Monthly Archives: March 2019

Advice on Protecting Foreign Assets in Estate Planning

Today, more so than ever before, we are living in a connected world, with people from Oklahoma working and visiting other states and even other countries. Each year, a large number of people vacation in other countries and some individuals even end up acquiring assets in these foreign countries. Unfortunately, estate planning is much more complex when a person owns assets that are located in another country. For this reason, it is important to understand some of the finer points of estate planning when foreign property is involved. Fully Disclose All of Your Assets It is important to make certain that you disclose all of your assets to your lawyer when creating your estate plan. Some people fail to include information about assets that they own in other countries because they do not think that it influences how their estate will be treated. In reality, an estate planning lawyer must understand all of your assets and where they are located to help to determine the tax repercussions for you and your heirs. The Possibility of Multiple Wills Based on exactly where foreign assets are located, a person might decide to have one or two wills to deal with the transfer     Read More

Home Mortgages and Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy no longer creates obstacles for a future home buyer. Instead, many mortgage lenders have relaxed requirements so that even individuals who file for bankruptcy are able to obtain a home more quickly than ever before. The following will discuss some available mortgage loans and how they are affected by the bankruptcy process. Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Loans FHA loans are federally-insured loans and are attractive to many because they allow a buyer to put down only 3.5% of the home’s purchase price. The credit score limits for these loans are also much more generous than other types of conventional loans. In many cases following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person will be required to wait two years to obtain this type of loan. If a person opens a new credit account after filing for bankruptcy, he or she will often be required to make payments on time to establish a good credit history. Other individuals decide to speed up the qualification process by not opening any credit accounts following bankruptcy. Instead, if a person is able to demonstrate that filing for bankruptcy was beyond his or her control, it is possible to reduce the waiting period to     Read More

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The Advantage of Irrevocable Trusts

While it is true that no two families are the same, it is also true that no two families have the same type of estate planning requirements. Fortunately, many concerns can be adequately addressed by creating proper trust provisions. While there are many different ways to create an adequate estate plan, trusts offer some substantial advantages in comparison to other tools. After the trust’s creator dies, the trust carries on indefinitely. The following will review some of the benefits that people realize through incorporating trusts into their estate plans. Avoid Probate All property that is placed in an irrevocable trust avoids the probate process, which can mean substantial saving in regards to time and expense for individuals. As a result, the use of an irrevocable trust can help to save a substantial amount of time as well as energy that a person would otherwise be required to invest in the probate process. Privacy Any property that passes through a probate estate becomes part of the public record. A trust is capable of keeping the entire transfer process private, which means that these trusts can play an important role in the lives of families who want to maintain a level of     Read More

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Student Loan Scams and Bankruptcy

It is common for students to pay for their education through loans. During the process of attempting to find a loan provider that will lower a student’s monthly loan payments, many students encounter companies offering fraudulent deals. If you have student loan debt, it is critical to be aware of various common refinancing scams. While bankruptcy courts have traditionally not allowed students to discharge student loans through bankruptcy, the landscape has changed significantly over the last few years. If your student loans have led you to pursue bankruptcy, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Advance Fee Scams Advance fee scams involve companies who claim that they can help you receive the best interest rate and loan terms in exchange for a small fee, which can range from 1% to 5% of your total loan. These offers exist in stark contrast to other types of student loans, which do not require upfront fees. The only type of acceptable fee that comes with student loans is a default fee for federal loans or a disbursement/origination fee associated with private loans. A company that offers to help with your student loan debt should never require an upfront free     Read More

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Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

With advancing technology increasingly at the fingertips of every person in the country, more and more people are opening their own businesses. While owning a business offers the advantage of creative freedom and growth, business owners often also feel the pain of financial stress much more substantially. Because there are a number of complex decisions to make, and often a number of people dependent on them to make the appropriate decisions, it is critical that business owners have adequate estate planning tools in place. The following will outline some of the important issues that a business owner should be prepared to discuss with his or her estate planning attorney. Control and Management Issues It is important for business owners to take longevity into consideration by making sure that estate plans describe exactly how ownership will be controlled. If there are numerous issues involved, it is critical to have a written agreement that covers some of the unique situations that can occur within a particular business. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create documents that will effectively control any plans that you might have concerning your business. Complications with Family and Workers Even if no potential family member or     Read More

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