estate plan

Reasons to Estate Plan Before the End of Your Life

It can be challenging to prepare for the numerous complications that can arise during a person’s life. It is just as important to perform adequate planning for the end of a person’s life. Adequate estate planning is invaluable because it can remove the uncertainty about how a person’s estate will be handled following his or her death.  While many people falsely believe otherwise, estate planning is important for more than just the richest individuals. Instead, estate planning can play a valuable role in the lives of all people, rich or poor. Even if you have a small estate, adequate planning is also still particularly helpful.  To make sure that you fully address the numerous issues concerning estate planning, the following will address some of the important issues you should make sure to consider. Who Will Care for Minor Children Because minor children are unable to make decisions on their own, it is important to appoint a conservator who will make decisions about who will watch over these children in case something happens to you.  The conservator will often be tasked with managing all of the assets that you intend to pass to your children to make sure that these resources     Read More

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Tips for Family Business Succession Planning

Statistics compiled by Forbes reveal that approximately 80 to 90% of businesses in the United States are either owned or controlled by families.  Other data reveals that only one third of these businesses survive into the second generation of a family and that only 10% of businesses make it to the third generation.  One of the reasons why businesses are not successfully passed between generations is lack of adequate estate planning. It is important to remember that there is simply no universal estate plan that works for every business, which is why options like online estate planning often does not work.  Instead, it is critical to carefully consider the various ways to pass ownership of a business between family members. Obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer who can help guide you in creating the right business succession plan. The following will review some helpful tips that you should remember when creating a strong succession plan for a family-owned business.  Consider Changing the Business Structure If a business is structured as a sole proprietorship or a partnership, it is important to remember that these entities are viewed as comparable to personal assets of the owner and cannot be     Read More

Things to Look for When Selecting an Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning is an important process for all people, regardless of the extent of their assets. One of the primary purposes of estate planning is to make sure that your estate, debts, and assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes following your death. There are, however, a number of complex issues that arise during the estate planning process. For this reason, having the help of an experienced estate planning attorney is paramount. The following are just some of the reasons why things you should look for in an experienced estate planning lawyer. The Lawyer Focuses on Estate Planning Performing proper estate planning requires a unique set of skills. Not only is it important to understand some of the complex laws that dictate how estate planning proceeds, a skilled lawyer also must understand some of the unique emotional considerations involved with estate planning. Additionally, the best estate planning lawyers have helped a number of people successfully navigate the same estate planning issues that you are now facing. The Attorney Knows How to Best Protect You and Your Family It is important to retain the assistance of an estate planning attorney who can make sure that you and your family pass     Read More

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The Value of a Life Estate Deed

Both the owner and the heir of an estate have the potential to end up benefiting from a life estate deed. Despite these potential advantages, many people do not know what a life estate deed is. A life estate deed is a real estate arrangement that contains two distinct phases. During the first phase, the property owner owns the real estate for the life. In the second phase, upon the death of the property owner, a remaining interest in the property is transferred to someone else. The owner of a “life estate” in a piece of property possesses the right to live on and use a property as long as the property holder is alive. A person who receives the interest in this property is then prohibited from interfering with the life estate holder’s use of the property. The Advantages of Creating a Life Estate Besides the security that comes from owning a property and using it as a person sees fit for their life, a life estate deed provides a number of other advantages, which include the following:   Immediate transfer without probate. On the death of the life estate owner, full ownership of a property is immediately transferred     Read More

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The Role of Transfer on Death Accounts in Oklahoma Estate Plans

Some people find it hard to believe, but it is possible for joint account holders to determine who should receive the assets in an account after the surviving account owner passes away. Accounts referred to as transfer on death accounts (which are also sometimes referred to as payable on death accounts or Totten trusts) allow joint account owners to determine how assets should be passed on after the death of both account holders. Because these types of accounts can play a particularly important role in estate planning, the following will take a brief examination of how these accounts operate. Understanding How Transfer on Death Accounts Operate A person who creates a transfer on death account is responsible for the results of asset transfers from the account. Many people who create transfer on death accounts decide to create the account with language stating that a person indemnifies a bank from any claims if the individual relocates, beneficiary plans go against estate plans, or any other complexity that can interrupt the transfer of assets. The recipient of assets that are placed in a transfer on death account can be a child, a relative other than a spouse, and even a friend. The     Read More

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Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

With advancing technology increasingly at the fingertips of every person in the country, more and more people are opening their own businesses. While owning a business offers the advantage of creative freedom and growth, business owners often also feel the pain of financial stress much more substantially. Because there are a number of complex decisions to make, and often a number of people dependent on them to make the appropriate decisions, it is critical that business owners have adequate estate planning tools in place. The following will outline some of the important issues that a business owner should be prepared to discuss with his or her estate planning attorney. Control and Management Issues It is important for business owners to take longevity into consideration by making sure that estate plans describe exactly how ownership will be controlled. If there are numerous issues involved, it is critical to have a written agreement that covers some of the unique situations that can occur within a particular business. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create documents that will effectively control any plans that you might have concerning your business. Complications with Family and Workers Even if no potential family member or     Read More

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Common Types of Estate Planning Errors

While there are many advantages offered by estate planning, the process involves a number of complex issues. Rushing through the estate planning process can lead to errors in important documents, which can significantly disrupt a person’s estate. The following reviews some of the most common and serious estate planning errors that people make. It is always best to rely on the skill and experience of an estate planning attorney when putting together your plans for the future. Using Boilerplate Estate Planning Documents Given the prevalence of online estate planning documents, it can be tempting simply download a cookie-cutter estate planning form online. Not all people, however, need the same type of estate plan. Estate planning is a very individualized process. By using a generic estate planning document, you are at risk of leaving important issues unaddressed or having your estate administered in an undesirable way after your passing. Instead, it is a much better idea to obtain the assistance of an experience estate planning lawyer who can make certain that your end of life plans reflect your wishes. Trying to Avoid the Probate Process Sometimes in attempting to avoid probate, people make gifts to loved ones during their lifetime. The     Read More

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Estate Planning After Divorce

Changes in tax law that were passed at the end of 2017 resulted in a large number of people attempting to finalize their divorces before these laws became effective at the beginning of January, 2019. One substantial change is that under these new tax laws, alimony is no longer deductible by the payor and is no longer taxable for the receiver. These changes have had a substantial impact on both sides of alimony payments following a divorce. There are also, however, a number of other changes that people performing estate planning following a divorce should consider. The following reviews some of the most important changes in the law that will impact your estate planning and your divorce. Updating Health Care Power of Attorney A healthcare power of attorney document allows a person to appoint another person to make healthcare decisions for him or her in case of a coma or other incapacity. If you want to avoid having your former spouse make these types of decisions on your behalf, you need to accurately update your estate planning documents to reflect these changes. You should make sure that you still have a power of attorney document, however. In many cases, people     Read More

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Four Commonly Overlooked Items in Estate Plans

There are certain elements that must be satisfied if a person is interested in estate planning, which include some things that are frequently overlooked. Failure to create an estate plan can lead to a variety of negative consequences. Fortunately, an experienced attorney like Jim A Lyon knows how to best anticipate overlooked elements of estate plans. Incapacity While many estate plans take death into consideration, they often fail to consider how incapacity can influence a person. Unfortunately, a large number of individuals are likely to experience issues related to incapacity during their lifetimes. One of the most common ways that estate plans take incapacity into consideration is with trusts that are created for the management of a person’s assets during incapacity. Management of Assets Some individuals create estate plans for beneficiaries who reach a certain age or goal but fail to create proper management of these assets until these events occur. Details regarding the management of benefits at every step of the process must be included in a reliable estate plan. Divorce Protection Many estate plans are written without consideration for how divorce will influence who should be named as a beneficiary. Even if a person is happily married, there     Read More

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Utilizing Burial Directions and Organ Donation in Your Estate Plan

One of the most important parts of successful estate planning is making sure that all possible issues are considered. While many people expect their estate planning to cover subjects like the distribution of their assets, it is also important to consider issues like burial, cremation, and organ donation. By fully addressing these issues in an estate plan, you can remove the chance that your loved ones will make a mistake by attempting to interpret your wishes. As a result, this article will consider two of the topics that are often left out of discussions about estate planning - funeral directions and organ donation. If you have any questions about either of these steps, discuss matters with an estate planning attorney. Be Sure to Document Your Funeral Plans The best way to inform loved ones about what you would like to have happen at your funeral is to write down a list of specific instructions in a document that is kept separate from other estate planning tools like trusts and wills. Some of the common concerns addressed by these plans include whether a person wants to be cremated, be buried, and have a funeral or memorial service, and where the person     Read More

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