Hunt & Associates P.C.

Mar 19, 2014

The Oregon Probate Process: Getting Started

In my estate planning practice and in my estate administration practice I am asked the same questions: “What is probate?” and, “Why does it have to take so long?”

Usually when people tell me they want to avoid probate, they mean that they want to avoid having their estate administered through a court process, whether or not the person has a will.  The exact definition of probate is not that important.  Essentially, the administration of … Read more

Feb 20, 2014

Selecting a Beneficiary: Who, What, When

Now that you have decided which estate planning instrument (a will or a trust) you will be using and you have selected your trustee or personal representative, who do you want to leave your property to? What property do you want to leave to each beneficiary?  When should each beneficiary receive your property?  The answers to these questions may seem easy – leave everything to your children in equal shares and let them … Read more

Jan 17, 2014

Selecting a Trustee: Did I Make the Right Choice ?

When selecting an individual to serve as successor trustee of a trust, they often wonder if they are making the right choice.   Generally, the individual making the trust serves as trustee for so long as they are capable or alive.  Choosing who to serve as trustee in the event the individual becomes disabled or dies can be extremely difficult since the person that you select needs to be responsible and trustworthy.

For the most party … Read more

Jan 10, 2014

A New Year: A Great Time to Update Your Estate Planning

Around the end of each year I like to take an inventory of myself, what I did in the past year and what changed over that time. There have been new additions to my family; I have grown closer to some friends and more distant with others; we’ve moved to a new house; and in general things have changed considerably.  With all of the change, it’s a perfect time to update my estate plan to … Read more

Nov 8, 2013

Do I Need a Will or Trust?

In my previous post, Estate Planning – It’s Just as Much Life Planning as it is Death Planning, I focused on the importance of having estate planning that focuses on planning for your life (incapacity, inability to manage your own finances, or end of life planning).  For most people, life planning is ancillary to the real reason they come to my office – they need a will or trust.   The first question is always “do … Read more

Sep 27, 2013

Estate Planning – It’s Just as Much Life Planning as it is Death Planning

I had a potential client call me earlier in the week asking me if he needed a will.  The caller wasn’t married and had no children or grandchildren.  He didn’t own any real property.  All of his bank accounts had payable on death beneficiaries and he owned minimal personal property.  He had the perfect plan; nothing was going to pass through probate so he didn’t think he needed a will.

Maybe he doesn’t need a … Read more

Sep 4, 2013

Same-Sex Marriages Recognized by the IRS

Same-sex couples legally married in states that recognize same-sex marriages will now be treated as married for federal tax purposes.  In a recent IRS revenue ruling, the IRS now interprets the terms “spouse”, “husband and wife”, “husband”, and “wife” to include same-sex couples married in jurisdictions that legally recognize same-sex marriages.   This is a 180 degree turn from prior interpretations of these terms in prior rulings. In fact the ruling is in direct response … Read more

Aug 22, 2013

But the Contract Says I am an Independent Contractor!

When trying to answer the question of whether an individual providing services is an employee or an independent contractor, there is no clear answer, even when you have a written agreement that clearly states that the individual is an independent contractor. The Oregon Court of Appeals recently held that where you have such an agreement, the court will still look to see if the actual facts support whether an independent contractor or employment relationship exists.  … Read more

Jun 13, 2013

Reminder: Change the Beneficiary Designation on Life Insurance, Annuities, Retirement Accounts, and Bank Accounts Following Your Divorce

I wrote about this in an earlier blog post, but it bears repeating that a divorce is not over just because the judge signed the judgment or decree.  The United States Supreme Court recently issued a decision which emphasized the importance of making sure that following the entry of your divorce judgment you need to update beneficiary designations in life insurance policies and other financial accounts or products that have payable on death beneficiaries.… Read more

Jan 18, 2013

Packing Up and Moving – Don’t Forget to Tell Your Ex

It’s moving day.  You’re moving from Portland to Eugene to start a new job and be closer to your boyfriend of 3 months.  The truck is packed, the kids are in their car seats, your moving checklist is complete, and it’s time to start a new life and a new job in Eugene.  One small problem, you forgot to notify your ex-husband, and father of the kids, that you were moving.  Surely it’s just a … Read more