January 23, 2020

The SECURE Act was passed into law at the end of 2019 and went into effect on January 1, 2020. The SECURE Act makes sweeping changes to the rules for distributions from retirement plans.  First, the age that an owner of a retirement plan must start withdrawing the funds from the account (and paying the resulting income taxes) has risen to age 72.  Second, and more importantly from an estate planning perspective, the SECURE Act makes dramatic changes to the way children and other beneficiari...

January 7, 2020

President Trump has signed a spending bill that makes major changes to retirement plans. The new law is designed to provide more incentives to save for retirement, but it may require workers to rethink some of their planning. 

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act changes the law surrounding retirement plans in several ways


  • Stretch IRAS. The biggest change eliminates “stretch” IRAs. Under current law, if you name anyone other than a spouse as the...

December 18, 2019

The Oregon POLST Coalition recently created Guidelines on POLST Use in Persons with Significant Disabilities.

By creating these Guidelines the Coalition strives to achieve two goals:  

First, to promote broader access to high quality end of life care for persons with significant disabilities who are nearing the end of life.

Second, to raise awareness of the appropriate use of POLST and specifically to advise against the use of POLST in those with stable disabilities who do not have a seriou...

December 9, 2019

At the end of the year, many of our clients reflect on the health and well being of their families.  They take comfort in knowing they put together an estate plan to ensure the financial security of their family. However, don’t forget to consider whether your children have their affairs in order. Estate planning is important to people of all ages.  If your children have minor children, own their home, have a blended family, or are building their own wealth, they should consult with an attorney a...

December 3, 2019

Prepaying for your funeral is one way to ease the burden on your family following your death and make sure your wishes are carried out. But pre-paid funeral plans come with risks, so you need to exercise care when purchasing a plan. 

Funerals are expensive and can take a lot of effort to plan. To help relieve your family of some of this expense and effort, you can pay for your funeral in advance with a pre-paid funeral plan purchased through a funeral home. In addition to making things easier f...

November 26, 2019

The end of the year is approaching and the holidays will soon be in full swing, a time when many people are getting ready to make gifts to their family members. Not only is this a great way to show love and support to relatives, but it makes tax planning sense. Current federal tax law allows taxpayers to gift amounts up to $15,000 per recipient per year without it counting against their lifetime gift exemption of $11.4 million (an amount that will revert to $5.49 million in 2026 unless Congress...

November 19, 2019

Fitzwater Law is pleased to announce that Partner Melanie Marmion has been nominated into The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

ACTEC is an organization of lawyers and law professors who have been nominated by their peers for their skills and experience in estate planning, probate procedure, and administration of trusts and estates. To become an ACTEC member, a lawyer must have been practicing probate and trust law or estate planning for at least 10 years, while having made su...

November 18, 2019

Theressa Hollis spoke to the Oregon City community this weekend about all things estate planning. Her presentation was open to the public at no charge and everyone was welcome to ask questions. Theressa spoke mainly on the explanation of Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Directives.

Theressa is one of the partners at Fitzwater Law and has been practicing elder law and estate planning for more than 19 years. Her practice emphasizes legal issues unique to the elderly and their fam...

November 11, 2019

Making sure your end-of-life wishes are followed no matter where you happen to be is important. If you move to a different state or split your time between one or more states, you should make sure your advance directive is valid in all the states you frequent.

An advance directive gives instructions on the kind of medical care you would like to receive should you become unable to express your wishes yourself, and it often designates someone to make medical decisions for you. Each state has its...

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SECURE Act - What You Need To Know

January 23, 2020

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