different crime… Read More »

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Mistakes to Avoid if You’re an Executor of an Estate

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Being the executor of an estate is an important role. While some people appoint the family attorney, or an appointment is left up to the court, many people rely on a trusted family member or friend to act as the executor. While it’s gratifying to know that your loved one trusted you with this… Read More »

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Allowable Expenses for a Special Needs Trust

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Special needs trusts (SNTs), also called supplemental needs trusts, can be an exceptionally useful tool for providing supplemental income to a loved one with a disability. An SNT allows you to disburse regular funds to a person without affecting the beneficiary’s eligibility for needs-based governmental programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)…. Read More »

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Top Reasons to Consider a Trust

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Most people are aware of the function of a last will and testament. Your will dictates what happens to your estate after you pass away. Many people believe that that’s the extent of any estate planning they’ll ever need. However, there are many other estate planning tools that many more people can benefit from,… Read More »

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Facts About Medicaid and Medicaid Planning for Long-Term Care

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Medicaid, also known as Oregon Health Plan (OHP) in Oregon, is a government-operated health insurance program. Medicaid is separate from Medicare. Most senior citizens may understand Medicare and how to get Medicare benefits, but there is generally more confusion and uncertainty surrounding Medicaid, both in terms of establishing eligibility and how to maximize benefits…. Read More »

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What Are the Gift Tax Limits in Washington & Oregon?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

When your estate is passed on to your beneficiaries, the government takes a cut. This is known as the estate tax (or, less affectionately, the “death tax”). The estate tax is levied when the estate is being passed along in probate. Each state has an estate tax threshold, which manifests as an exemption for… Read More »

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Signs Aging Parents Might Need Help

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

It’s difficult to watch your parents age. At some point, the rosy childhood view of our parents as invincible erodes, and we recognize their mortality. Most people live separately and apart from their parents in late adulthood. We assume our parents are capable of caring for themselves but, at a certain point, they may… Read More »

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Estate Planning for an Art Collector: Including Art and Collectibles in Your Plan

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Estate planning is important for anyone who wants to have a say in what happens to their assets after their passing, as well as for anyone who wants to ensure that the maximum amount of their estate gets distributed without losing value to taxes, creditors, and other parties along the way. While folks with… Read More »

Smiling mixed race family couple meeting real estate agent.

Mistakes to Avoid if You are Named Executor of an Estate in OR/WA

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

When people write a will, they often name a trusted advisor or loved one as executor of their estate. While this may seem like an honor, it’s also a significant responsibility. It’s a job that requires the execution of technical, legal tasks, and failing to adhere to the proper protocol can devalue the estate… Read More »

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