Maria Schmidlkofer


Maria has been practicing in the areas of Estate Planning and Administration since 2007 and works out of both Schwabe’s Salem and Portland offices. Maria’s practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning, charitable planning, business and farm succession, guardianships, conservatorships, probate and trust administration.

Maria frequently provides seminars on various aspects of tax, estate and legacy planning for non-profits, CPAs, financial advisors, insurance and other professionals. Maria works with clients to develop custom estate plans based on individual goals and values.

Common focus areas include planning around:

  • Blended Families
  • Minor Children
  • State and Federal Estate, Gift, Generation-skipping and Income Taxes
  • Noncitizens
  • Special Needs
  • Charitable Giving
  • Farm and Business Succession
  • Deferred Retirement Accounts
  • Spendthrift, Addiction, and Family Health Concerns

Common strategies Maria employs include:

  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Charitable Lead / Remainder Trusts
  • Charitable Foundations
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts
  • Spousal Access Trusts
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
  • Gifting Trusts
  • Generation-Skipping Lifetime Trusts

Maria owned her own law practice, Willamette Valley Estate Planning & Probate, LLC, prior to joining Schwabe. She currently serves on the Chemeketa Community College Foundation Board and the Willamette Valley Estate Planning Council Board. As a native Oregonian, Maria loves the outdoors, especially spending time with her husband and two sons in the mountains of eastern Oregon.



  • Developing family farm succession plans that dovetail estate plans for three generations of hazelnut farmers in the Willamette Valley and ensure the farms can stay in the family.
  • Creating various Qualified Domestic Trusts for noncitizen spouses from India, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Creating a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust and funding it with $1 million that will go to charity for the next 20 years and then will ultimately pass to family estate and gift tax free.
  • Developing lifetime trusts for family members who are unable to manage their own inheritance and structuring such trusts to protect the beneficiaries.
  • Ensuring that blended families create estate plans that protect the spouse and plan for the children from a previous marriage.
  • Creating an irrevocable trust that is qualified to hold life insurance, as well as business interests, in order to maximize estate tax planning and ensure a family business will continue onto the next generation.
  • Ensuring commercial real estate is owned in the best way possible, both for asset protection planning and estate planning, in order to transition it to family after death and minimize family conflict and taxes.
  • Developing plans for small businesses so that if there is an emergency, the businesses can continue.
  • Creating a plan for a financial advising firm to determine succession in the event of the owner’s disability or death.
  • Assisting physicians in structuring an estate plan that maximizes asset protection
  • Ensuring that families with special needs children or other relatives have a plan in place that allows the children to continue to receive public assistance but provides inheritance and care for the special needs individual.
  • Creating legacy wealth transfer plans for high net worth individuals that maximize tax savings and ensure that wealth can benefit family for several generations.

Memberships & Awards


  • Marion County Bar, Member
  • Oregon State Bar, Estate Planning Section, Member
  • Wealth Counsel, Member
  • OPB Planned Giving Council
  • Willamette Valley Estate Planning Counsel, Board Member
  • Salem Chamber of Commerce, Member
  • Leadership Salem, Member (2012-2013)                                                                      
  • Regis High School Foundation, Board Member
  • Chemeketa Community College Foundation, Board Member


  • Bar People, Oregon State Bar Bulletin (July 2020)

Resources & Ideas

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Community Activities

Community Activities

  • Regis High School Foundation, Board of Directors (2015-2021)
  • Oregon Community Foundation, Leadership Council, Willamette Valley  (2014-2019)
  • Oregon Community Foundation, Grant reviewer (2015-2018)
  • St. Mary School, School Advisory Council (2012-2015)  
  • Cub Scout Pack 50, Stayton Sublimity, Webelos Co-Den Leader (2012-2014)
  • St. Mary School Parent Club, Executive Board, President (2011-2012)
  • YWCA of Salem, Board of Directors (2007-2010)




Oregon State Bar

Outside The Office