Monthly Archives: February 2021

Critical Details About Oklahoma Transfer on Death Deeds

Transfer on death deeds should never be used as substitutes as wills. These documents can play an invaluable role in your Oklahoma estate plan, however, because transfer on death deeds let a property avoid probate, among other advantageous features. While many people are familiar with wills and he role that they play in estate plans, people are often confused about transfer on death deeds and how they function. How Do Transfer on Death Deeds Work? Transfer on death deeds let a person transfer ownership in a piece of real estate to someone else at the time of the property owner’s death. The beneficiary of a transfer on death deed is similar to the beneficiary of a will. A person can name a single individual or multiple people to inherit property through a transfer on death deed. Transfer on death deeds are revocable and a person can change the terms of a deed or even fully revoke it before the individual dies. A person must make sure to revoke a transfer on death deed in the same manner that the document was created. Reasons to Think Twice About Transfer on Death Deeds While transfer on death deeds are easy to create [...]

2021-02-26T17:02:25+00:00Tags: , |

529 Plans and Oklahoma Estate Planning

One of the most commonly discussed issues when it comes to planning for college is how families will pay tuition. The U.S. News & World Report has found that the average annual tuition and fees at colleges from 2020 to 2021 was $21,184 for out-of-state public colleges and $35,087 for private colleges. Due to these substantial costs, it is understandable that some people decide to make paying for college part of their estate plans. Some people decide to pay for college by contributing to 529 plans. These plans often prove financially advantageous because money contributed to them grows tax-free, provided these assets are used for qualified education expenses. Limits exist, however, to the amount that can be set aside for each beneficiary. To better prepare you for utilizing a 529 plan as part of your estate planning strategy, the following reviews some crucial details about these plans. 529 Plans Can Reduce Your Taxable Estate Contributions to 529 plans are viewed as completed gifts from a donor to a beneficiary. Many times, the donor also holds the account and manages funds for the beneficiary. Later, when the account owner passes away, the account is often not included in the deceased individual’s [...]

2021-02-26T15:47:13+00:00Tags: , , , |

Making the Most of Federal Estate and Gift Exemptions

As of January 2021, a person in the United States is permitted to pass on $11.7 million and a married couple can distribute $23.4 million without being subject to any estate or gift taxes. A sunset clause written into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as well as the results of the 2020 elections, however, place this amount in danger of being substantially reduced.  If financial circumstances justify utilizing this exemption, you should consider taking these actions now so you do not end up facing substantial estate taxes on your assets in the future. The Risk that These Exemptions Will Disappear These current exemptions are in danger of going away both due to exiting tax law as well as the aftermath of the 2020 elections. Not only is it critical for those impacted by these exemptions to understand they will go away, but it is also necessary to perform adequate estate planning. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which was passed in the final days of 2017 increased the exemption from $5 to $10 million.  The Act contains a sunset provision, as well. Provided that no actions are taken to extend the length of or keep this exemption, [...]

2021-02-08T17:58:09+00:00Tags: , , , |

Three Things to Remember About Accessing a Deceased Person’s Digital Accounts

We have all become more reliant on digital living. We use the internet for things like banking, communication, storage, taxes, and many other critical aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, if a loved one dies without adequate planning, accessing the digital assets of a loved one after they have passed away can be fraught with difficulties. The introduction of new cybersecurity methods like fingerprint technology has resulted in even more difficulties in accessing deceased loved ones’ digital accounts. Effective January 2021, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act helps address frequent challenges encountered by fiduciaries in accessing a deceased person’s accounts. The following is some helpful information for those trying to access their loved ones’ digital assets after death.  Follow Some General Steps Different digital accounts have different requirements, but that there are some general guidelines that you can follow to prepare to access this information. Some of these helpful steps include: Contact either the county clerk or state office where the loved one died so you can obtain a copy of that person’s death record. Sometimes, a fee is required. Check the access rules of the digital site that you plan on accessing. Many digital services have automated [...]