Steven R. Bennett

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Wealth Management & Transfer Advisor

Steve analyzes tax issues and recommends optimal strategies to effectively manage and transfer wealth for individuals, high net worth families, businesses, and entrepreneurs.  He offers clients efficient, practical solutions to their estate planning, business, and real estate needs. One of his greatest skills is achieving clients' objectives and managing their expectations through frequent and straight-forward communication. 
 
In his estate planning practice, Steve helps create estate plans tailored to client objectives, and reviews existing estate plans to ensure they are up-to-date with state and federal tax laws, applicable state laws, and evolving family structures and goals. He represents singles and couples (and particularly high net-worth clients) in the preparation of wills and trusts, complex estate analysis, probate and estate administration, estate and income tax planning, asset transfers and ownership analysis, estate and trust dispute resolution, and business succession planning. 

On the business side, Steve handles entity formation, governance, and dispositions. He has substantial experience negotiating and drafting complex contracts in a variety of business settings. Steve emphasizes keeping the deal on track and moving forward. He represents both buyers and sellers in sales, mergers, acquisitions, and stock transfers.

Real estate is an active part of Steve's practice. He provides analysis and specialized advice on a broad range of real estate issues, both residential and commercial, including investments, sales, leasing, financing, exchanges, and easements. Steve likes to make things happen; he works hard to free up the log jam when clients get stuck.

Little Known Facts:  Grew up in Southern California | Received a degree in computer science in 1975 | Became an attorney because his real estate developer father said the guy to be in any deal, is the lawyer | Believes physical activity is the best therapy and enjoys running, swimming, cycling, weight training, golfing, skiing, and snowboarding (fast, but not crazy and always courteous!) | Grew up with three older sisters and to this day cannot listen to Barbara Streisand 

Representative Matters

Estate Planning and Estate Administration
  • Represented trustee in dispute with co-trustee in complex estate situation, helped negotiate settlement, prepared detailed settlement agreement.
  • Performed review and update of living trust and related documents for high net-worth couple; found many out-dated provisions and added useful new features to achieve clients' goals
  • Advised client to update the family trust to eliminate numerous obsolete provisions and presented client with a list of proposed changes and a realistic budget – project was completed on time and within budget and the client was relieved to have an updated set of documents to achieve his estate planning objectives 
  • Represented a widow in the administration of her husband's estate following his unexpected death – the husband had recently signed updated estate planning documents so we were able to efficiently resolve all asset transfers and estate issues, resulting in no state or federal death taxes, minimal income taxes, and limited legal fees
  • Represented client in challenge of will where there was evidence of undue influence; negotiated mutually agreeable compromise settlement
Business and Real Estate Transactions
  • Represented owner of commercial property in negotiation of lease terms with purchase option and carry-back financing; deal closed efficiently to the satisfaction of all parties
  • Represented seller of apartment complex where the buyer was unable to line up lender financing so negotiated for the seller to carry financing by a note and trust deed from the buyer – the transaction closed quickly and smoothly and all parties were pleased with the outcome 
  • Represented buyer in an acquisition of a competitor by negotiating asset purchase and non-compete agreements – client was pleased we were able to restrict the seller's ability to compete
  • Represented local seller in complex business sale to national competitor. Buyer and its New York attorneys attempted to impose unfavorable terms and complexities, and we were able to negotiate compromises and simplify the transaction 

Speaking Engagements

Steve is certified as a continuing education provider by the Oregon Real Estate Agency, and regularly presents seminars on real estate issues to real estate developers.  In addition, he has served as speaker at numerous presentations on estate planning and business law.  Steve was recently the speaker at a presentation to over 50 lawyers at the Real Estate Section of the Oregon State Bar, covering real estate issues that arise in decedents' estates.  Steve has also spoken on the practical aspects of business mergers and acquisitions at a Multnomah County Bar presentation to fellow bar members. 

Education

University of Santa Clara (J.D. 1978)
University of Oregon (B.A. Computer Science, 1975)

Admissions

Oregon State Bar

Associations

Oregon State Bar Client Security Fund Committee

News & Events

Real Estate Investing - Buyer's Perspective

1/6/2014

There are many attractive opportunities for investment in real estate, particularly triple net properties. There are also several complexities to such investments, and an informed buyer can minimize risk by being prepared. READ MORE

Tenant Issues in Commercial Leases

7/15/2013

When a person or a business finds the ideal commercial space, the next step is lease negotiation. The commercial lease is far different from the more familiar residential lease or rental agreement. READ MORE

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