Law Office of Gregory J. Hall

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Important:  Information provided in this Frequently Asked Questions section is general information and is not intended to apply to any specific situation.  If you need legal advice or have any questions regarding the application of law in a particular matter, you should consult an attorney.


What is a Will?

Who needs a Will?

What is a Trust?

Who needs a Trust?

What is a Personal Representative?

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

What is Community Property?

How do I know if I need an Attorney?

I live in Oregon, can your firm still meet my needs?

Q:  What is a Will?

A:  A will is a legal document that allows a person to determine what happens to his or her property after his or her death.  A will may also be used to name guardians for children, create trusts, and name an individual to handle his or her affairs after death.

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Q:  Who needs a Will?

A:  When a person dies and does not have a valid will at the time of his or her death, the person is said to have died "intestate", and his or her property will be distributed by the court system in accordance with specific state and federal laws.  This may lead to additional costs, delays, and result in personal items being distributed in ways contrary to how a person would have wished.  Therefore, it is prudent for anyone with property of value (including, for example, cars, jewelry, art, property, and family heirlooms) to have a valid will.  Wills are effective only upon death and may be changed or revoked at any time.

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Q:  What is a Trust?

A:  A trust is an agreement where money or other assets are held and managed by one party (a trustee) for the benefit of another party (a beneficiary).  Trusts can be useful to ensure assets are distributed to a beneficiary in a safe and consistent manner.  Trusts may also be created to avoid unnecessary taxation, and to provide a means of controlling or administering property.

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Q:  Who needs a Trust?

A:  There are many different types of trusts to fit the various circumstances and goals of individuals.  An attorney can examine a person's particular situation and determine what type of trust would best suit their specific needs and goals.

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Q:  What is a Personal Representative?

A:  A personal representative manages the legal and business affairs of a deceased individual.  The personal representative may be named in a will, or appointed by a court.

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Q:  What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A:  A durable power of attorney is a document that allows an individual to appoint a person or entity to act on his or her behalf (for example, to make his or her financial decisions), if he or she should become unable to do so.

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Q:  What is "Community Property"?

A:  Community Property is a state system where, in general, each spouse of a married couple may own a 50% interest in all property acquired during the marriage (there are exceptions to this, for example, property acquired by one spouse as an inheritance or a gift may be excluded.) Washington is a community property state.  Oregon is not a community property state.

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Q:  How do I know if I need an Attorney?

A:  Attorneys are consulted for a variety of reasons including the clarification of points of laws, the creation of documents tailored to an individual's specific needs, or to provide an informed discussion on how to plan for and carry out goals.  If you have a legal question or would like to know more about, for example, your estate planning options or setting up a business, it is likely that a consultation with an attorney would be insightful and beneficial.

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Q:  I live in Oregon, can your firm still meet my needs?

A:  Yes.  Gregory J. Hall is admitted to practice law in both the state of Oregon and the state of Washington.

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Information found in this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances.  Any results achieved for a client in one matter by this firm that might be referenced in this website does not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients.  You are urged to consult an experienced lawyer concerning your particular factual situation and any specific legal questions you may have.