Statistics reveal that the baby boomer generation will leave over $30 trillion to their beneficiaries. As a result, in the lives of both beneficiaries and individuals who want to pass on assets, inheritance plays an important role. If you plan on leaving an inheritance to a loved one, a seasoned estate planning attorney can prove pivotal.
Inheritance Laws in Oklahoma
The state of Oklahoma lacks any gift tax laws, but the federal government does have laws that apply to gifts by individuals. A person is permitted by the federal government to provide beneficiaries with $13,000 a year or less without a tax being placed on the inheritance. Fortunately, trusts and wills are available to individuals who desire to pass larger amounts as part of their estate plans.
The Importance of Wills and Trusts in Oklahoma Estate Plans
Wills give individuals the option to determine what happens to their property after death. If a person does not have a will, their estate is often transferred to beneficiaries in amounts that the creator did not intend. In situations in which a person dies without a will, his or her property will be administered in accordance with the state of Oklahoma’s law of distribution. If a person is married and does not enter into a valid prenuptial agreement with a spouse, there is a great likelihood that half of that person’s estate will pass to the surviving spouse while the other half of the deceased person’s estate will be transferred to any surviving children in equal shares.
In addition to wills, some individuals choose to use trusts, which provide for the management of property and are effective while the creator is still alive. Many individuals who use trusts do so because trusts allow them to avoid probate court, which is often expensive and takes a significant amount of time.
Spousal Rights in Oklahoma
In the state of Oklahoma, spouses who survive after a death are unable to be disinherited from the deceased spouse’s estate. A will, as a result, must grant the surviving spouse as much or more than the spouse would receive due to Oklahoma’s intestacy laws.
Speak to a Skilled Estate Planning Attorney
The assistance of a seasoned estate planning attorney can prove valuable to individuals who are interested in creating an estate plan. Jim Lyons is an estate planning attorney who can help you plan to pass on your inheritance in the manner that you desire. Some of the ways that Attorney Jim A. Lyon can help with your estate plan is by navigating Oklahoma’s complicated body of estate laws, determining whether your assets must proceed through probate court, avoiding any complications that arise during the probate process, making sure that the correct paperwork is used to transfer assets, determining what taxes or debts must be paid, resolving any conflicts that might arise among your beneficiaries, and handling all of the other complicated transfers and transactions that occur during the estate administration process.
Our legal team understands the many obstacles that can arise concerning estate planning and will help you work through these various issues and many more. Contact our law office today.