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Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys in Portland, Oregon

Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC

2455 NW Marshall Street, Suite 11
Portland, Oregon 97210

Phone(503) 241-1215
Fax (503) 241-1216

Law Firm Overview

Our firm is dedicated to providing you with quality estate planning resources so that you can become familiar with all of the existing options. When you visit or call our office, we want you to feel comfortable discussing these important issues concerning both you and your family.



Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC - Providing services in the following areas of law:

Articles Published by Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC

 Tell Your Family Where Things Are

When a loved one unexpectedly passes away, it feels like you are in the middle of a bad storm.

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 More Money for Attorneys

We have warned you many times about using online legal document providers for your estate planning needs and here's more information as to why.

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 Other Ways to Gift

One of the biggest problems for many people who try to lower their estate tax burden is that they do not have enough ways to give away their money.

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 The Mistake of Creating a Will on Your Death Bed

There are many mistakes that you can make in estate planning. Planning your estate is not a simple or easy thing to do.

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 Who Will Be In Charge if You Are in Bad Health?

If you have ever watched a parent, grandparent or other loved one struggle through health problems you know how difficult it can be. Is there more you can do?

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 I Want to Help

There is absolutely nothing that I dislike more than telling a potential client that I cannot help him or her. I want to help people. It is what estate planning attorneys do. When I do help people, it gives me great joy. I know that I have made a big difference for a family. It is why I do what I do.

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 Cancer Strikes When You Don't Expect It

I have an old friend that I only know through the Internet. I'm not sure how we met. It was a long time ago. It was probably through a mailing list or some early Internet message board. We have a lot of similar interests so over the years we have kept in touch. We do not talk often, but every once in a while we send each other emails to see what is going on or to discuss something of mutual interest.

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 Motivational Estate Plans

Perhaps some of your family members are not as motivated to make something out of their lives as you are. It is frustrating when that family member is a child or grandchild who just cannot seem to do anything with his or her life, who shows no desire to go to college and get a degree that can land them a good job.

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 Don't Wait for an Estate Plan

The Jefferson’s was always one of the funniest television shows around. It's still funnier than most of the shows that have come afterwards. What is not funny is what has happened to the star of the show, Sherman Helmsley, after he passed away. I mean literally what has happened to him. He died two months ago and his body has still not been laid to rest.

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 More Bad News About Online Wills

We have talked previously about the dangers of getting a do-it-yourself Will on the Internet. We have told you that what you are getting is almost certainly not the document you need.

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 Think Before Challenging an Estate Plan

The first reaction that most people have when they learn that they have been cut out of a deceased relative's estate plan is to want to fight. It's an understandable reaction and it is natural to be angry about not receiving an inheritance that you feel entitled to receive. However, it is best to take some time to think about what you stand to gain from a challenge to the estate plan before you start the fight.

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 What About Your Email?

How often do you use your email account? I bet a lot more than you did 5 years ago. You probably have some important business that is conducted almost exclusively by email. That is just the way the world has developed. What happens to those emails when you pass away? The answer to that question is unclear.

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 Things Get Old

Sometimes you can get a little bit of extra life out of something old. Have an old computer? Put Linux or an earlier version of Windows on it and you can keep using it for awhile before it dies. Have an old car? Keep it tuned up, and it will drive for a long time. Have an old TV? It will still work fine for standard definition television.

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 Estate Plans and Ghosts

There are people who believe in ghosts. They often believe that ghosts are the result of deceased individuals who made mistakes in life and as a result can't leave this world behind to go on to the next I don't know if ghosts exist and why they do, if they do. However, I wonder if the popular theory is true,how many of those ghosts are still here because they made mistakes in their estate plans.

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 There is No Taking Back Your Estate Plan

There are some things in life that we all wish we had done differently. No one makes the right choices 100 percent of the time. Of course, we cannot hop in the Delorean and tell our younger selves to make different choices, at least not yet.

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 What to Research

In preparing to make important life decisions the first thing to do is to research your options. You cannot make good decisions until you know what is possible you and how effective the different choices are. This is true in estate planning, as there many different legal instruments that can be used in estate planning.

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 Avoidable Estate Planning Mistakes

Many estate plans contain mistakes that can and should be avoided. Unfortunately, easily avoidable mistakes are made all the time in estate planning. Here are three mistakes you can make, and easily avoid, in your estate plan.

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 Watching the Trustee

Who Watches the Watchmen?" has become a modern classic line. In case you don't know, The Watchmen are a fictional group of superheroes. In their story, they originally protected people, but then things broke down and people asked the famous line. It stands for the idea that no one should have complete and total power. It corrupts and thus, power needs to be watched.

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 Old-Fashioned Estate Plans

Many people never think about making an estate plan. Let’s take a moment and consider this: if you are going to make an estate plan what are the steps that you would take to make the best possible plan?

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 You Need an Expert Estate Planner, Not Just Any Attorney

Everyone needs an estate plan. If you are smart, you know that you need an attorney to draft your estate plan. Estate plans have legal consequences, so it only makes sense to hire a legal expert to create your plan. You wouldn't hire a roofer to fix a cavity. You would go to the dentist for that.

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 Save Money and Hire an Estate Planning Attorney Now

People like to make money. Estate planning attorneys are not any different. Most people, however, like to make money in ways that are not headache inducing. Estate planning attorneys are not any different in that respect either.

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 Making Estate Planning Easy

When you first start to think about what you want to happen to your property after you pass away it is very easy to get confused. In estate planning there are so many different options and legal instruments that to lay people it often seems like the only choice is to throw up their hands and forget about it. Estate planning methods often seem like this, that, and the other thing.

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 Is a Trust Better Than a Lump Sum Inheritance?

People who do not have a lot of money often dream about what they would do if they suddenly received a windfall. They think about how they would spend the money, that is and not about how they would manage it. There is a reason the old question is "What would you buy if you won the lottery," and not, "How would you manage your money if you won the lottery?"

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 LGBT Couples and Estate Planning

While the situation is getting better, the law still makes things more difficult for LGBT couples than for others. In many places an LGBT couple cannot get the legal recognition they need to properly care for each other as they get older and to leave their estate to their partner. Sometimes, it is not the law that stands in the way, but individuals who are opposed to same-sex relationships.

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 Only an Attorney Can Create Your Estate Plan

It is generally true that you might be able to use the services of a non-attorney for your important estate planning documents and end-of-life plans. But is it wise to do so? Absolutely not. Not only are people and companies who offer these services often breaking the law, they are also often not serving your best interests.

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 The Conservatorship of Britney Spears

How many people not named Britney does it take to manage Britney Spears' affairs? It turns out that the answer might be two. Recently, a court approved her fiancé as a co-conservator in charge of her day-to-day affairs. Her father has been her conservator since 2008 and will also continue in that capacity.

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 Hiring Professionals to Serve as Trustees

If you are afraid of your family fighting over your estate in Probate Court, an estate planning attorney has ways to help alleviate that concern. The most important way for many people is to use a Revocable Living Trust, because the assets in the Trust do not have to go through the Probate process. However, you should be aware that a Revocable Living Trust does not stop all interfamily legal fights.

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 Talk to an Attorney after Receiving an Unexpected Inheritance

Receiving an unexpected inheritance can sometimes feel a lot like winning the lottery. Suddenly, you have assets that you did not plan on having. Before making plans to spend any of the inheritance, there are several reasons that you should visit with a probate attorney.

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 Avoiding Probate

You often hear that you should ‘avoid probate’ when doing estate planning, but do you know why you would want property to avoid the probate process? Why does estate planning often involve avoiding probate?

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 Special Needs Trusts

A Supplemental Needs Trust, also known as a Special Needs Trust, is a specific legal Trust designed to benefit an individual who has a disability while retaining their need-based benefits. This can be a powerful estate planning tool for those who have loved ones that may experience a chronic illness or be physically or mentally challenged. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Supplemental Needs Trusts.

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 Probate Length

You often hear about the length and expense of probate, and some aspects of estate planning are aimed at avoiding probate. But why does probate take months, even years, to complete? Probate is the legal process that validates a will, if there is one, and administers the estate of a deceased. You often hear about the length and expense of probate, and some aspects of estate planning are aimed at avoiding probate.

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 Probate Benefits

Certainly you have heard about or read the reasons for avoiding probate, which is the legal process of ‘settling’ an estate. But were you aware of any benefits that probate may actually offer to some estates? Certainly you have heard about or read the reasons for avoiding probate, which is the legal process of ‘settling’ an estate.

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 Four Reasons to Consider a Living Trust

A living trust is a powerful estate planning tool, and we discuss four reasons a family should consider using this tool within their estate plan. To review how a living trust works: A living trust is a legal arrangement that manages a person's property during their lifetime and distributes it according to their wishes upon their death.

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 What is a Pour Over Will?

Attorneys use many different terms in estate planning and they sometimes use terms without thoroughly explaining what everything means. For example, if you have a revocable living trust, an estate attorney might also suggest that you create a pour over Will. If you do not know what a pour over Will is, you are not alone.

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 Don't Leave Your Spouse's Probate to Your Children

No one wants to go through the probate process after a spouse dies, but there is an important reason that you shouldn't delay it. If you do not probate your deceased spouse's estate, then your children might have to after you pass away. In fact, they might need to probate both you and your spouse's estates at the same time.

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 Appoint a Power of Attorney Agent Before You Need One

Everyone should have an attorney draft a general durable power of attorney for them as part of their estate plan. If you do not have one, your loved ones may have to scramble to make sure that your interests are protected if you are incapacitated. This can cause needless delays and frustrations for you and your loved ones.

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 An Estate Planning Attorney Provides the Personal Advice an Online Document Service Cannot

Planning for what will happen to your assets and property after you pass away is one of the most complicated and confusing legal decisions that most people ever have to make. The number of different estate plan options and documents can be overwhelming. Attorneys who specialize in estate planning can alleviate problems that you have in understanding all of the different options.

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 Probate Litigation -- How to Avoid It

A lengthy probate battle can drain estate assets and leave beneficiaries without access to them until the matter is settled by the court. Although you may be under the impression that probate litigation is only for the rich and famous, rest assured it is not. In addition, you may be counting on the fact that you won’t be around to worry about it in the event a probate battle does come to pass.

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 Updating Your Will -- There May Be More Reasons to Do So Than You Realize

Your Last Will and Testament creates the foundation for your estate plan.

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 Hollywood Highlights the Need for Estate Planning

Hollywood is always good for a great story about a money dispute involving someone famous. Actors, producers, authors, and agents are forever arguing about who gets how much of the millions they make each year. These stories rarely have any bearing to the average American’s life. Occasionally, however, a Hollywood story actually does hit home with the average American, as in the case of the recent death of legendary R&B, jazz, and blues singer Etta James.

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 Q and A of Wills (2)

Creating a will is the starting point of estate planning, but it certainly should not be the ending point. While there are several other documents that make up a comprehensive estate plan, we answer questions involving the most important document, the will.

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 Elder Law

The practice of elder law is an area of expertise that developed from the need of a growing population of senior citizens with specific legal issues. What can an elder law attorney do for you or a loved one? Elder law is a relative new area in the practice of law, arising from the need of a growing population of senior citizens with specific legal needs.

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 Will Updates

Despite its purpose, a will is a living document, meaning it should be updated or changed as situations warrant and life changes occur. In fact, even if circumstances do not change, a will should be reviewed every three to five years.

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 The Role of a Trust in Disability Planning

One aspect of estate planning involves disability planning, which is creating a contingency plan in case of incapacitation in later years. A living trust is one estate planning tool that can often be put to good use within a disability plan.

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 Estate Planning with Second Marriages

Estate planning for clients who are in their second marriage often presents some challenges that are not present where the clients are in their first marriage.Sorting through a confusing mix of what belongs to whom, and who gets what belonging to whom, can produce feelings of hurt and resentment.

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 Duties of the Executor of a Last Will and Testament

When most people create their Last Will and Testament, they nominate a spouse, partner, child or parent as the executor of the Will without giving much thought to what the position of executor actually entails. However, once you understand the complex nature of the duties of an executor, you may decide to give a little more thought to the choice of the executor.

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 How to Get the Most Out of a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

Given the typically high rate of both gift taxes and estate taxes, the grantor retained annuity trust, or GRAT, has become a popular estate planning option over recent years. Although the rules for a GRAT are complex and ever-changing, the basic concept is simple enough to understand.

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 How Does an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Operate?

The avoidance of estate taxes and the often costly and lengthy process known as probate, are two important goals of many estate plans. For those who have substantial assets that they anticipate leaving to family and loved ones, estate taxes are a prominent consideration when estate planning. Although the estate tax rate changes on a regular basis, it is typically extremely high -- often hovering around 50 percent.

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 Succession Planning for Your Small Business

Just as estate planning is important for your personal assets, succession planning is equally important for your business. Failing to create a comprehensive succession plan can leave your business in limbo upon your death or incapacity as well as potentially leave your loved ones without the benefit of the value of your interest in the business.

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 Estate Planning Steps

Whether your primary goal when planning your estate is financial security, avoidance of probate or limiting taxes, the estate planning process can be time consuming and complicated. No two estates are exactly the same; however, there are some basic steps that are typically involved in the estate planning process for all individuals. Understanding the process, and the steps involved, can make the process less complicated and more effective.

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 What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse

As some point in your life, you are likely to have an elderly loved one who is unable to fully care for himself or herself. As people in the United States live longer, the population of people over the age of 65 continues to increase. Many people now live into their 80s and 90s with a great deal of independence. Even those who are relatively independent, however, eventually need some type of assistance in most cases.

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 How to Use an AB Trust

One of the biggest concerns for individuals and couples with a sizable estate is how to accomplish the transfer of assets upon death without incurring estate taxes.

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 How to Avoid Probate

When an individual dies, the assets owned by the decedent are often required to pass through a legal process known as probate.

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 What Is a Joint Tenancy?

Joint tenancy is a form of property ownership that comes to us from the common law of feudal England.

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 Choosing an Executor for Your Estate

Choosing an Executor to handle your estate after you pass is difficult. It is tempting to name a spouse or family member – but do you know the responsibilities and duties of an Executor? An Executor is named within a will to administer an estate, and they will be tasked with several responsibilities during the probate process, which is the legal process that takes place in Probate Court that handles the administration of a deceased’s estate.

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 Three Ways To Create a Trust

A trust is a powerful estate planning tool,and there is more than one way to create a trust,including…

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 Who Will Manage My Child’s Finances if I Die

Many parents with children under the age of 18 create a will to name a guardian for their children should both parents die unexpectedly. Although they name a personal guardian for their children, what about the financial aspect – particularly if their children inherit the parents property outright as well?

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 Do Not Make This Major Estate Planning Mistake

Most people know that the proceeds of a life insurance policy are generally free of income taxes. What many do not realize, however, is that life insurance proceeds are included in their estate for estate tax purposes.

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 Why Writing a Will Saves Money

Creating a will is one of the cornerstones of estate planning. Not only does it allow you to name the Executor for your estate, the guardian for your children and the plan for distribution of your property, but it can save money as well. How?

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 Sentimental Favorites

The death of a loved one can bring out either the best or the worst in families. Typically, it is not the major pieces of property that cause conflict, but the smaller sentimental pieces.

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 Avoiding Living Trust Mills

A living trust can be a powerful estate planning tool – it not only allows you to control the distribution of your property after you die, but it offers a mechanism to manage your property in the event of your incapacity.

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 Estate Planning: When Good Intentions Result in Bad Gifting

Many of the clients we meet with have misinformation regarding gifting their property. When properly used, gifting can be a valuable estate planning tool.

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 Four Ways to Protect a Spouse Should the Unthinkable Occur

Setting up a comprehensive estate plan is the key to easing the burden of passing on your estate to your spouse or loved one.

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 Why Would I Need a Trust?

A trust is a valuable estate planning tool, but many don’t realize how their estate can benefit by creating a trust.

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 What Is the Generation Skipping Tax?

Many of the estate tax laws address property that is passed from one generation to the next, such as from a parent to a child.

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 What are Residuary Clauses?

One of the cornerstones of estate planning is creating a will, but a ‘do it yourself’ will kit may leave out a necessary provision within a will – the Residuary Clause.

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 Estate Planning Avoidance

Certainly estate planning is not a pleasant subject. No one likes to consider what life will be like for their family when they die. We discuss some of the most frequently heard excuses in putting off estate planning.

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 Four Things that Do Not Belong in a Will

Creating a will is the cornerstone of estate planning – a will names a guardian for your minor children, names an executor for your estate and allows you to distribute your property. While wills are certainly critical, they are not the place for all of your estate planning directives.

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 Trusts Estates 2

If you have started the process of estate planning, you realize that a living trust can benefit many estate plans.

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 Special Needs Children

Leaving money to a special needs child through an outright inheritance can disqualify them for government benefits that they may need for their care. In fact, an inheritance of as little as $2,000 could have serious consequences for them and cause them an interruption in any public benefits they may be receiving.

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 The Perils of Estate Planning

A 2010 Indiana court ruling highlights the importance of working with an estate planning attorney who can create a customized estate plan to meet your specific needs.

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 How Much is an Estate’s Executor Paid?

One of the most important estate planning documents is a will – not only does it distribute your property when you die, but it names a guardian for your children and an executor for your estate.

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 What is Life Care Planning?

Estate planning has changed over the past decade, and for the better. Estate Planning now takes a more holistic approach to the process, one that often includes life care planning.

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 Does Your Estate Plan Reflect Your Values?

Estate planning can not only distribute your property and ease the burden of your passing on your loved ones, but you can pass along your value system to your beneficiaries as well.

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 Three Responsibilities of a Trustee to a Beneficiary

The duties of the Trustee of a trust, whether it is a living trust or a testamentary trust, surround those of any fiduciary relationship, and that means there is not only a moral and ethical responsibility, but a legal one as well.

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 Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

For small business owners, estate planning needs to be a big deal.

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 You can Contest a Will, but can you Contest a Trust?

Many people have heard of filing a Will Contest,but many people are not aware that Trusts may also be contested,modified,or even terminated.

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