Monthly Archives: September 2019

Common Mistakes Made During the Estate Planning Process

None of us is perfect. Many of us are prone to making a mistake here or there. While mistakes in some areas of life can easily be looked past, in estate planning, mistakes have the potential to result in long-lasting consequences for your loved ones.  The following will take a brief look at some of the most common estate planning mistakes. The Most Common Types of Estate Planning Errors One of the most frequent estate planning errors that people make is failing to create any type of estate plan at all. There are a number of reasons why individuals fail to create an estate plan, but one of the most common reasons is that some people believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy or only for those with large families.  In reality, anyone who has certain wishes for how things should proceed after they pass away or become incapacitated can benefit from creating an estate plan. Otherwise, courts will be required to make decisions about how assets should be distributed based on state intestacy law.  Failure to create advance health care directives will also result in your loved ones being forced to make difficult decisions about the level     Read More

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How to Make the Most of Life Insurance Policies and Trusts

There are a number of estate planning funding sources. For example, death benefits received from a life insurance policy can often be considerable. These benefits can then either be paid directly to beneficiaries or can be placed in a trust and distributed to a beneficiary at a later date.  The following will review some of the reasons to consider funding a trust with benefits from a life insurance policy.  Using Trusts for Benefits is More Advantageous Some people decide to name an individual and an alternative to receive benefits from a life insurance policy, but it is often a wiser idea to name a trust as a beneficiary.  In many cases, there are limitations placed on naming a secondary alternative death beneficiary who receives benefits if the first named party does not survive the policy holder. Instead, placing life insurance benefits in a trust that contains instructions for a trustee on how the amount should be distributed is often a much more preferable option.  This is because trusts can be drafted in such a way to protect a beneficiary who would spend assets unwisely if they directly received them. Furthermore, trusts can also be used to protect assets from creditors.      Read More

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Ways to Add Flexibility to a Trust

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of December 2017 offered a number of advantages to individuals who are interested in estate planning. This new law, however, is not without its limitations. For example, many of the provisions included in the act will expire in 2025. As a result, it is critical to consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that your planning techniques will carry you through. One helpful technique is to make sure to include provisions in trusts that make them flexible and capable of adapting to changes in your life circumstances as well as the law. The following will review some of the most helpful strategies that can be used to make trusts flexible. Decanting The decanting process involves moving assets from an old trust into a new one that better reflects current circumstances or which contains more advantageous terms. It is even possible to use the decanting process to alter irrevocable trusts, which generally are not capable of being altered.  While many states have laws allowing the decanting process, Oklahoma currently does not.  Even though it is currently not possible to decant a trust in Oklahoma, if your estate will likely be administered elsewhere, it is     Read More

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Oklahoma Retirement Documents

Getting used to retirement can be challenging. You might feel anxiety, fear, and stress as you transition into a new phase of your life. In addition to these complex emotions, you have some practical matter to grapple with, as well. It is important and necessary to have your finances in order as you enter retirement, and have a solid plan for your health care and administration of your estate, should the unexpected arise. Your planning should involve creating and keeping safe all of the necessary legal documents to make sure that your goals are achieved.  The following will review some of the important documents that you should include in your estate planning.  Wills The most common type of estate planning document is the will. Wills are legal documents that allow us to express our wishes regarding how our assets and property should be distributed after our deaths as well as who will care for any minor children. Despite the great importance of wills, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that approximately four out of 10 individuals in the United States have a will. Some people are wary of creating a will because it involves acknowledging one’s own mortality.     Read More

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