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Timothy A. Costello, Esq.

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Timothy A. Costello, Esq.

Principal

Why did I choose Estate Planning?

I am a recent Portland transplant from Baltimore, Maryland.  While I was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I later came out east to attend Goucher College in Maryland.  My undergraduate studies focused on modern Chinese politics, Mandarin Chinese, and global affairs.  Post-graduation, I moved to New York City where I worked in the non-profit sector helping staff humanitarian relief operations in both central Africa and Asia as well as in international affairs helping promote dialogue between the People’s Republic of China, the United States, and Taiwan.

These experiences gave me a full appreciation of the complexity of life and the relationships within it.  I was exposed to a wide range of individuals from almost every corner of the globe.  I was required to actively engage and clearly communicate with my colleagues in order to achieve results.  It gave me keen insight in how to successfully adapt to unforeseen circumstances without losing focus, humor, or optimism.

However, like many young professionals, I came to the decision later in life that I was ready for a second career.  I looked to return to Maryland to attend law school.  My decision to return to law school was based on my desire to begin a profession as an estate planning attorney.  I had originally become interested in international affairs based on a deep commitment to help others.  As I grew older, my commitment to help others remained but I was no longer interested in a career which required extensive time away from my home and loved ones.  Estate planning allows me to help others while strengthening my own ties to the local community.  If done properly, an Estate Plan can have a lasting and positive impact on your family and loved ones.  It can offer an individual peace of mind knowing that they have memorialized their wishes regarding their estate and health care decisions.

After practicing for a few years in Baltimore, I felt the pull of Portland.  Over the years, much of my family had relocated out here and my frequent visits over the years convinced me that it was the place for me too.  It is my hope that I will be able to use my prior knowledge and passion about estate planning in support of a local firm. While I am still a big Minnesota sports fan, I also enjoy rooting for my other favorite team, the Timbers.  In my time off, I enjoy reading spy novels, traveling to visit friends, and hiking around Oregon’s many wonderful trails.

About my Approach

My approach to Estate Planning is largely based on my time working within the Orphans’ Court for Baltimore City and County as well my years of experience in private practice.  While clerking in the Orphans’ Court I saw how dying without a properly tailored Estate Plan can lead to many avoidable hardships for your loved ones.  In addition, I saw many instances where the deceased had a carelessly drafted Will which did not fully or effectively carry out their intentions.  These estates often fell into extensive, and expensive, litigation.   My experiences also allowed me to become immersed in the administrative procedures and specialized rules that govern the Orphans’ Court.  I have since taken these experiences and used them in private practice to offer my clients a broad perspective on estate administration and planning.  I have worked with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, unique family dynamics, and varying financial goals.  Some are young families looking to have a plan in place to ensure that they have selected guardians for their young children.  Some are retired individuals who are looking to update their old estate plan.  Whether you’re married, single, widowed and regardless of the amount of your wealth – an Estate Plan can help you and your loved ones better prepare for the future.

A client’s Estate Plan should not be a “one-size” fits all approach.  Your final documents should be well-crafted and individually tailored to fit your own wishes and family dynamics.  For those interested in estate administration, dealing with the loss of a loved one while having to navigate the probate process can be daunting for some.   Proper assistance requires a firm understanding not only of the law but also the emotional dynamics that are so often involved in the process.

Education

University of Maryland School of Law, Cum Laude
Assistant Editor – Maryland Series in Contemporary Asian Studies

Goucher College, Distinction and Honors in Interdisciplinary Studies: East Asian Studies

National Security Education Program Scholar
Fu Dan University – Fall 1998
Shanghai, Peoples’ Republic of China

Doris S. Newman Scholar
Oxford University, Oriental Institute for Chinese Studies – Fall 1999
Oxford, United Kingdom  

Affiliations:

Former Member of the Baltimore Estate Planning Council

Former Member of the Baltimore City Bar Estate and Trust Committee

Former Board Member of the Hunting Ridge Community Assembly

Former Member of the Hunting Ridge Development Committee

Former Member – Maryland Bar Association Sections:

  • Taxation
  • Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Real Property Section