Vanessa Usui

Vanessa A. Usui

Vanessa A. Usui

Charitable Planning & Organizations, Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Real Estate, Tax Dispute Resolution, Transfer and Income Tax

Contact Information:
Phone: 971-244-1843

Vanessa focuses her practice on estate and tax planning, probate, trust administration, charitable giving and organizations, and tax controversies. She assists clients in developing their estate and business succession plans with an eye towards tax efficiency and business continuity.

She also represents individuals, estates, and businesses in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Revenue. She has experience representing clients throughout the dispute process – from audit, to appeals, and even in litigation if necessary.

Admitted to Practice
Federal District Court for the District of Oregon
United States Tax Court
Court of Federal Claims

Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
Reed College, B.A.

Membership & Activities
Partnership for Safety and Justice – Board of Directors, 2018-present

Oregon Estate Planning & Administration Newsletter Editorial Board, Member

Basic Rights Oregon – Board of Directors, 2008 – 2017

Karey Schoenfeld

Karey A. Schoenfeld

Karey A. Schoenfeld

Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Business Counsel, Transfer & Income Tax, Charitable Planning & Real Estate

Contact Information:
Phone: 360-750-0673

Karey’s legal practice focuses on estate planning, wealth transition planning, and the business needs of individuals and owners of closely held businesses. By combining estate planning with business consulting, Karey assists her clients with their legal needs, while minimizing income, gift and estate taxes. Her goal is to advise clients in creating, building and retaining wealth, while striving to minimize friction among family members and protecting assets as they pass from one generation to the next.

Karey practices in our Vancouver, Washington office. She has an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University, and maintains her CPA license in both Oregon and Washington (however, she no longer practices as a CPA).

Certifications/Admissions to Practice
Oregon State Bar, 1986
Washington State Bar, 1994
Oregon State Board of Accountancy, 1987
Washington State Board of Accountancy, 1995
United States Tax Court

Bachelor of Business Administration, University of New Mexico, 1982

Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, Willamette University College of Law, 1986

Master of Laws in Taxation, New York University School of Law, 1988

Professional Experience
Karey has practiced in Vancouver, Washington for over 30 years, both as a member of a small tax firm and as a partner in Ferguson & Schoenfeld, PLLC. Prior to working in Vancouver, Karey worked for the Arthur Young accounting firm, and the Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt law firm in Portland, Oregon.

Professional Activities
Past chair, Tax section of the Oregon State Bar

Member, Tax Section and Estate Planning Section of the Oregon State Bar

Past president, Oregon Society of CPAs

Member, Oregon Society of CPAs

Past member, Council of American Institute of CPAs

Member, Estate Planning Council of Southwest Washington

Karey has worked with the Oregon Legislature for many years to coordinate Oregon tax laws with changes in federal tax laws, and has written many articles on the topic.  She has also spoken on various tax issues, including estate and trust matters, and comparisons of Oregon and Washington tax laws.

Community Involvement
Karey is actively involved in the Rotary Club of Vancouver, serving as the current chair of the Vancouver Rotary Foundation, and a member of the Foundation Board for many years throughout the past two decades. She chaired the Vancouver Rotary Festival of Trees in 2004 and 2005, and is the current Governance Officer for the Rotary Club of Vancouver, Washington. Karey is a board member and treasurer of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon & SW Washington, and has served on numerous boards throughout the Portland and Vancouver area during her career.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  By Benjamin Franklin 

Steven Nicholes

Steven A. Nicholes

Steven A. Nicholes

Agriculture, Business Counsel, Charitable Planning, Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Real Estate, Tax Dispute Resolution

Contact Information:
Phone: 971-244-1811

Steve graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Business Administration and worked for two years as the comptroller of a small company in Eastern Oregon before attending law school.  That business background led Steve to pursue an advanced degree in taxation after law school on his way to becoming a tax attorney.  Steve’s background in business, combined with the advanced training he received in taxation, enables him to assist his clients not only with their tax and estate planning needs, but also with their charitable, business and real estate matters.  Steve has substantial experience establishing and structuring limited liability companies (LLC’s) for his clients, and in structuring Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange transactions.

Admitted to Practice
Oregon, 1980
Washington, 2002
United States Tax Court

University of Florida, LL.M (Taxation), 1981
Gonzaga University, J.D., 1980
Oregon State University, B.A., 1975

Professional Experience
Duffy Kekel LLP, 1981 to present

Representative Board of Directors Memberships:
– Clark Foundation 1995 to present
– Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation 1999 – 2009
– Coaster Theater Foundation 1985 – present
– St. Thomas More Church Administrative Council 2000 – 2015

Membership & Activities
Loss Prevention Subcommittee, Section of Taxation, Oregon State Bar Chair, January 1995 – 2005, Member since 1989

Committee on Partnerships and Unincorporated Business Organizations, Business Law Section, American Bar Association

Committee on S Corporations, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association Planning Committee, Advising the Small Business, Oregon State Bar, 1995

Speaker, Current Developments in Section 1031 Exchanges, Eugene – Springfield Tax Forum, 1995

Speaker, Pitfalls in Estate Administration; Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, 1994

Speaker, Estate Planning for Retirement Benefits, Estate Planning Council of Southern Nevada, 1991

Author, Federal Estate Tax Chapter, Administering Oregon Estates, Oregon State Bar Publications, 1983 to present

Author, Estate and Gift Tax Certainty – Are we There Yet?In Brief, Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, 2011

Author, Estate Tax System in Limbo, In Brief, Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, 2010

Author, Attorneys as Section 1031 Exchange Accommodators, In Brief, Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund; December, 1996

Author, Timing is Critical When Appealing a Department of Revenue Determination, In Brief, Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, 1994

Author, New Regulations Govern Tax Deferred Property Exchanges, In Brief, Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, 1991

Astrid Brouillard

Astrid S. Brouillard

Astrid S. Brouillard

Business Counsel, Charitable Planning, Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Real Estate

Contact Information:
Phone: 971-244-4010

Astrid joined Duffy Kekel in 2020. Her practice includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable organizations, business law, and real estate law.

Admitted to Practice
Washington, 2022
Oregon, 2016
New York, 2013

Education and Experience
U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 2012-2016
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 2012
Colorado College, B.A., 2006

Memberships & Activities
Estate Planning and Administration Section, Oregon State Bar, Member
Multnomah Bar Association, Member
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy Reserves, Judge Advocate General’s Corps (2017 – 2021)
Lawyers for Literacy Steering Committee Member, SMART Reading
Foster Volunteer, One Tail at a Time PDX