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Portland Area Law Blog

Thinking about selling your business?

There is a point in a business owner's life when he or she may consider walking away from the company. Some may choose to close up shop, while others may look at selling. Those in Oregon who are thinking about selling their businesses may find the process far more complicated and involved that they thought it would be. Thankfully, this is not something one has to do alone.

There are several reasons why one might want to sell. No matter what one's "why" is, when and how one goes about it matters. Many experts would agree that trying to sell when the economy is in a good place is ideal.

Legal counsel can help when utilizing ADR methods

When dealing with a legal issue, wanting to keep the matter out of court is understandable. Most people want to avoid litigation if they can. Alternative dispute resolution methods do exist and can be the best course of action. Not only can utilizing ADR methods prevent litigation, they can also save Oregon residents time and money if gone about the right way.

Yes, it is possible to mess up negotiations in mediation, and it is certainly possible to poorly present one's case before an arbitrator. When utilizing either of these ADR methods, it is possible to have legal counsel prepared and ready to assist when needed. The key is finding an attorney who has experience with ADR methods and can use them appropriately.

Oregon real estate law: In a boundary dispute with a neighbor?

Getting along with neighbors is not always the easiest of things to do. This is particularly true when in the midst of a boundary dispute. With the assistance of an Oregon-based real estate law attorney, this type of issue can be settled as swiftly as possible so that all parties involved can move on.

There are several reasons that boundary disputes occur. They all come back to one thing, though, which is the unauthorized use of property. Some property disputes can be resolved by looking at property surveys, and some require a bit more than that.

Stepparent actions can lead to estate litigation

With the high level of divorces that occur in the United States every year, numerous people in Oregon and elsewhere end up getting remarried and have to work on blending their families. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When it comes to the death of a parent, there can be big problems between stepparents and stepchildren during the estate administration process, to the point where estate litigation may be unavoidable.

Recently, a concerned individual sought advice about a problem he or she had with his or her stepmother. This person claims that a will was left behind by his or her father, but the will was never seen during the administration of his estate. There was an understanding that he wanted to ensure his wife was taken care of, so she remained in the home they shared up until her death. After she died, the house, instead of being bequeathed to his children, went to her daughter. Now this individual and his or her siblings want to know what they can do to get the inheritance they are confident their father intended to give them.

3 Important steps to take as a successor trustee

Managing a settlor’s trust once they have passed is a big responsibility. Chances are, the settlor has already worked with you and prepared you for this role. Still, it can be an overwhelming process once the trust enters the administration phase. Here are three important steps you should immediately take as a successor trustee.

 

Has one of your employees been accused of harassment?

Not much is easy about being a business owner in Oregon. You certainly have a lot to worry about. One thing you hope you never have to deal with is complaints of harassment at your establishment. After all, you've done what you can to make your business a good place to work. Unfortunately, as you know, you cannot control all of your employees' actions, and you've recently found out that one of your employees has been accused of harassment, which has left you in a tough position.

The actions you take after receiving a harassment complaint can hurt you and your company if you are not careful. Federal law prohibits harassment in the workplace. When such accusations are made, it is an employer's job to investigate and take action. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, you may be accused of not doing enough, failing to protect the victim, or going too far -- wrongfully terminating the accused. It is impossible to please everyone, and lawsuits may result.

Estate administration and litigation: Problems with an executor?

The person designated to be the executor of your loved one's estate is a person he or she trusted to handle his or her final affairs. Unfortunately, not all executors are fit to fulfill their roles. Those who find themselves at odds with their loved one's executor may be able to do something about it during the estate administration process. It may require court intervention to resolve, but legal counsel who understands Oregon probate law can assist with that.

Executors have a lot on their plate. An individual in this position is charged with locating estate planning documents, opening a probate case, paying taxes and debts, and divvying assets according to the decedent's wishes -- among other things. All of this can take time. Unfortunately, some executors may make mistakes along the way, which can cost beneficiaries dearly in the long run.

Thinking about a DIY will? Think again

Most adults in the United States have not taken the time to prepare estate plans. Many do not even have a basic will in place. Some Oregon residents may not want to think about it, some may feel having a will is unnecessary and others simply never get to it before their time on this earth is up. Anyone who wants to jot his or her wishes down quickly may consider a do-it-yourself will -- but is a DIY will worth it?

A DIY will might be sufficient for a person who has no special concerns and few assets. The keyword in that sentence being might. Outside of being a cheap and quick option for obtaining a will, there is nothing else that is good about DIY wills.

Is being a personal representative a good fit for you?

While many people feel honored to manage the financial affairs of a beloved friend or relative, some are unaware of what’s involved in being named the executor of an estate, known as a personal representative here in Oregon. The duty requires you to have a lot of patience, free time and solid organizational skills.

Personal representatives must be prepared to spend a lot of time overseeing the final wishes for another person’s estate. They may also need some investigative skills if assets are hidden or forgotten, and they should be prepared for potential conflicts between or with beneficiaries.

Alternative dispute resolution does not always work out

No one wants to go to court to settle a dispute if they can avoid it. After all, litigation can be drawn out and expensive. Alternative dispute resolution methods exist to help those who wish to avoid court do just that. ADR can work in most cases, if all involved parties are willing to put in the work and negotiate. Unfortunately, some in Oregon and elsewhere may find ADR does not always work out as they had hoped.

A recent example of failed ADR is the U.S. Women's soccer case. The players filed discrimination lawsuits against U.S. Soccer in an effort to seek equal pay and resolve a few other issues. They claim they are paid roughly 60% less than male players. U.S. Soccer denies the accusations made in this case.

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