Monthly Archives: January 2021

Four Things to Consider About Silent Trusts

It is almost always a good idea to have conversations with your loved ones about what your estate plans are. While some people choose to gather together with family members and discuss these things, other people decide to address these issues in written form. If you decide to implement a silent or quiet trust as part of your estate plan, however, you will not be able to discuss these terms with your loved ones. This is because a silent trust restricts the amount of information that you can share with beneficiaries. If you are wondering if you should  include a silent trust in your estate plan, consider the following useful information.  The Advantages of Silent Trusts The ability to keep the terms of a trust secret provides several substantial benefits, which include: Avoiding beneficiary scrutiny of the investment and management of trust assets Ensuring confidentiality regarding the trust creator’s affairs and estate plans Preventing the disclosure of information regarding the trust’s management of assets Reducing the chances that beneficiaries are subject to fraud or identity theft The Disadvantages of Silent Trusts The most substantial drawback to silent trusts is that they make it impossible to keep beneficiaries informed about your [...]

2021-02-08T17:57:03+00:00Tags: , , |

Five Steps to Avoid Probate Litigation

There are some estate planning strategies that you can utilize now that will make things much easier on your loved ones in case you pass away or end up incapacitated. You do this to eliminate many of the possible complications that your loved ones could face after you pass away. One  significant hardship for your heirs that you likely want to avoid is for your estate to get tied up in a lengthy, costly, and stressful probate process. The following are some steps you can take now to eliminate the chances your estate will end up in costly probate litigation after your passing.  Adequately Update Your Estate Plan Having a current estate plan is one of the best ways to make sure that you are adequately prepared for the various changes that lie ahead. This means making sure that you always sufficiently express your intent to anyone impacted by your estate plan.  Have Honest Conversations Whether you notice the early signs of dementia in a loved one or have unique estate plan goals, it is almost always a good idea to have open and direct conversations with your loved ones in case you end up incapacitated or pass away. You [...]

2021-01-15T16:03:31+00:00Tags: , |

Three Things to Understand about Joint Property Ownership

A common piece of advice offered by estate planning lawyers is that various advantages can be realized by owning property jointly. In reality, joint ownership offers several advantages for surviving family members. Instead of viewing joint property ownership as an answer to every estate planning challenge, however, it is a good idea to be aware of the challenges and issues involved with such an estate planning technique. There are Two Types of Joint Ownership Joint ownership requires more than one party having interest in a property. For married couples, there are two options regarding how to jointly structure ownership of property: Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship is the most common type of joint property ownership. Titling assets in such a way often means that the property will be used for a personal residence. Structuring property in such a way means that either spouse can sell their share of the property without obtaining the other’s consent.  In property that is structured as tenancy by the entirety, one person owns his or her share of the property without the involvement of the other. Structuring property this way provides better creditor protection. In New York, unless the deceased individual who owned [...]

2021-01-15T16:03:45+00:00Tags: , , , |

Four Tips for Fireproofing Your Estate Plan

As we begin the new year, it is a good idea to review the terms of your estate plan. As you glance over these documents, which likely include things like powers of attorney, trusts, wills, and advance healthcare directives, it is important to ask whether your estate plan is still capable of achieving your objectives. A skilled estate planning attorney can help you review your plan to make sure that it is still the best idea to achieve your goals given various changes with estate planning and tax laws. Think about your estate planning as fireproofing your legacy. While poorly written estate plans will do little to protect your loved ones from risk, a fire-proof estate plan will ensure that your loved ones remain safe and well provided for long after you are gone.  Adequately Planning for Blended Families For people with blended families, the question of who should receive what asset is often a much more complicated issue. Failure to properly pass on assets can leave children and other family members greatly disappointed. If a surviving spouse is placed in control of trust assets, stepchildren might be neglected in how an estate is administered. To fully fire-proof your estate [...]

2021-01-15T15:49:13+00:00Tags: , |

Four Clever Estate Planning Strategies You Should Consider

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are finding themselves wishing they had created an estate plan earlier. Remember, without the proper plan, an Oklahoma court will be required to make many difficult decisions about your estate and how your assets are transferred. Given various changes to several critical aspects of estate planning law, however, it can be challenging to determine what strategy works best for you. The following discusses just some of the advantageous estate planning tactics that you might consider. Think Twice About Estate Planning Tactics The passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 disrupted IRAs by requiring most non-spouse beneficiaries to receive assets from the account in accordance with a 10-year window. Previously, beneficiaries could stretch out the duration of IRA distributions over a lifetime. Beneficiaries who are not more than 10 years younger than the account owner, however, can still distribute assets based throughout  that individual’s life expectancy. As a result, you might wish to reconsider how asset distribution through your IRA is made. Utilizing a Roth Conversion The same 2019 legislation also increased the age for required minimum distributions from 70 and a half to 72. Individuals younger than [...]

2020-12-29T21:02:44+00:00Tags: |