New Article – FINRA Examines Broker Compensation Conflict

Investor Defenders

Investor Defenders have published a new article.

FINRA Examines Conflict in Broker Compensation

As reported by Investment News recently, FINRA has sent letters to brokerage firms asking about Broker Compensation. The goal is to discourage firms from selling products that benefit the brokerage firm and the broker at the expense of the customer.

Be sure to check their website for the full article. If you have concerns about your financial advisor or investment portfolio, please contact the SYK Investor Defenders team at 800.647.8130 or visit our website at for more information.

New Article – Asset Allocation

Investor Defenders

Investor Defenders have posted a new article.

Asset Allocation – The Life Raft in a Stock Market Storm

Stock market decline should not rattle investors who are properly asset allocated. Asset allocation as a predictor of stock performance. The recent plunge in the stock market is grabbing headlines and making investors anxious.

Be sure to check their website for the full article. If you have concerns about your financial advisor or investment portfolio, please contact the SYK Investor Defenders team at 800.647.8130 or visit our website at for more information.

New Article – Banks Speaks to DFCS About FINRA Arbitration

Investor Defenders

Investor Defenders have posted a new article.

FINRA Arbitration 101

Securities attorney Robert S. Banks, Jr. traveled to Salem, Oregon today to discuss FINRA arbitration with a select group of regulators at the Department of Finance and Corporate Securities (DFCS). Banks’ presentation detailed the arbitration process from start to finish.

Be sure to check their website for the full article. If you have any questions about FINRA arbitration, please contact the SYK Investor Defenders team at 800.647.8130 or visit our website at for more information.

Blachly’s Article Featured in The American Bar Association Publication

Congratulations to SYK attorney Victoria Blachly.  Her article “Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: What UFADAA Know” was recently published in Probate & Property, a Publication of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section.

Her article explores the issues that arise when a family member passes away, or becomes incapacitated, in an increasingly paperless society such as our own. Financial accounts, social media, person photographs, what happens to all of these things left behind online?

Get Your Discounts Before They Are Gone

The IRS is talking rule changes again.  It may be time to take another look at your estate plan.

Family-owned businesses often gift ownership interests in the business to younger generations in an effort to reduce gift or estate tax liability.  The reported tax value of those gifts is discounted to reflect the fact that the new owners lack the ability to control the business and cannot market the interest to other buyers.  The IRS now thinks it may be time for that practice to end.

The WSJ has recently reported that the IRS may soon greatly restrict or even disallow those discounts for family businesses. Exactly how and or when the IRS will inhibit discounts is still uncertain unclear, but, if the agency does act, the impact will be substantial.  Have you considered how such a change might impact you and your family?  Call the estate planning attorneys at SYK today to see how the proposed change affects you.

Victoria Blachly and VAIL Featured on The Bulletin

The Bulletin, a publication of Bend and Central Oregon, authored an article featuring SYK attorney Victoria Blachly.  The article, titled “Estate Planning in a Digital World,” focuses on the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (Oregon Senate Bill 369), Virtual Asset Instruction Letters (VAIL), and understanding what happens to your digital life after you pass. In March 2015, Blachly spoke in favor of the act during a hearing held by the Senate Judicary Committee.  Read the full article on The Bulletin’s website.

Contact Samuels Yoelin Kantor to prepare or update your estate plan to include digital assets.

Upcoming SYK Event: Do You Know Where Your Digital Assets Are?

In the U.S., 2.6 million people die every year. How many had their affairs in order? How many left passwords and instructions for dealing with their online accounts and information?

As trustees, personal representatives, or family and loved ones left behind, how does one go about locating, accessing or managing important digital assets, such as electronic financial statements, digital family photos bequeathed to relatives, or wrapping up an online business?

Learn more from SYK litigator and digital asset lobbyist, Victoria Blachly, about planning for what happens with digital or virtual assets and online information when you or your client dies or becomes incapacitated, and the need for a VAIL (Virtual Asset Instruction Letter). This seminar will provide helpful planning tips and an update on the legislative changes in Oregon – and nationwide – where stakeholders are wrestling with necessary statutory changes.

Glenn Williamson, founder and CEO of WebCease, Inc., a Portland-based business, will also present on how his company helps heirs, executors, trustees and administrators find online accounts that are digital assets for the estate of the deceased.  WebCease’s rapidly expanding service identifies active online accounts and instructs on the different options for retrieval, closure or memorialization in accordance with the policies of each site. Learn how using their affordable service can save time for families, assist fiduciaries, and help reduce the risk of identity theft, with their “nothing found, nothing charged” policy for legal professionals who offer the following services to their clients: Probate Administration, Estate Administration, Trust Administration, and Guardianships/Conservatorships.

For more details, and to RSVP visit our event page.

“The Internet’s Own Boy” – Victoria Blachly to Speak on Panel

Come listen to an intriguing panel discussion on digital rights, digital privacy, net neutrality and more.

Special guests will include:

– Stuart Kaplan, Emeritus Assoc. Prof. of Rhetoric & Media Studies, L&C College & Member, ACLU OR Board of Dir.

– Bill Giard, Principal Engineer, PDIT Organization and lead’s Intel IT’s Software and Application

– Mary Beth Henry, Manager, Office for Community Technology, Mt Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, City of Portland

Victoria Blachly, Partner, Samuels Yoelin Kantor, Attorneys At Law

The Internet’s Own Boy follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

For more details, and to purchase tickets, visit OMSI’s event page.

March 31, 2015 – Event Schedule:

6:30pm: Panel discussion

7:00pm: The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (Rated NR & 105 minutes)

9:00pm: Q&A

The Link Event: Planning for – and Protecting – Your Digital Assets

Together with The Link, SYK Partner, Victoria Blachly is presenting on recent Oregon and national legislation regarding digital assets and how to plan accordingly.

Do you have bank or investment account statements delivered to you online because businesses are encouraging or even pressuring customers to go paperless?  Do you have hundreds if not thousands of photographs of your charming family or adorable pets stored online?  Do you post to any online social media accounts that tell part of the story of your personal or professional life?  What happens to those accounts or assets when you die or become incapacitated?  Does the personal representative have the authority or ability to access those accounts and try to put the pieces of a financial picture back together?  Can those photographs be copied and delivered to the grieving family left behind?  Should certain accounts or information be deleted, particularly if a protected person is being targeted online or identity theft is an issue?  Even if an authorized user has the password to access an online account, is that a fraudulent cybercrime by misrepresenting to the end user who you are?  All of these questions lead to one inescapable issue:  The internet is outrunning the law.

It’s a policy decision:  It’s about CHOICE.  Do US citizens want large corporations to decide what happens to their online accounts when they die or become incapacitated or do they want the freedom to plan and pick options for what happens to their online accounts?  And if people decide to ignore the problem and assume someone will put the pieces together when they die, then there needs to be a way to do that, because currently the large online companies hold all of the cards.

Register for the March 11, 5:30 PM event at SYK through The Link for Women or contact