Steven G. Bell

Of Counsel

Steven Bell focuses his practice on the creation and administration of complex trusts to meet business succession planning, tax planning, and family needs, and in navigating the complexities of charitable gift planning for both individual donors and for tax-exempt entities. Through his practice, Steve develops customized solutions to preserve and perpetuate closely held businesses and to meet diverse objectives in tax efficient ways. Steve helps clients navigate the pitfalls that can arise when facing the administration of irrevocable trusts or administering an estate after the death of a loved one, and seeks innovative approaches to supporting philanthropic goals through customized gifts, split-interest vehicles, and private foundations. Steve’s passion lies in crafting creative solutions to help clients meet their goals in a tax efficient manner, through the creation of a new estate plan, by facilitating charitable giving, in administering complex estates, through the modification and restructuring of irrevocable trusts, or in developing trust structures to meet business objectives.




North Carolina


University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2008

Elon University, B.A., Political Science, 2005

Honors and Affiliations
  • Included in Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in America (Nonprofit / Charities Law, Trusts and Estates), 2022–2024
  • Member, Estate Planning and Administration Section, Oregon State Bar
  • Member, Estate Planning Council of Portland
  • Member, Estate Planning Council of SW Washington
  • Member of the Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable
  • Former Adjunct Professor of Business Law, University of Portland Pamplin School of Business Administration, 2013–2016
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Member of OHSU & Doernbecher Foundations Gift Planning Council
  • Non-charitable Purpose Trust Legislative Work Group, 2018 (Part of group working with Ore. State Rep. Julie Fahey to develop proposed legislation to better define “non-charitable purpose trusts” for business purposes.)
  • Board Member and Chair of Governance Committee, EarthShare Oregon
Presentations and Articles
  • “The Perils of the Oregon Trail – Inbound Community Property Considerations for Oregon Attorneys,” OSB Advanced Estate Planning CLE, June 16, 2023
  • “Oregon Estate Tax Update,” Oregon Society of CPAs 2023 Trust and Estate Conference, June 9, 2023
  • “Estate Planning Update,” OSB Taxation Section CLE presentation, April 19, 2023
  • “Fixing Broken Irrevocable Trusts,” Basic Trust Administration, Estate Planning and Administration Section, Oregon State Bar CLE, November 18, 2022
  • “You Can’t Take it With You, but You Can Control Where it Goes,” ‘a Gift Planning Virtual Event,’ OHSU Foundation, March 2, 2022
  • “Planning for the Future,” Portland Community College Foundation webinar, February 2, 2022
  • “Estate Planning 101,” Portland Community College Foundation webinar, February 3, 2021
  • “Making Something Out of Nothing: Managing Challenging Charitable Gifts from Estates and Trusts,” Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable Annual Event, September 17, 2020
  • “Addressing rural Oregon’s talent gap with careful transition planning” (co-author), Portland Business Journal, June 28, 2019
  • ‘Stewardship Trusts’—House Bill 2598: The Non-Charitable Business Purpose Trust Bill (Keynote speaker), UO School of Law Green Business Initiative, Innovative Oregon: Building a Climate for Success, Portland, Oregon, April 5, 2019
  • “Probate Fee Agreements,” Chapter 15 of Fee Agreement Compendium—OSB BarBooks™
  • “Estate Planning for Owners of Closely Held Businesses” (co-author with Emily Karr), Chapter 47 of Advising Oregon Businesses—OSB BarBooks™
  • “Estate Planning and Administration: The Complete Guide,” National Business Institute CLE, Portland, Oregon, August 2016
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