Monthly Archives: February 2020

Four Reasons You Need an Estate Plan

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that only the wealthiest people need estate plans. In reality, regardless of a person’s age or net worth, having an estate plan can still serve some valuable goals. Despite the advantage of having an estate plan, data reveals that a large number of Americans still lack adequate estate plans. Regardless of age or wealth, there are some significant advantages that you can realize by engaging in estate planning. This article briefly reviews some of these benefits.  To Determine How Your Assets are Passed on The most basic document involved with estate plans are wills, which name a person who is responsible for the administration after your death. If you have children, it is also possible to name guardians in a will who will care for your children. Other times, you might decide to pass on your assets through beneficiary designations. Regardless of how you decide to pass on your assets, an estate plan can help. To Reduce Taxes Increasing the amount that you pass on to beneficiaries and reducing the amount that is lost in taxes is one of the central goals of estate planning. Fortunately, the Tax Cuts and     Read More

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Three Ways to Reduce Probate Costs

Planning for your death or incapacity might be uncomfortable, but it is the best way to make things easier for your surviving loved ones. By failing to take adequate precautions now, you leave your estate open to additional costs during the probate process. The following reviews some of the most common mistakes people make that leave their estates vulnerable to additional probate costs. Mistaking Estate Taxes for Probate Federal estate taxes apply to estates that are $11.58 million or greater in value. This threshold, however, is different from the probate process. A person whose estate might be still enough to avoid federal estate taxes will still be subject to probate. Not only is probate costly, but it is also a time-consuming process.  It is a good idea to utilize the appropriate estate planning strategies to avoid probate or at least decrease the amount of assets that must go through this process. Not Having an Appropriate Will Approximately 60% of adults in this country do not have any type of estate plan. If you die without an estate plan, your estate will proceed through probate court, which will be a costly and lengthy process. Another large group of people has estate     Read More

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How do You Revoke a Living Trust?

Living trusts have grown in popularity over the last decade. After all, these estate planning documents allow people to achieve goals that are not possible using other types of estate planning methods. Living trusts allow people to both control how assets are distributed as well as change or alter those terms during their lifetimes. If you are one of the many people who decide to alter the terms of your living trust, it can prove helpful if you know exactly how to do this. Knowing When it is Time to Revoke or Amend a Trust All major life events including births, adoptions, marriages, and divorces should make you review the terms of your estate plan. If changes become necessary, you should not hesitate to make them. Often the question is not whether you should revise the terms of your trust, but instead how you should implement these revisions. Instead, the primary question is often how revisions or amendments occur. How Amendments and Revocations are Made The ways in which a person is permitted to alter a revocable living trust are dictated both by the terms of the trust as well as Oklahoma law. Generally, a person in Oklahoma is permitted     Read More

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Estate Planning Strategies to Help Loved Ones With Special Needs

As the parent of a special needs child, it is common to end up worrying about what will happen to the child if you die or become incapacitated. You understandably want to do whatever you can to make sure that the child’s future remains stable in case something happens to you.  This article reviews some of the critical estate planning issues you should take into consideration when it comes to children with special needs.  Determine Your Purpose for Estate Planning Special needs planning is unique because it must take any public benefits that the child receives into consideration. This planning can be utilized for several reasons including helping the child manage money throughout the child’s lifetime, protecting the child so he or she remains eligible for public benefits, and ensuring that funds are preserved in case public funding ever stops or becomes restricted. Utilize the Best Planning Method Available There are several estate planning strategies that families can utilize to achieve their goals for special needs children. Some of these strategies include: Disinheriting the child so they can continue to receive special needs benefits. Alone, this rarely helps achieve estate planning goals. Granting your estate to the brothers and sisters     Read More

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