Monthly Archives: November 2020

Understanding the Court’s Role if You Pass Away Without a Will

One of the most critical aspects of estate planning is naming a person who will make decisions in case you become incapacitated or pass away. After your death, a personal representative (or executor) will perform essential tasks like paying outstanding debts and taxes and overseeing the distribution of assets. While representatives play an invaluable role in the resolution of estates, not everyone takes the steps necessary to make this appointment. Instead, if a person passes away without a will, or dies intestate, a judge in an Oklahoma court will decide who should act as that person’s personal representative. When many people learn more about how this appointment is made, they experience an increased motivation to make sure to write the appropriate estate planning documents. How Oklahoma Law Functions in Such a Situation A probate court will appoint an estate administrator in case you die intestate. The court’s decision about how to nominate as an administrator will be influenced by state law. While every state provides a prioritized list of preferred parties to function in this role, Oklahoma’s guidance is particularly detailed. In order, the following parties in Oklahoma are appointed to act as executors: The surviving spouse or someone nominated     Read More

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Four Things to Routinely Review in Your Estate Plan

Estate plans are not meant to be written in stone. Instead, after creating an estate plan, it is a good idea to routinely revisit the terms of your plan to make sure that it still expresses your values for how to handle your estate in case you are incapacitated or pass away. While they might not seem major, even small changes in your personal life or in the area of tax law can have a substantial impact on the terms of your estate plan. This article reviews some of the critical areas that you should remember to review when it comes time to evaluate the terms of your estate plan. Whether Circumstances That Influence Decisions Have Changed For many people, it is an understatement that 2020 was a year full of change. While children were born and some people got married, there were also many divorces and serious illnesses. Each of these changes has the potential to substantially disrupt your estate plan. For example, a beneficiary might have unexpectedly passed away which means that you will need to appoint another party to receive this share of your estate. Another example might be a person who decides to leave an amount     Read More

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Five Members of Your Estate Planning Team

While estate planning is focused on the personal issues of your incapacity or death, it is still a team strategy. The strongest estate plans make use of a team, with each individual performing unique tasks to make sure that your goals are satisfied. It can be confusing, at first, to distinguish the role each individual plays in achieving your goals. ATo help you better create an ideal estate plan, the following reviews some critical parties who can help you make the most of your estate plan. Beneficiary A beneficiary is anyone who receives a beneficial interest in something of value from your estate. While a wide range of individuals can function in the role of beneficiary, it is important that a beneficiary has the maturity necessary to manage assets received from an estate.  CPA CPAs as well as accountants have an intricate understanding of tax laws and can make sure that you create an estate plan that makes the most of available tax frameworks. No estate plan is ever really complete until it takes valuable aspects like transfer taxes into consideration. Financial Power of Attorney Agent Durable powers of attorney are utilized to designate an individual to handle various financial     Read More

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Avoid These Common Estate Planning Excuses

Despite the concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, many of us still lead busy lives. We often have little time left for what we want to do, let alone to dedicate toward planning the future. Also, while many people take the initial time to create estate planning documents, they later fail to appropriately update these documents when circumstances change. In the hopes that you will be able to recognize and overcome your justification for delaying estate planning, this article reviews some of the most common reasons why people fail to create or revise estate plans. Your Family Already Knows What Your Plan is If you do not yet have an estate plan, Oklahoma has a series of rules regarding how your estate will be administered if you die without leaving behind an estate plan. For married individuals, these regulations often result in most or all of their assets being passed to the surviving spouse. If a person is not married and has no children, that individual’s parents might end up receiving his or her estate. Remember, if you pass away without a will, a judge who has never met you will apply the law to your estate and distribute     Read More

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