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Localized topics of interest for our Portland customers

Should your Oregon small business sue a customer?

March 18, 2013 - by

Every small business owner must one day decide what to do with unpaid customer bills.  Deciding whether to sue a customer is a difficult decision.  For one, it may simply not be worth your time if the customer is insolvent.  And depending on the industry your business is in, you may need to carefully weigh […]

Big Law Firms Abandon Trust and Estate Planning

March 15, 2013 - by

Trust and estate planning may no longer be in the wheelhouse of larger law firms. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a prominent international firm, is the latest to drop its trusts and estates practice group.  The prevailing thought behind this decision is that Debevoise’s trusts and estates department simply didn’t bring in the same amount of […]

Guardianships in Oregon

March 12, 2013 - by

What is a guardian? A guardian is someone whom the court appoints to make decisions for a protected person.  A guardian may be appointed for a minor when a parent is unable or unwilling to care for a child, or a guardian may be appointed for an adult who is incapacitated.  Guardians do not typically […]

Alternatives to Probate in Oregon

March 1, 2013 - by

Probate isn’t always needed in Oregon.  Probate is merely a way to transfer assets and clear title.  Through advance planning, titling of assets through a trust or with survivorship rights can avoid probate by creating “non-probate property”.  Additionally, with the right circumstances and the right types of assets, property that would normally be subject to […]

What is probate? And should you avoid it?

February 20, 2013 - by

Many potential clients want desperately to avoid probate when their loved ones have passed.  Probate isn’t for everyone, but it also gets a bad rap sometimes, both by attorneys and clients alike.  Many have likely heard a second-hand story about probates gone wild, where assets were hung up unceremoniously by the court.  That can happen, […]

Oregon Business Scam Alert

February 14, 2013 - by

The Oregon Corporate Records Service is a scam.  It is NOT the same thing as the Corporation Division at the Oregon Secretary of State.  Do NOT send them money or personal information about you or your business. We’ve seen multiple Oregon business clients in the past week bring to our attention a mailing they’ve received […]

Edge of the Cliff: Changes to the 2013 Federal Estate Tax

February 12, 2013 - by

Good news!  We didn’t go off the cliff on January 1st.  Even better news, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 finally provided some certainty to the federal estate tax by making permanent changes.  Well, “permanent” meaning that, for now at least, these provisions will not lapse, sunset, expire, or otherwise disappear after an arbitrary […]

New Year’s Legal Links

December 31, 2012 - by

Happy New Year everyone!  Here are some legal links to ring in the new year.  Starting off in our neck of the woods, the data is in on Washington’s privatization of liquor: prices haven’t come down (which is evident to anyone who’s examined the hefty taxes that replaced state-controlled price markups). In case you missed it, […]

Is a non-compete agreement enforceable in Oregon?

December 12, 2012 - by

Is your non-competition agreement enforceable in Oregon? If you have to ask, then the answer is: No, probably not. Oregon disfavors non-competition agreements, and presumes them invalid except in very narrow circumstances. Small business owners love them, and we see them in a number of circumstances where they just can’t be enforced. To find out […]

Do I need a will in Oregon?

December 10, 2012 - by

If you want to have a say in where your assets go after you die, then a will should be part of your estate plan.  Your will is not the only way to transfer property posthumously, and depending on your estate planning goals you might accomplish your plan with a trust, family LLC, transfer on […]

Forming an LLC in Oregon

November 29, 2012 - by

What is an LLC? A limited liability company is a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership, combining structural flexibility and favorable tax treatment with limited liability for officers and shareholders.  An LLC, like a corporation, is an artificial person. In Oregon, LLCs are authorized under the Oregon Limited Liability Act. Oregon LLCs provide limited […]

How to hold title to real estate in Oregon

November 28, 2012 - by

In Your Individual Name This is the simplest and most common way property is held, but it is not without its shortcomings.  Property titled in your name only can only be controlled by you.  This may not be a problem so long as you are in good health and of sound mind, but if you […]

How often should I update my will?

October 30, 2012 - by

There is no hard and fast rule, but as a guideline, you should revisit your will (and entire estate plan) at least every five years and every time you encounter a life changing event.  A life changing event could be one of the following: Change in relationship status (marriage, divorce, domestic partnership or long-term partnership) […]

What happens to your Facebook when you die?

October 27, 2012 - by

Our digital lives are increasingly an important consideration after our deaths.  This is especially so for our social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, which provide treasure troves of personal data about each individual user.  Over 1 billion people and counting use social media sites and services.  Facebook alone boasts 800 million users.  Twitter claims 500 […]

Your Oregon Advance Directive

October 27, 2012 - by

WHAT IS AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE? An Oregon advance directive is the means by which you can designate your health care representative and leave important instructions to your physician about when to use life-saving means to prolong your life.  For most people, the advance directive is an important and carefully thought out part of their estate […]

2012 Oregon Ballot Measures: What is Measure 84?

October 22, 2012 - by

Measure 84, if passed, does two things: 1) it eliminates the Oregon estate tax, and 2) it eliminates Oregon capital gains on property transfers between family members.  Measure 84 phases out the Oregon estate tax gradually over three years, with a tax decrease of 25% in 2013, 50% in 2014, and 75% in 2015. In […]

Oregon Transfer on Death Deeds

September 18, 2011 - by

Transfer on death deeds, or TODDs, are new instruments at your disposal thanks to Oregon’s adoption of the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act. TODDs fill a niche in your estate planning goals if you like the idea of keeping your real property out of probate but do not want to set up a […]

Your Power of Attorney isn’t Just a Form

July 23, 2011 - by

A power of attorney is a valuable tool in most estate plans, but only if that power of attorney is properly recognized.  Banks and other financial institutions, fearing their own liability, are quick to scrutinize powers of attorney and may be wary of honoring them.  Or banks may insist on the use of their own forms […]

Welcome

January 22, 2011 - by

Welcome to the new Bridge City Law website. We’re happy to finally be up and running for our clients, both old and new.  Our blog will refresh weekly, if not more often, and we hope to have a steady stream of legal and local articles. Our law firm opened its doors in the fall of […]