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Oregon Estate Planning
Most American adults—including those in Oregon—don't have a last will and testament. This is an essential estate planning tool, but people procrastinate, deny that they have anything of value to include in a will and assume they still have years to plan. But rich or poor, young or old, every adult should have a will. And an estate planning attorney can help you create one.
Crafting a Last Will & Testament
Before an estate planning lawyer can draft your will, it's important to ensure that you meet the legal requirements.
Under Oregon estate planning laws, to create a last will and testament you must:
- Be at least 18 years old or be married
- Be "of sound mind," meaning you're mentally competent, know what you're doing and are acting of your own free will
To be legally binding, your will must be in writing and signed by you in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign the will.
A will enables you to do several things:
- Designate beneficiaries to inherit your estate, and specify what property in particular they should receive
- Name an executor to manage your estate and carry out the instructions in your will after you pass away
- Name a guardian for your minor children
When working with an estate planning lawyer, your attorney will write your last will in such a way that addresses contingencies that arise after the will is finalized. For example, suppose you want to leave your entire estate to be divided equally between your grown son and daughter. What happens if your son passes away after your will is created, but before you die? Does his share go to his sister? To his wife? To his children? Your attorney can help you think through these contingencies.
Your lawyer may also suggest additional estate planning tools that could be beneficial, including:
- A trust, which is an alternate way to pass money and property onto your heirs
- A healthcare power of attorney and living will, which allow you to retain some control over your health and medical treatment if you're incapacitated
- A financial power of attorney, which lets you empower another person to handle certain legal and financial tasks on your behalf
Find & Hire Local Oregon Estate Planning Attorneys
If you need help locating estate planning lawyers or probate attorneys in your area, you've come to the right website. Attorneys.com offers a free lawyer referral service that can connect you with lawyers across Oregon, including attorneys in Portland, Eugene and Salem. Fill out the form on this page to get matched with an attorney today, or call us at 877-913-7222.