ABOUT THE LARSON LAW FIRM, P.C. SERVICES
The Larson Law Firm, P.C. specializes in full, long-term estate planning services. We provide a full range of services from the fundamental Will and Trust to more sophisticated tools for the larger or more complex estate. We utilize the most effective methods available to create a plan tailor-made for your family. Practice areas include:
A trust is a contract consisting of an agreement between a Settlor (also called a Grantor or Trustor) meaning a person, including a testator, who creates a trust or contributes property to a trust, and a Trustee, meaning entrusted with the management of assets contributed to the trust, for persons having a present or future beneficial interest in a trust. If the trust agreement is silent in regard to how the Trustee is to act or the status of the beneficiaries, then state law will provide the guidance. Trust administration usually does not require any court proceeding and is used to distribute the assets of the Settlor after death without probate.
A Will is a legal document made by any person who is 18 years of age or older or who has been lawfully married or who has been emancipated, and who is of sound mind. A will shall be in writing and shall be executed in accordance with the formalities of the applicable laws, including having the signing witnessed and having the witnesses sign the Will. The term Will includes codicils and also includes a testamentary instrument that merely appoints a personal representative or that merely revokes or revives another will. A person who dies without leaving a valid will, or in the circumstance of dying does not leave a valid will, effectively disposing of all the estate, is intestate and the laws of the state control who will inherit the decedent’s property not covered by a Will.
Powers of Attorney
A durable power of attorney allows you to handle another person’s financial decisions on their behalf.
A person, the principal, designates another person as an agent by a power of attorney in writing, giving the agent broad or limited powers to act on behalf of the principal. An agent must use the property of the principal for the benefit of the principal. The authority to act may be revoked or limited in time. Death of the principal revokes or terminates the power of attorney.
An advance directive is specialized power of attorney appointing a health care representative, and possibly an alternative representative, and giving instructions to the representative for the care and treatment of the principal. The representative, if authorized, may make decisions on treatment or care of disease, injury and congenital or degenerative conditions, including the use, maintenance, withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining procedures and the use, maintenance, withdrawal or withholding of artificially administered nutrition and hydration. This authority includes consent, refusal of consent or withholding or withdrawal of consent to health care, and includes decisions relating to admission to or discharge from a health care facility.
Trust and Estate Administration
Trust administration is the process following the death of the settlor, or creator of the trust, to comply with the terms of the trust. The person who carries out the terms of the trust is the called the successor trustee. The trust administration process includes locating and determining the value of the person’s assets, paying their final bills and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to their rightful beneficiaries. The court does not typically oversee trust administration.
The courts of the state have the power to administer the real and personal property of a person who has died within the state or left property in the state, whether the decedent died testate (with a Will), intestate (without a Will) or partially intestate. A legal proceeding is started to have a personal representative appointed with the powers to collect the decedent’s assets, pay the outstanding bills, take appropriate action to resolve any outstanding legal issues of the decedent, and make final distribution to the heir or beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate, all under the supervision of the court.
Estate and Gift Tax Return Preparation
Any time an Oregonian has over $1M in assets at the time of their death, the state of Oregon requires the filing of an estate tax return. Any time an Oregonian makes a gift or gifts totaling over $15,000 to an individual within a calendar year, a federal gift tax return (Form 709) needs to be prepared and filed.
Planning for Incapacity
Incapacity can strike at anytime in one’s life. We advise you plan for incapacity as part of the estate planning process since you usually cannot plan once you are incapacitated.
A prenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage. The agreement may apply to interests in property, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings. It must be in writing and signed by both parties. It is enforceable under state law, but only takes effect upon marriage. It may cover the use of property during the marriage, division of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event, and limit or eliminate spousal support, but cannot control the right to child support.
Most of us will live a long life where we may not be able to manage our affairs in our latter years the way we are able to manage them now. Our knowledgeable attorneys will work with you to anticipate issues and concerns and prepare a plan to best navigate this time of life.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
An irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is a type of living trust that’s specifically set up to own a life insurance policy. It is a tool used in planning for potential estate tax. The trust must be irrevocable and you can’t serve as trustee of the trust.
Annual gifting can be a valuable tool in minimizing estate tax while benefiting your loved ones.
Service provided in connection with a real estate settlement.
Ethical Wills/Legacy Letters
An ethical will, or legacy letter, is a way to share your life’s lessons, values, blessings, hopes and dreams for the future, with your family, friends, and community. It is an opportunity to express love and forgiveness after you are gone. An ethical will is a heartfelt expression of what truly matters most in your life.
Work with our knowledgeable attorneys regarding protecting your assets during your lifetime so that you can maximize what you are able to pass on to your beneficiaries.
Private foundations are non-profit corporations established under the rules of the Internal Revenue Code. They are required to 1. Distribute such amounts for each taxable year at such time and in such manner as not to subject the corporation to federal income tax; 2. Not engage in any act of self-dealing; 3. Not retain any excess business holdings; 4. Not make any investments in such a manner as to subject the corporation to taxes on investments which jeopardize charitable purposes; and 5. Not make any taxable expenditures as defined the Internal Revenue Code. By creating a foundation the founders, or those they select to operate the foundation, determine how those funds to be used and which charities shall benefit during their lifetime. Strict rules of organization must be followed to sustain the benefits of a private foundation. Contributions to the qualified foundation are allowed as an income tax deductions for charitable contributions.
A gun trust will allow the gun owner to transfer firearms without going through probate. In addition, if the trust holds NFA/Title II firearms, the trust allows more than one person to possess and use the weapons held in trust and allows for a smooth transfer of firearms at the settlor’s demise.
A charitable trust may be used to promote the well-being of the public at large, or for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons, including but not limited to educational, literary, or scientific purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, or for the benefit of religion, rehabilitation services, public recreation, civic improvement, or services which lessen the burdens of government. It requires formal organization and is organized and registered with the Secretary of State, and subject to supervision by the Office of the Attorney General.
Charitable gifting can be a valuable tool in minimizing estate tax while benefiting your favorite non-profit institutions.
If you own a piece of property from which you derive income or you are working for yourself, a review of the benefits and detriments of setting up a business would be a prudent idea.
Family Limited Partnerships
A limited partnership (“LP”) is a business entity owned by one or more General Partners and one or more Limited Partners and is organized and registered with the Secretary of State. The General Partner is charged with the management of the LP and is subject to full and personal liability for the liabilities of the LP. A Limited Partner, unless also owning a General Partner Interest or participating in the control of the business, is not personally liable for the obligations of a LP and is subject only to losing their investment in the LP. The business can be structured in a way to maximize control and limit liability for certain family members. An LP can also be used as a tool to gift when there are no liquid assets.
Limited Liability Companies
The limited liability company (LLC) is an entity that is an unincorporated association that has one or more members and is organized and registered with the Secretary of State. It is of the most prevalent business forms in the United States. LLC’s are often used to hold investment real estate, but may conduct or promote any lawful business or purpose that a partnership, corporation or professional corporation may conduct or promote. The LLC is one of the easiest business entities to manage while still limiting liability. Management of an LLC avoids many of the formalities of record-keeping and meetings that are typical of corporations. The debts, obligations and liabilities of an LLC, whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise, are solely the debts, obligations and liabilities of the LLC. A member or manager is not personally liable for a debt, obligation or liability of the LLC solely by reason of being or acting as a member or manager.
Refers to a number of processes that can be used to resolve a conflict, dispute, or claim. Which include mediation, arbitration, litigation.
The Heritage Trust is created by a parent during the parent’s lifetime for his/her living children. This type of trust creates protections such as (1) the assets will be protected from their spouse in the event of divorce (2) the assets will be protected from their creditors in the event of a financial hardship, and (3) on your child’s death, the unused assets will go to your blood relatives (usually grandchildren) instead of in-laws or others.
Estate planning for the non-US Citizen/ Qualified Domestic Trust/ (QDOT)
A Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) allows a surviving spouse, who is not a U.S. citizen, to qualify for the unlimited marital deduction, thereby minimizing potential estate tax when the survivor passes.
Federal estate tax law allows an unlimited deduction from the gross taxable estate of a married person for assets passing to the surviving spouse. However, there are limits on the deduction if the surviving spouse is not a US citizen. The use of a qualified domestic trust (QDOT) qualifies for an estate tax marital deduction under federal tax laws if it meets all of the following requirements.
- The trust instrument requires that at least one trustee be either a U.S. citizen or a domestic corporation.
- The trust instrument requires that no distribution of corpus from the trust may be made unless the trustee who is a U.S. citizen or a domestic corporation has the right to withhold from the distribution the QDOT tax imposed on the distribution.
- The QDOT election has been made for the trust by the executor of the estate on the decedent’s estate tax return.
As a result, substantial estate tax savings can be preserved for spouses that include a QDOT for a non-citizen surviving spouse in their estate plans.
We employ a full range of estate planning techniques and documents to help you avoid Probate and reduce or eliminate estate and gift taxes.
Our big difference is personalized service and our willingness to go the extra mile. Our clients feel like part of our family. We are now working with the children, grandchildren and friends of clients we have served for years. Our goal is to serve you and generations to come.
Estate Planning means more than simply preparing a last Will and Testament. In its broad sense, the term “estate planning” entails more than providing for the disposition of your assets upon your death with a minimum amount of taxation or Probate. Comprehensive estate planning, of course, provides for that. However, such planning must also provide for the administration and protection of assets during your lifetime and for decision making in the event of incapacity or a disabling illness.