Richard R Hattenhauer

Richard R Hattenhauer

Business Law Attorney serving the Portland area, offering FREE Consultation on Wills, Trusts,and Estate issues

Firm Overview

The primary focus of my law practice since 1985 has been pretty evenly divided between estate planning and business law. I have found that they go hand in hand; many of my small business clients also require estate planning for business continuity purposes. My clients are derived from referrals by other attorneys, accountants, financial planners and clients.

Example cases

Business Law:

Most clients looking to commence a business must first be advised on what is the best business entity for the client. The two most typical business entities are limited liability companies and S election corporations. I believe to best help my clients I must explore the tax features for both of these types of business entities, so that the client has the best business entity for them. Once the business entity has been selected, and the incorporation of the business entity is completed, I always look forward to reviewing with my clients how the business entity can best be used to their benefit and protection. Much of the recent past has involved the forming of limited liability companies for real estate investments. Limited liability companies are typically good for this type of business, in that they give peace of mind to the property owners and will give them some protection from legal claims. The other type business start-up is an S corporation. The S corporation not only offers the peace of mind and the protection from legal claims like a limited liability company, in the correct circumstances it may offer excellent tax savings as well.

The other typical case that I routinely deal with involves someone who is either purchasing or selling a business. I find that the seller or the buyer is always excited about the prospect of finalizing the business deal. An experienced lawyer can help that buyer or seller navigate the pitfalls of a purchase document by managing expectations so that the buyer and seller are not driven apart.

Wills, Trusts and Estates:

The most familiar estate planning cases break into two groups. The first group is estates that consist of less than $1,000,000; the second is estates greater than $1,000,000. Typically, for estates less than $1,000,000, which by the nature of law are probably not taxable, the estate plan is simpler and therefore less expensive. Estates that are greater than $1,000,000, since they usually involve detailed tax planning, are more expensive. Regardless of the tax planning aspect of either case, all estate plans need to deal with an administrator of the estate and the beneficiaries of the estate. For a husband and wife, they generally desire that the surviving spouse is the primary beneficiary, with their children the secondary beneficiaries. However, it is not untypical for the plan to include an educational trust for children or grandchildren. If a child or grandchild who is to be named a beneficiary has a disability which causes them to get State or Federal benefits, then it is common to insert what is known as a special needs trust within the estate plan to ensure that the gift from the parents or grandparents goes to the benefit of the child or grandchild, and not to the State or the federal government.

Main Office
4380 S.W. Macadam
Suite 590
Portland  OR  97239
  • (503) 226-3221
  • (503) 274- 8660


Free Initial Consultation?
Yes, I offer a free initial consultation in office or over the telephone.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
I offer flat rate services for corporations and wills and trusts.
Hourly Rates
$250 per hour.

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Office Manager
Denine Heinemann
Emergency After Hours

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I believe that business law and estate planning involve positive aspects of law. Generally, the practice of business law, be it the start of a new business or the purchase or sale of an existing business, is an exciting time for the participants, who are looking forward to significant changes and challenges in their lives. In the starting of a business, like starting any new relationship, there is all of the excitement, and some foreboding, present. A knowledgeable, experienced lawyer can facilitate the commencement or purchase of the business. I have learned over the years that the resolution of business disputes often relies on persuasion and not aggressive self-serving tactics. The practice of estate planning, be it a Trust or a Will, is a forward-looking exercise, with the client setting the course for the future administration of their worldly affairs. I find that the typical estate plan involves people who want to protect their loved ones, their assets, and have a firm hand in how their estate is managed and then disbursed upon their death. I want to protect and ensure that the client's assets are used in a prudent manner by the right recipient. The client wants to ensure that their children or grandchildren are properly educated, while protecting for their own needs. A knowledgeable, experienced lawyer, such as myself, can facilitate an estate plan that accomplishes the objectives of the client. I have learned over the years that a properly drafted estate plan can protect the client and the client's family not only from problems that they are unaware of, but those that may cause a drain on their finances. I believe I am particularly talented in guiding my clients to resolutions that are not only to their benefit, but cost effective.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I believe a knowledgeable client is a very good client. I always recommend that clients take the opportunity to review legal periodicals on the topics that they wish to discuss with me. I believe that Nolo Press and the internet are fabulous tools for educating the public; my website has been of an educational benefit on business law in general and on choice of the business entity as. Additionally, my website offers information on estate planning in general and different benefits and costs derived from a revocable family trust and a will.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes, I look forward to reviewing documents prepared by my clients. These documents always help me to understand what my client is thinking and what they expect. I find it helps to facilitate our discussion by knowing the scope of the questions my client has concerning the topics they are concerned with. However, I need to point out that the choosing of the proper documents and legal language takes a great deal of experience. I have found that it is often less expensive for the client if I prepare the documents than for me to review their existing documents and make the required revisions.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Yes, I am open to coach clients who desire to represent themselves. I have found in the past that some clients, because of financial limitations or because of their knowledge on the topic at hand, can be their best and most effective representative, if given the tools to represent themselves. With my vast experience, I believe I can help these clients represent themselves effectively.

Richard Hattenhauer

Judge Advocate General Corp 1975-1978.

As a young man I worked in a multitude of what would be considered blue collar jobs. After law school I became a Judge Advocate General for the United States Navy. Both the blue collar jobs and working as Judge Advocate General helped me understand the ins and outs of how problems are dealt with from a perspective that is not all legal education driven. Often lawyers are elite in their thinking, and I try, probably from my Eastern Oregon background, not to be trapped into one way of looking at a problem. I have learned over the years to focus on certain aspects of the law, and to refer my clients to knowledgeable lawyers who can more readily assist them in areas that I do not deal with on a regular basis.

I have a great deal of experience dealing with every type of client and business and estate planning situation. I feel that I understand people and communicate well with almost anyone. I always tell my clients that I reserve the right to give them my opinion, even if they do not want to take it. I will, of course, do what my client wants, but I can truly say my clients always know where I stand on any issue. Having said that, I am told I am very easy-going, straightforward, and to the point.

Personal interests:

I enjoy golf, bowling, reading and the Oregon coast.

  • Bar Number: 79051
    Oregon , 1979
  • Lewis & Clark College - Northwestern School of Law
    J.D. , 1975
    Portland, OR
    Moot Court, Volunteer Work.
  • University of Oregon
    B.A. , 1972
    Eugene, OR
    Political Science

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