Maria Schmidlkofer


I consider the individuals whom I plan for not just clients but friends. I strive to create lasting ‎relationships and become the trusted advisor that you deserve.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

I have been practicing in the areas of estate planning and administration since 2007, working out of both Schwabe’s Salem and Portland offices. My practice focuses on all aspects of estate planning, charitable planning, business and farm succession, guardianships, conservatorships, probate, and trust administration.

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

My 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 I employ 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

I owned my own law practice, Willamette Valley Estate Planning & Probate, LLC, prior to joining Schwabe. I currently serve on the Chemeketa Community College Foundation Board and the Willamette Valley Estate Planning Council Board.


  • 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.


  • Willamette University, College of Law, Juris Doctor degree, 2007‎, magna cum laude
  • Whitman College, Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Science/Political Science, 2001‎


  • Oregon State Courts


  • 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)

Additional Events

Legal Considerations of Succession Planning
Country Natural Beef Coop, January 31, 2023

Estate Planning Core Documents and Considerations
Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, January 27, 2023

Farm & Ranch Succession Planning (Burns on July 18 and City of Vale on July 19)
Oregon Agricultural Trust, July 2022

Farm Succession and Tax Issues
2022 OSCPA Farming, Ranching & Agribusiness Conference, June 2, 2022

Ethics in Farm Succession
5th National Farm Viability Conference Panel, October 27, 2021

Legacy, Love & Estate Planning: Wills and Trusts Explained, January 28, 2020

Mid-Valley Tax Forum Luncheon Series: Income and Estate Tax Considerations for Appreciated
Real Estate in a Credit Shelter Trust, June 19, 2018

Farm Succession Seminar
Chemeketa Community College, Farm Program, December 12, 2017

Estate Planning Seminar
Perkins & Co., November 2, 2017

Dust Off Your Estate Plan
Chemeketa Community College Foundation, September 20, 2017

Estate Planning Seminar
Salem Electric, June 29, 2017

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)

Outside Interests

Enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

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