Monthly Archives: October 2019

Answers to Commonly Asked Inheritance Questions

Receiving an inheritance can change a person’s life, so it should come as no surprise that people often have questions about how inheritances are received. The following will provide some details about how inheritances work.   What Happens if You Die Without a Will?   When a person dies without a will, the individuals who inherit from the estate are determined by Oklahoma intestacy law. Many people believe that if a person dies without a will, that individual’s spouse will inherit everything in the estate. Exactly who inherits, however, depends on several critical factors including the value of an estate and how assets are held.    What Happens if the Terms of a Will are Violated?   If a will is valid under Oklahoma law, it must be followed unless doing so would violate another law. If a will is not followed, an interested party can file a petition and raise the issue in front of a probate judge.    What Happens if Someone Misuses Estate Property?   There are probate laws in Oklahoma that create strategies to block an individual from misusing or taking estate property. If you end up in this situation, however, it is important to immediately     Read More

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Estate Planning Strategies for the Modern Family

One of the greatest challenges created in applying estate planning advice to individual situations is that many estate plans assume that a person’s family structure is identical to a conventional one. A lot has changed since the days of Leave It to Beaver, though. Today’s environment much more closely resembles the television show Modern Family with second marriages, same-sex marriages, and multi-generational planning.    Today, approximately only 35% of American families are comprised of traditional heterosexual married individuals with children. The estate planning strategies that all the other families need are very different from what conventional families do. The following will review some of the important estate planning strategies that should be implemented by modern families.    Begin by Understanding   You should begin with estate planning by understanding that non-traditional families are becoming much more common. Some of the issues that you should consider include whether non-marital or adopted children could unintentionally be excluded from your estate plan. You should also consider whether you are leaving individuals out of your estate plan who believe that they should be beneficiaries.    One way to make sure that your estate plans are transferred per your wishes is to carefully select the     Read More

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Five Important Facts about Estate Planning and Taxes in 2019

There are many reasons to review your estate planning documents periodically. One event that should prompt you to pull out your estate planning documents is any revision made to the tax system. If you are reviewing your estate planning documents this year, consider the following tax issues that might impact you and your beneficiaries. Many Tax Exemptions are Only Temporary It is important to remember that several current tax exemptions are merely temporary. While the $11.4 million per individual transfer tax exemption is attractive, it will not last forever. After 2025, this exemption will return to $6 million per individual. This is not the only temporary part of the current tax code, however. It is critical for anyone planning for the future to create flexible estate planning strategies and consider these factors. An experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that you are on the right track. IRA Beneficiaries If a person inherits an IRA, the distribution requirements depend on whether the beneficiary is a spouse or non-spouse. Spouses have the choice of rolling IRA assets into an inherited IRA or their own IRA accounts. Non-spousal beneficiaries are often required to either withdraw all funds from the IRA within five     Read More

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Adding Religious Beliefs to an Estate Plan

In addition to passing on their assets, many parents would also like to pass on their ethics and spiritual beliefs to their children. Fortunately, a comprehensive estate plan can provide you with the opportunity to achieve these goals.  This article reviews some of the powerful ways that you can add a degree of spirituality to your estate plan. End-of-Life Medical Decisions One of the most common types of estate planning documents is Medical Powers of Attorney, which allow a loved one to make decisions for you in case you become incapacitated. As a result, you can make sure that your appointed agent has religious beliefs that are similar to your own.  Closely related to Medical Powers of Attorney are Living Wills, which allow a person to articulate the type of life-prolonging care that they would like to receive in case life support becomes necessary. Many people discover that their faith has a profound impact on how these documents are written.  These estate planning documents also allow a person to express their opinion about organ donation and religious rites, which are other important spiritual issues.  Burial and Funeral Plans No matter what your spiritual perspective is on death, you can express     Read More

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