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Estate Planning During a Pandemic

While many of us will follow adequate safety protocols and avoid coronavirus, some people will contract COVID-19 and will ultimately not survive. To prepare for any path that lies ahead, it is a good idea to plan for the chance of incapacity or death through various estate planning documents including wills, powers of attorney, and other vital documents.  While it is easy to delay estate planning because it requires confronting uncomfortable realities, now is the time to engage in planning for whatever may lie ahead. Remember that even if you feel your assets are not substantial enough, having an estate plan is still critical.  The following will review some critical details to remember about the estate planning process.  Signings are Still Possible During Self-Isolation With most people throughout the country currently practicing self-isolation measures, one of the most critical steps in completing any type of advance directive is locating witnesses for estate plans.  Some people have begun utilizing creative efforts to satisfy this witness requirement including having neighbors watching the signing of estate plans from a distance. People have also participated in “drive-by signings,” during which a person waits inside a vehicle with the windows rolled down as law firm [...]

2020-04-24T01:46:03+00:00Tags: , , |

Tips on Estate Planning During Uncertain Times

The COVID-19 outbreak, as well as economic challenges, have caused many people in Oklahoma to consider how they can create effective estate plans. While uncertain times can make estate planning difficult, some powerful strategies can be utilized to make the most out of estate planning anytime.  To hopefully reduce any anxiety you have about the state of the economy and to help achieve your estate planning goals, the following will review some quick but powerful estate planning tips you should consider utilizing. # 1 - Review Your Investment Portfolio It can be uncomfortable to confront your investment portfolio during this difficult time, but these times offer an excellent opportunity to review your assets and determine whether there are creative strategies to take advantage of the current economic situation. For example, some people are utilizing current low-interest rates to pass assets to beneficiaries. # 2 - Review Your Estate Planning Documents It is not enough to have estate planning documents, you should also periodically review them to make sure that the wishes expressed in these tools are still appropriate. Uncertain economic times have the potential to change various asset management strategies and goals, which is why now is a critical time [...]

2020-04-24T01:40:54+00:00Tags: , , |

Updating Your Estate Plan While Quarantined

If you are like many other Americans at the moment, you are likely spending some time in isolation. While you are looking for ways to keep yourself occupied, now is a great time to either create or review your estate plan. Studies show that more than half of the people in the United States do not even have a will. Having a will as well as a few other valuable estate planning documents is one of the best ways to plan for what happens if you ever become incapacitated or pass away. Make Sure You Have a Will Some people think that only the wealthy have “estates,” but in reality, an estate refers to all of the assets that a person owns. A will, or a Last Will and Testament, is created to make sure that your assets are distributed to your loved ones following your death. To be found valid, wills must meet certain requirements. If a person’s assets meet certain monetary thresholds and are passed on through a will, the assets must pass through the probate process, which can be both costly and time-intensive.  While trusts are the best option for many people to pass on assets, some [...]

2020-04-08T14:18:20+00:00Tags: , |

Estate Planning During the Coronavirus

The Dow Jones recently saw a substantial plunge fueled by the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Estate planning, however, is as important as ever during such uncomfortable times. Rather than focus on the next few months or year, it is best to engage in long-term estate planning to make the most out of your estate plan. To help you prepare your estate plan during the Coronavirus, this article reviews some helpful estate planning strategies that can prove advantageous.  Review Your Estate Planning Documents During uncertain times, there are various events like births, deaths, marriages, serious illness, and incapacity that can end up impacting the terms of your estate planning documents. While your intentions might change as the result of life events, you should still make sure that your estate planning documents are adequately updated. As a result, in light of these various changes, you should make sure to adequately review your estate plan and make any necessary changes.  Utilizing Favorable Exclusion Amounts The federal exclusion amount for each person in this country is allowed to exclude up to $11,580,000. Gifts over this limit are taxed at the rate of 40%. Under current law, these amounts will return to a [...]

2020-04-08T14:11:47+00:00Tags: |