Car accidents and insurance are a way of life. People generally know to exchange insurance information when they have a car accident. After that, it becomes confusing.
Oregon requires minimum coverage for car accidents. Insurance companies customarily resist paying more than they have to when you have an accident. We can help you maximize the compensation to which you are entitled.
Car accident litigation involves careful investigation, documentation, negotiation strategy, and the willingness to go to trial should settlement discussions fail.
We are very skilled at presenting a complete package to the insurance company from the inception. That package is persuasive from the beginning. The package also shows the insurance company that you are serious, and that you have the facts and the law to pursue the matter further if they are not willing to talk. Insurance companies also look at the experience of an attorney in evaluating the potential outcome of the case. We have been practicing for 29 years. Insurance companies know that we know our stuff. The presentation in the demand package confirms it.
Because of our close communication with our client, clients know what we are doing for them every step of the way. We take your input and direction, and give you the very best advice we can on how to proceed in this difficult situation.
If you have had the misfortune to be a victim in a car accident in Curry County, whether Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford, or points in between, give us a call. We can help you. The first consultation is free of charge.
Domestic Relations covers a broad spectrum of legal questions. One of the most frightening things about domestic relations cases to clients is the unknown. Having practiced domestic relations for 29 years, we can help put your mind at ease, and provide vigorous advocacy to suit your needs.
We have noticed that the economy has aggravated family difficulties in Brookings, Gold Beach, Pistol River, and Port Orford. When divorce happens, the most stressful area is the question of custody of the children. We treat the area of child custody with utmost compassion. We want to do what is best for the children. We can help you minimize the impact of a divorce on your children, and try to reach an agreement with your spouse so that the children are happy in both households. When an agreement is not possible, we provide in-depth investigation and skilled representation in court. We understand the pain and difficulty you are going through. We will help you with that.
Spousal support, or alimony, is fairly common for the Brookings area. The first requirement is that the spouses have different levels of income. We can help the disadvantaged spouse obtain reasonable spousal support. We can also help the advantaged spouse minimize spousal support in many cases. It is incumbent on the disadvantaged spouse to become self sufficient as soon as possible. For years, we have been devising proposals for that goal to be reached.
The division of property in domestic relations can be fairly complicated. How do you split a single large asset? Because pensions are considered property, how are they divided in a divorce court? What happens to items of sentimental value to both parties? The answers vary from case to case, but we can help give you ideas and present a logical case plan to the judge.
We have been handling domestic relations cases having a wide variety of complicated issues, for many years. We can help you untangle what might seem to be an impossibly complex situation, and break it down into a number of fairly straightforward issues.
Real Estate Transactions and Disputes
Chris Keusink was raised in Brookings, Oregon. He knows the kinds of problems that arise in Curry County real estate transactions. Maybe there is a dispute over where a boundary lies? Maybe new neighbors have a dispute about the use of an easement, location of an easement, or an increase in traffic or usage.
We have handled a vast number of real estate disputes in Brookings, Gold Beach, and Port Orford over the years. In most cases, we have been able to reach an acceptable compromise between the parties. When that has not been possible, we have taken dozens of real estate cases to trial.
When it comes down to it, your property is probably your most important asset. We provide vigorous and personalized representation, and a trial solution when it is needed.
One real property client recently left a stuffed piranha on Chris’ desk. We like that.
Estate Planning and Administration
It is important to have an estate plan in place, no matter what your situation. A Will or Trust can remove the need for your successors to have to buy an insurance policy (called a bond) in processing your estate. A Will or Trust also creates a plan that you want to see in place, rather than the default provisions dictated by Oregon Law.
We can help you plan your estate to lessen the impact of taxes upon your death.
It is also important to have a power of attorney in place, so that someone can look after your affairs if you are not able to do so. Failure to have a power of attorney can lead to expensive court guardians or conservatorship proceedings.
We try to save you money in creating your estate plan. Generally, we recommend a Will over a Trust. Trusts have their uses, but they are very expensive. And, unlike the generally held belief, Curry County probates tend to be relatively inexpensive. Having a Will is likely to cost less overall, and often is more effective.
One of the most emotionally draining times of life is when you lose a loved one, but you must deal with their estate. Estate Administration can seem to be overwhelming, but for years we have helped people get through the process without trauma. We can do most of the work for you, though we invite clients to do as much as possible to keep costs down. We use a team approach in both the Administration of Trusts and Probate Estate Administration.
Sometimes, a person is concerned for the future of an “other abled” child. We can create a special Trust that will not disqualify that child from government disability benefits. Your funds can be used to enhance the quality of life of your child, rather than be consumed on basic necessities. Talk to us about this.
Curry County, and particularly Brookings, has a population of older folks. It is important for everyone to have an estate plan in place, and to plan ahead for the issues that might arise in the future. We have had 29 years of experience in addressing that kind of problem, and we can probably help you.
Living Trust or Will?
It seems that the popular trend in Estate Planning is favoring Living Trusts. People think that such Trusts provide tax planning (they do) and avoid probate (they do if properly administered). However, Trusts are not a be-all end-all in Estate Planning.
The common pitch that attorneys use to sell Trusts is that a Trust can avoid the expense of probate. In many places, probate attorneys charge a percentage of the estate as their fees. That can be very expensive. In Curry County, that is not necessarily so.
We charge our probate services by the hour. This is usually vastly less expensive than a probate where attorney fees are charged as a percentage of an estate. Should you encounter an attorney who is charging by a percentage of the estate, we suggest you exit the building immediately and find an attorney who does not charge that way.
Tax planning can be done either in a Will or in a Living Trust. In fact, the documents share almost identical tax planning language in most cases. However, a Will should cost somewhere between $250.00 and $1000.00. Generally, Living Trusts are much more expensive.
Living Trusts can be complicated for people to understand and administer. Many times, older folks do not understand the complexities of a Living Trust, and the Living Trust is rendered partially or totally ineffective. And, the older a person gets, the more they want to do away with complexities. In that event, a Will can be preferable to a Living Trust.
In a probate, a judge can solve questions in 30 days or less. To get help with a Living Trust requires a full-fledged lawsuit. We like it when we have a judge to supervise a probate.
Our Law Firm does Living Trusts on a regular basis. Some people want them, because of the common preference and the modern trend in other states. The most common reason people choose a Living Trust is to avoid probate fees. However, in Curry County you can find several attorneys who charge for probate administration services by the hour instead.
We do recommend the use of a Living Trust if you own real property in other states, if you do not want certain people to have notice of a probate, or if you will have difficulty locating blood relatives. We do not believe that a person should pay a lot of money for a Living Trust, simply because that is the popular thing to do these days. In most cases a Will does what is needed, and an expensive Living Trust is not necessary. We can help you decide which is best for you.
Business Law includes contract drafting and review, and creation of an entity that is right for you in the conduct of your own business. In Brookings, Gold Beach, and Port Orford, quite a few folks have started their own small business enterprise. Others have an idea that they want to do so, but they do not know how to go about it. We can help.
Our philosophy is that whenever you have a contract that could hurt you if it were breached, an attorney should first review it. This should cost only three or four hundred dollars, which is a small investment considering the damage that can occur when things go wrong. We can help with anything from the sale of a business to the sale of a piece of equipment.
Sometimes the form of business entity you choose can be very important. Most business we form these days are either Limited Liability Companies, or closely held corporations called “S” Corporations. We can help you choose the right business entity that fits your needs and business character.
Creation of the business is not the only problem. We cannot run your business for you, but we can put you in touch with professionals who can assist you if you need it.
Sometimes, parties who started out as friends start their own business. Then, things can go a little bit wrong. We can help resolve business disputes, or take them to court if they are beyond amicable resolution. We have substantial experience in this area, and can foresee the pitfalls that commonly occur.