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Estate Planning Alert: Review of Wills for Newly Married Couples

By Nicholas Frost, Attorney, Hershner Hunter (reprinted with permission of the author) Many same-sex couples who are now getting married as a result of the recent Oregon federal district court ruling may be revoking their wills without knowing it. Oregon law generally provides that marriage revokes an existing will. Many previously unmarried Oregon couples may now opt to get married in light of the court ruling overturning Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. Those couples may not realize the risk that…

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Social Security Retirement Benefits: The Mini-Series

This is the first of a series on Social Security – primarily focusing on the retirement benefits. The goal for this series is to address the key questions asked by our clients. Questions like: When should I begin taking Social Security? What options are available to me? Which options are better for my circumstances? Will my benefits be taxable? I am going to heed Sgt. Joe Friday’s words and provide “Just the facts, ma’am.” Therefore, I will not be making…

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Transfer on Death Accounts

What is “Transfer on Death?” It is a designation that can be applied to an individual or joint account that enables you to specify your beneficiary(ies) in the event of your demise. Typically, when IRAs are set-up, you have already made those decisions since there is a place on the application form for you to designate your beneficiaries. However, applications for taxable accounts generally do not ask for beneficiary designation. You may ask, “Why is this important?” Designating an account…

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Mapping the Future

Do any of these questions sound familiar? When can I afford to retire? What would a transition from full-time employment to part-time employment or consulting look like? Can I afford to reduce my hours to be a regular provider of care to my grandchildren? To my aging parent? Should I take Social Security at age 62, 65, 70, or full retirement age? When should my spouse take Social Security? How would my decisions for Social Security and other pension income…

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The Happiness Project

With its bright blue cover, Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project caught my eye as I was looking for something to read on the flight back to Oregon after a summer business trip to North Carolina. Maybe there are a couple of practical insights I could benefit from I thought. Rubin said she realized that “Time is passing and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” So she decided to undertake a year-long adventure exploring what makes us…

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