Monthly Archives: May 2019

Common Concerns of First-Time Executors

Many people do not know what to expect when serving as an executor for the first time. In many cases, first-time executors must juggle time commitments while also learning how the process works. While an experienced attorney can help you prepare to fulfill your role as an executor, it also helps to understand some of the most common concerns and obstacles that first time executors end up facing. Common Duties of Executors An executor is commonly responsible with handling the finances of a deceased person. Some of the tasks that executors often must perform include: Locating, reading, and understanding the deceased person’s will Notifying financial agencies of the deceased person’s death Deciding the type of probate that is necessary Representing the estate in a court of law Creating a bank account for any incoming funds as well as any ongoing bills Filing an inventory of the estate’s assets with the court Maintaining the property until it can be either distributed or sold Paying any debts or taxes accrued by the estate Distributing assets in accordance to the wishes expressed in a will Personal Liability Issues It is important to understand that an executor is held personally liable for any action     Read More

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The Value of a Life Estate Deed

Both the owner and the heir of an estate have the potential to end up benefiting from a life estate deed. Despite these potential advantages, many people do not know what a life estate deed is. A life estate deed is a real estate arrangement that contains two distinct phases. During the first phase, the property owner owns the real estate for the life. In the second phase, upon the death of the property owner, a remaining interest in the property is transferred to someone else. The owner of a “life estate” in a piece of property possesses the right to live on and use a property as long as the property holder is alive. A person who receives the interest in this property is then prohibited from interfering with the life estate holder’s use of the property. The Advantages of Creating a Life Estate Besides the security that comes from owning a property and using it as a person sees fit for their life, a life estate deed provides a number of other advantages, which include the following:   Immediate transfer without probate. On the death of the life estate owner, full ownership of a property is immediately transferred     Read More

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Reasons You Might Need to Write Someone Out of Your Will

In a perfect world, everyone would get along and there would be no arguments between family members or loved ones. Because we do not live in a perfect world, there are a number of issues and challenges in relationships that arise when estate plans are involved. Due to these disputes, it often becomes necessary for a parent or family member to write a loved one out of his or her will. An experienced estate planning lawyer has helped a number of people create their own unique estate plans, which can include writing loved ones out of an inheritance. While there are a number of reasons why you might decide to write someone out of your will, the following will discuss some of the most common reasons why you might employ this estate planning strategy. The Nature of the Relationship Has Changed One of the most common reasons that people choose to write someone out of his or her will is because the relationship with that person has changed. Relationships are often either strengthened or weakened over time. No matter how or why a relationship has changed, Oklahoma probate laws often allow an individual to write someone out of a will.     Read More

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Advice on Estate Planning for Oklahoma Blended Families

Statistics compiled by Pew Research show that over half of the families in the United States are either recoupled or remarried. Raising children in a blended family introduces a number of unique challenges. One of the most overlooked obstacles faced by these kinds of families involves estate planning. In the hopes of better preparing blended families for this complex but important task, the following will review some helpful suggestions: You Will Likely Need More Than a Will By using just a will in an estate plan, you create the possibility that disputes will occur among surviving loved ones and that your children will be left out of receiving any proceeds from your estate. It is often a wise idea to determine if you would be better off passing assets through a trust or one of several other types of estate planning tools. Recognize the Value of a Trust You might benefit from creating a trust that leaves assets to your spouse for that spouse’s lifetime and then passes the remaining balance to your children after your spouse’s death. Passing assets through a trust also ensures that a surviving spouse is able to access funds while he or she is alive     Read More

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What Should You Bring to a Bankruptcy Consultation?

After scheduling an initial bankruptcy consultation, it is important to adequately prepare for the meeting, which includes gathering all of the appropriate documents. Without bringing the necessary paperwork, it is much more difficult for an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to assess your situation. The following will outline each of the documents that you should remember to bring to a meeting with a lawyer about your bankruptcy filing. Identification One of the most important pieces of information to bring to a bankruptcy consultation is identification. It is also important to confirm your social security number, so bring your Social Security card with you. Details About Income To file for bankruptcy, a person must provide proof of their average monthly income for the six months before they entered the bankruptcy process. This means that a person should make sure to bring income records to bankruptcy consultations. Some of the documents you should plan to bring to establish your income include details about alimony, bonuses, child support, commissions, dividends, income, interest, pension income, rental income, social security, retirement income, tips, and unemployment income. Income Tax Returns It is critical to make sure to bring the past two years of income tax returns to a     Read More

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