About Michael D. Levelle

Michael established his own law firm in October 2018 after more than 27 years practicing with several established firms in downtown Portland. His practice includes complex estate planning, estate and trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships, general business, as well as alternative dispute resolution related to his areas of practice.

Michael is an experienced mediator focusing on resolving contested matters practice – assisting the parties to share their concerns, understand each other’s point of view, and find common ground to preserve and mend valuable relationships when possible.

Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Montana and his J.D. from Willamette University College of Law, where he earned a Dispute Resolution Certificate. He is admitted to practice law in Oregon and Washington.

In his spare time Michael likes to spend time with family, hike and camp, photography and is a fan of live baseball at all levels. His children have also taught him how to appreciate soccer.

Areas of Practice

Estate Planning

Whether your estate planning needs are simple or sophisticated, we treat them with the same level of care and efficiency. We can help you establish your first plan – or update an existing one, address significant life events (including marriage, children and serious medical issues), and work with you through complicated family dynamics.

We work closely with you and your other professional advisors (including accountants, bankers, and financial planners) to deliver high-value legal services as part of an integrated estate and business succession planning process.

Our estate planning practice includes:

  • Estate tax planning (revocable trusts and other foundational tools, including wills, advance directives, and durable general powers of attorney)
  • Business succession planning
  • Gift tax planning
  • Planning for charitable giving
  • Special needs planning
 

Trusts and Estate Administration

We advise personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries concerning the administration of estates (probate) and trusts. We help clients make informed decisions concerning post-death tax planning opportunities, payment of estate/trust expenses, maintenance and distribution of the assets in accordance with fiduciary obligations, tax reporting obligations, and closing of the estate/trust. We take a proactive approach, focusing on quality administration, detailing potential issues, and guiding forward-thinking decisions.

Our estate and trust administration practice includes:

  • Probate
  • Administration of inter vivos and testamentary trusts including advising as to fiduciary obligations and allocation of assets
  • Advise regarding tax reporting obligations
  • Dispute resolution through negotiation or mediation
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships
 

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary, cooperative conflict resolution process in which parties make all decisions regarding participation, information sharing, and outcome. It is a conflict resolution process that emphasizes self-determination and collaborative problem solving. The goal of mediation is for a neutral third party to help the participants come to consensus on their own. Rather than imposing a solution, a mediator works with the conflicting sides to explore the underlying interests beneath their positions. The mediator’s role is to guide the process so as to foster mutual understanding of all participants’ concerns, interests, and needs. The mediator is a neutral third party who does not decide any substantive issues for the parties and does not provide legal advice or therapy.