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Recent Blog Posts

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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 »

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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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Estate Planning Tips for Childless Couples

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Estate planning can feel like a daunting and complicated process to go through. And while there is the common misconception that couples without children will have an easier time going through this process, the reality is, an estate can be just as complicated or more so for couples without children. If you and your… Read More »

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What is a Third-Party Special Needs Trust and How is it Different From Other Kinds of Trusts?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

A third-party special needs trust is a useful legal vehicle for caring for an individual with special needs. Anyone with a family member with special needs can benefit by using a special needs trust as part of their estate plan. Below, we explain the use and benefits of third-party special needs trusts. Call a… Read More »

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WA & OR: Can Estate Planning Docs Be Notarized Through Video Technology?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Notarizing estate planning documents is an important step to ensure validity and legal enforceability. Unfortunately, laws and institutions requiring notarization are a bit behind the times. While many people across the country have easy access to virtual video-conferencing services such as Zoom and Skype, as well as email and/or fax machines, many state laws… Read More »

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Allowable Expenses for a Special Needs Trust

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

A special needs trust, commonly referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is a special kind of trust that can provide supplemental benefits to a person with a disability without affecting their eligibility for needs-based governmental programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A special needs trust is meant to provide for… Read More »

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Washington and Oregon Estate Taxes

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Last month, we discussed the federal estate tax as well as the estate and gift tax limits under federal tax law. When someone passes away, the federal government will levy a tax on their estate if their estate is worth more than $11.7 million, but only on the portion in excess of $11.7 million…. Read More »

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Estate and Gift Tax Limits

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Giving gifts to family members and other loved ones is not only an emotionally satisfying endeavor; it can also serve to reduce the future tax burden of your estate. When you pass away, the federal government levies a tax on the property you pass to your heirs. The tax tends to matter only to… Read More »

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Special Needs Trusts versus Revocable Living Trusts: Which Are Right for Your Family?

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

After you’ve spent your lifetime earning and saving an income to provide for your family during your life and beyond, it’s important to choose the estate planning tools that will help your money go as far as possible. Trusts come in many shapes and sizes, each with different intended uses for the varying needs… Read More »

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Pet Trusts In WA & OR: Caring for Your Pets When You Can No Longer Care for Them

By John Lutgens, Attorney at Law |

Many of us consider our pets to be another member of the family. For any “pet parent” out there, it is important to be aware of the same types of concerns that people have about any other family member. Namely, what will happen to your pet if something unfortunate should happen to you? How… Read More »

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