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Estate Planning Tips

Estate Planning

 Tips & Definitions taken from public sources. Not to be construed as giving legal advice. Please seek information from a licensed practitioner

As part of our commitment to education in property ownership, and as your trusted advisor in real estate financing, below are some links to valuable information that we hope you will consider if you own property.

Comprehensive Financial Planning - You know where you want your finances to be in a few years and in regards to your future retirement, but do you have a specific plan to get there? We encourage our clients and friends to consider working with a professional financial planner who will help you view each financial decision as part of a whole plan; considering the short and long-term effects. Your mortgage should be a financial tool aligned with your overall goals. It is a well thought out and executed plan that can make your ideas and dreams a reality.

How do you hold title to your property? Is it aligned with your current estate planning goals?

Over time, plans change. An often under-investigated item is how you hold title to your property, affecting what happens to it upon your death. Will your property pass to others on title as with rights of survivorship? Will the property pass to others not on title, such as your children or heirs? If you are unsure of how you are currently holding title, call us and we can research that information for you.

A Will – Without one, your property goes into “intestate succession” which means that the state will determine the individuals who will inherit and in what proportion. This is especially true when the estate is sizeable, and/or where there are many surviving relatives; and/or where death or divorce and remarriage have modified and enlarged the pattern of family relationships. The expenses, potentially greater tax liabilities and other problems of intestate succession can be avoided if you prepare a complete, up-to-date, and valid will.

  • A “Living Trust” is a legal mechanism more advanced than a Will. A living trust can provide for the private management of your assets if you choose not to act as trustee, or when you are unable to do so. If you become incapacitated, your trustee can assume responsibility for your assets in an accountable fashion, and manage them for your benefit without direct court intervention or supervision. At your passing or the expiration of the trust, the trustee acts as an executor would, gathering your assets, paying valid debts and claims and taxes, and distributing your assets as you have directed. Not everyone needs a Living Trust. On the other hand, many people recognize that a living trust may be helpful in the future, and set one up now to have it in place in the event of an accident or sudden illness. Below are links for general research. However, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney that specializes in Estate Planning.

· California: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Home.aspx  Type in Living Trust in the Search bar.

· Oregon: www.osbar.org Type in Living Trust in the Search bar.

· Washington Consumer Information Pamphlets:   http://www.wsba.org/News-and-Events/Publications-Newsletters-Brochures/Consumer-Information-Pamphlets

 Create an Advance Health Care Directive or “Living Will” – This document lets your physicians, family and friends know your health care preferences; including types of special treatments you do or do not want at the end of your life, should you become unable to make those decisions for yourself. Below are the web links where you can find detailed, state specific information and downloadable forms to create your own Advance Directives. Click on the below links:

· California: http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/adv_hc_dir.htm

· Oregon: http://egov.oregon.gov/DCBS/SHIBA/advanced_directives.shtml

· Washington: https://www.wsma.org/advance-directives

Avoid “Credit Life Insurance”—When you purchase or refinance a property, it is matter of public record and you suddenly get bombarded with all sorts of insurance offers. Credit Life insurance is a generic term for life insurance that only covers specific debt, like your mortgage or credit card balances. In the event of your death, credit life insurance will pay off ONLY the specific debt covered by the policy. As your mortgage or credit card debt decreases, so does your policy benefit. More traditional forms of Life Insurance can be acquired at lower cost, does not decrease over time, and can be directed towards many uses.

Usher Financial Group a Division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation NMLS #1850 #1053700  NMLS #41721
5335 Meadows RD STE 110, Lake Oswego, OR  97035
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Office:  (503) 595-1600
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Usher Financial a Division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation NMLS 1850 Branch NMLS 1053700
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