Home » Archives for March 2017

Forgiving Back Taxes in Bankruptcy

Forgiving bankruptcy can help individuals who have experienced tax related debt. Being subject to taxes from the Internal Revenue Service can be a particularly harsh process. Many individuals who are struggling financially can be faced with bank account levies, property liens, and wage assignments. Many individuals should remember that unpaid income taxes are often dischargeable in bankruptcy, which can make the assistance of a skilled attorney particularly beneficial. Applicable Law Regarding Release from Taxes The government has distinguished several particular situations in which individuals are able to escape debt, which include the following situation: Taxes Due Over Three Years Ago Are Dischargeable. Law in the state of Oklahoma  states that income taxes are dischargeable if the taxes were due at least year ago. For example, if an individual filed for bankruptcy in March of 2017, the individual would be able to discharge taxes prior to 2014. Taxes Must be Filed Over Two Years Ago. The taxes in question must also have been filed at least two years ago. Income Taxes Only. The only type of federal or state taxes that are dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy include income taxes. 240 Days After Tax Assessment. Additionally, in order to discharge personal [...]


How to Avoid Harassment from Creditors

If you are receiving constant harassment from credit collectors or credit collectors, the behavior can be particularly unnerving. Credit collectors might even use abusive language or threaten criminal charges if dets are not properly paid. In these types of situation, the assistance of a skilled attorney can prove to be particularly helpful. The Role of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act Both federal and Oklahoma state law protect individuals from creditor harassment. One example of federal law that protects consumers is the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act which prohibits credit collectors from certain types of conduct. Passed in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act prohibits debt collectors from harassing or threatening debtors. The Act also prohibits creditors from disclosure details about the debt to an individual’s friends or family. Individuals are able to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if such behavior occurs. Additionally in the state of Oklahoma, individuals can file complaints against abusive or harassing creditors with the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office will then contact a creditor and send a copy of a complaint as well as a cease and desist order if a creditor continues such abusive or harassing behavior. Certain [...]


What Happens in a Debt Collection Lawsuit?

If you are in serious financial trouble and unable to pay off your debts, avoiding them is the last thing you want to do. Failure to make your credit card payments, car payments, house payments, or other monthly payments will result in debt collection procedures. From phone calls to collections letters, and repossession to wage garnishment, collectors will take any number of measures to collect what is owed to them. The first step they will take, however, is to send your debt to a debt collection law firm. As soon as you learn that your debt went to a collection firm, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Jim A. Lyon Law Firm right away to learn more about your legal options. Once Your Debt is Sent to a Collection Firm... Once your debt is sent to a debt collection law firm, you will be notified in writing that you have 30 days to pay off your debt or to dispute it. The firm will give you instructions on how to do either or. The notice may also inform you that if they do not receive a response, a civil lawsuit will be filed against you. If you receive a letter from a debt [...]


Navigating complex probate issues

Will your family go through the probate process after the death of a loved one? In probate, a person's assets are valued and distributed to heirs, debts are settled, and property ownership rights passed to the intended beneficiaries. In some cases, the probate process is smooth, if not time-consuming. Certain estates involve more complex factors, such as out-of-state property holdings, and it may take longer. Complex probate issues can be frustrating and overwhelming, and if you find yourself in this situation, you may benefit from an Oklahoma lawyer who can protect your rights and resolve these matters in a prompt manner. When probate involves oil and gas properties If you inherited oil or gas property or mineral rights to property, probate will be a bit more complicated. It is critical to work with a lawyer who can protect your rights and ensure that you receive the royalties to which you are entitled. There are important questions that require answers, such as: Where is the oil or gas property located? Is the property in question directly addressed in the will? Does the oil and gas company currently hold royalty money in suspense? If the property is located outside of the deceased's home [...]


“What Becomes of My Home If I Die Before Paying It Off?”

Once upon a time, owning a home outright was the norm, and dying with a mortgage was unthinkable. Today however, with home prices being as high as they are, and with "downsizing" being the new trend among elderly individuals, it is not uncommon to die with a significant amount of mortgage left to pay off. According toConsumerFinance.gov, as of 2010 35 percent of individuals aged 65-74 still had a mortgage debt (a 15 percent increase from 1992), while a little more than 20 percent of individuals 75+ still owed money on their homes (a 15 percent increase from 1992). As more and more people are buying homes later in life, those numbers are only projected to increase. Which begs the question: if you still have a mortgage on your home when you pass, what becomes of the home? There are several ways that your estate may be handled if you still owe a mortgage on your home when you pass away. If you still owe a significant amount of money on your home, and if you are worried about what will become of your home (and the subsequent mortgage) when you are gone, contact Jim A. Lyon Law Firm. Our Oklahoma City [...]


Oklahoma Estate Planning Involving Adopted Children

For individuals who die without a will in the state of Oklahoma, that individual's assets will proceed to the individual's closest relatives under state "intestate succession" laws. Intestacy law in the state of Oklahoma is particularly complicated and can include a variety of issues. One common question by many individuals in the estate planning process is what effect an adoption will have on a child who desires to collect an inheritance of a biological parent under applicable law. Law about Wills in the State of Oklahoma For individuals who die without a will in the state of Oklahoma, that individual's children will receive an "intestate share" of that individual's property. For children to inherit under these laws, the state of Oklahoma must consider these individuals the legal children of the deceased individuals. Determining whether an individual is legally a deceased individual's family can be significantly influenced by whether an individual is adopted. Children who are legally adopted will receive an intestate share in the same way as biological children. Foster children and stepchildren who were never legally adopted will not automatically receive a share of a deceased individual's state. Conversely, children who were placed for adoption and legally adopted by another family will not [...]


Oklahoma Estate Planning Involving Step Children

Estate planning is essential for individuals to make sure that their family is protected and that their property is distributed according to the individual's precise wishes rather than in accordance with Oklahoma law. Dying without adequate estate planning in Oklahoma City or any part of Oklahoma can greatly the amount of obstacles and issues that are encountered surrounding one's death. One of the groups that is often left uncertain about exactly how estate planning matters should proceed are step children, who frequently have questions about intestacy rights. Who Is Considered A Step Child Step children are the children of an individual's partner or spouse. In order to be considered a step child, the child need not be adopted by an individual. In the event that adoption does occur, a step-child legally becomes an individual's child with the same relationship in the eyes of the law as biological children. Because no legal relationship exists between an individual and a step child, an individual has no obligation to leave anything to the individual's step child. While Oklahoma has laws that protect children who are accidentally left out of a will and assign a percentage of an estate to children whose parent dies [...]


The Role of Codicils in Estate Planning

In a number of cases, individuals desire to change a first will due to a variety circumstances that can significantly change conditions for the individual including the birth of children, disagreements with relatives, divorce, and marriage. In these situations, codicils can be of great importance. While many individuals have heard of codicils, few individuals understand exactly what codicils are. A codicil is a supplement to a will that adds or deletes conditions to an original will. It should be noted that the same requirements that apply to a will also apply codicil. The Advantage of Codicils Individuals who are interested in using a codicil should begin by asking what types of changes to the last will and testament that the codicil is intended to reflect. In cases of minor issues, codicils are a particularly wise idea to implement for estate planning. Small changes including facts, figures, personal representative names, and other revisions that do not significantly change how a will are the types of changes that can be successfully covered by codicils. Another instance where a codicil is useful are situations where the mental competency of the individual who created the will is in doubt. A codicil can limit the potential repercussions [...]


Will You Need to Hire an Oklahoma City Probate Attorney?

Acting as the executor of a loved one's estate can be a daunting task-both emotionally and logistically. For starters, if a loved one had a large estate that needed to be distributed, it would be your job to go through every single item of the deceased's estate to ensure that it was accounted for-a time consuming and meticulous task. Emotionally speaking, acting as the executor of an estate can put you in an awkward position with your family members. Even though you would only be acting on behalf of the deceased, all of the beneficiaries (and even non-beneficiaries) would view you as the bad guy should they not like what they did and did not receive. Because of this, many Oklahoma residents often find it beneficial to hire an Oklahoma City probate attorney to assist them with the probate process, or even to take over entirely. Reasons to Hire a Probate Attorney At Jim A. Lyon Law Firm, our probate attorney has dealt with the execution of many estates, and is equipped to help you should you find that you need assistance in executing your loved one's estate. When a client turns to us, it is typically for one of the following reasons: There is discord [...]

3 Reasons Not to Trust Your DIY Will

Most people turn to the Internet today to do everything for them - from answering simple questions to filing an accident claim with their insurance company. So it would make sense that many people are beginning to turn to the World Wide Web to create their estate plan as well. Unfortunately, while planning your estate online may seem to be the easier option, doing so can actually create a lot of problems in the future-for both yourself and your beneficiaries. At Jim A. Lyon Law Firm, we always recommend hiring an estate planning and probate attorney to assist you with the creation of your estate plan, as creating a will, trust, or any other end-of-life document involves a lot of consideration, legalities, and attention to even the most minute details. If you are looking for an affordable way to create your end-of-life documents, you do not have to rely on DIY methods; our Oklahoma City estate planning and probate attorney has been helping individuals in the Oklahoma City area with their end-of-life planning for over 30 years, and now we want to help you. Why You Should Not Use Online Estate Planning Software Aside from the fact that online software cannot discuss your estate plan [...]