Monthly Archives: December 2017

Taking the New Tax Law into Consideration While Estate Planning

Some people delayed estate planning until the 2017 tax law was passed because there were many potential changes that promised to impact these decisions. For estate planning purposes, the most significant part of the tax law is that it increases the amount that each person is able to pass on free of federal estate estate, with the amount raising from $5.49 million to $11.2 million. While the tax law, which is also referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will help many taxpayers avoid ever paying a federal estate tax, it is still important to engage in sufficient estate planning. The goal of estate planning is often to make sure that you have a thorough and detailed estate plan prior to becoming incapacitated. In consideration of these recent changes to the tax law, there are some important steps that people should take to make sure that their estate plan goals are achieved. While the tax law is complicated, this article will review just some of the most important steps that a person should take. Keep Beneficiary Designations Up to Date Beneficiaries can be named on a variety of estate planning documents including 401Ks, IRAs, and life insurance. There     Read More

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Tips for Older Americans to Avoid Filing for Bankruptcy

Medical debt is currently the main cause of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States, and people who are 65 or older comprise approximately 8% of the individuals who file for bankruptcy. There are several reasons why this age group has high levels of medical debt including that the 2008 recession impacted this group significantly and wives who are most often outliving their husbands. Older individuals often also face predatory debt collectors. While bankruptcy is often an option for starting over financially, older clients also see bankruptcy as an opportunity to make themselves happy again. In addition to being complicated, filing for bankruptcy can be an embarrassing process for many older adults. This article will review some of the important tips that an older adult in Oklahoma can take to avoid filing for bankruptcy. Contact Your Creditors A person might be able to negotiate a repayment plan with creditors. As a result, it is often important to contact a supervisor at each company to which you owe money as soon as you notice debts. Providing detailed notes about who you spoke to and what time the conversation occurred can later help in various steps of the repayment process. Decide on     Read More

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Department of Justice Issues Cannabis Ruling

There have been some substantial changes in the last few years regarding how the state of Oklahoma treats the use of marijuana. For example, the Governor of Oklahoma has helped to make legal the use of some THC cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy. To be considered legal in the state of Oklahoma, the THC oil must be no more than .3% THC. Legislation in the state of Oklahoma also allows marijuana products that are supported by medical studies. With CBD oils legalized, the Governor of Oklahoma is also in the process of attempting to legalize marijuana. Despite the legalization of CBD oil in Oklahoma, marijuana is still prohibited at a federal level. As a result, the federal government still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This clash represents just one of the many contradictions between how state and federal law treat marijuana. A recent decision made by the federal government has had a significant impact on the rights of some marijuana-based businesses in the state that declare bankruptcy. The Recent Bankruptcy Court Ruling In a recent ruling, the United States Department of Justice issued a statement to inform business owners that marijuana-based businesses are not able to     Read More

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Things to Avoid While Retirement and Succession Planning

Our legal counsel has helped many individuals with retirement and succession planning. While there are many steps that a person should make sure to implement in this process, there are also some elements that it is important to avoid. This article will review some things that you should avoid when planning for the future. Avoid Impulsive Decisions It is important that you avoid making any impulsive decisions when estate planning. You should provide yourself with a sufficient amount of time to make sure that all decisions are fully considered. Be Realistic It is important to begin estate planning by evaluating what you have and determining what types of gifts can be made. By being honest about what you can spend, it is possible to be realistic information about how your estate can be distributed. Document Any Gifts It is important for you to document any gifts that you provide to others. Documenting this information is important to establish ownership and make sure that the property owner’s wishes are fully executed. Equal is Different From Fair Dividing assets equally among beneficiaries might not be fair to some people. As a result, it is important to treat your beneficiaries as fairly and     Read More

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