What is it about what you do that is unique? Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Our law firm is a boutique firm specializing in estate planning and administration. That means we prepare wills and trusts. We also handle the administration of a person’s estate after they have passed. That could be through the probate courts or it could be advising on the administration of a trust. Personally, I further focus my practice on planning for same-sex and unmarried couples. There are a lot of issues there that do not come up with married couples. But, don’t worry, we don’t discriminate. All clients are welcome in our firm.
What excites and motivates you about your business?
My process is really to educate my clients. I truly enjoy my meetings with my clients where we get to talk about their estate goals and I can help them to see the possibilities of what they can accomplish.
What do you do daily to grow your business?
We take a collaborative approach with our referral sources and are constantly working with and educating the financial advisors, insurance agents, brokers, real estate and mortgage brokers we work with about the types of estate planning services we provide. Showing them ways they can help their clients as well as showing clients ways in which they can provide creditor protection for their loved ones is very powerful.
How do you define success for yourself and your business?
By the satisfaction of our clients. Our clients become part of our family and become our friends. There’s nothing better than wrapping up our work for a client and getting a big hug at the end (pre-pandemic days, of course). I also like to tell people who ask us what kind of clients we want, that we want huggable clients!
Tell us about one or two big successes you’ve had over the last year.
Our business continues to grow. This past year we were fortunate enough to hire Heidi, a new associate attorney who had recently graduated from Willamette University College of Law. She came to us with some estate planning experience under her belt and her practice will continue to focus on estate planning. In addition to helping clients to avoid probate of their estates, we have also helped dozens of clients in the last year to avoid $100,000 in future estate taxes upon their deaths.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in your business since you started it?
When I started, the federal and state exemptions from estate tax was just $600,000. Today the federal exemption is over $11 million and the Oregon exemption is $1 million. My colleagues told me my business would dry up when the tax exemptions went so high. To the contrary, our business has thrived in part because our primary focus was never just avoiding the estate tax (that would be like the tail wagging the dog). Instead, we have always focused on helping families and ensuring the goals for their loved ones could be met.
Do you have something new or exciting happening with your business that you haven’t had the chance to tell us?
Although we didn’t know it at the time, we were prepared to work remotely when the pandemic hit. We continue to conduct most of our client meetings via zoom. The process has been so successful, our clients love the fact they can see us but also appreciate not having to drive into the office to meet with us. We plan to continue offering remote online meetings with our clients even after restrictions are lifted.
What is the best way for people to engage with your company?
Nothing beats a good (now old fashioned) telephone call (503-224-6611). Our entire team is happy to talk with prospective clients and help them to get started with our process. That being said, this is the 21st century! So, email works ([email protected]), you can connect with us on our website LegacyPreservationLaw.com, FaceBook, and you can even find my dog and our office mascot, Cooper on Twitter @Cooper_LPL.