December 2014 Archives

The importance of estate planning for newlyweds

Individuals in Oklahoma who are recently married should consider estate planning an important part of their new lives. Even for couples who are young and have few assets, estate planning ensures that if anything goes wrong, their wishes will still be carried out. One of the easiest aspects of estate planning after a wedding is updating beneficiaries on insurance, retirement accounts and other types of accounts. It is also important to consider what should happen if both individuals die.

How state taxes can affect an Oklahoma trust

Traditionally, state tax laws regarding trusts have been relatively stable and predictable. However, there have recently been some successful challenges to the ability of a state to collect taxes on trusts. Therefore, trustees may need to spend more time thinking about their fiduciary duty as it relates to possibly lowering the amount of tax owed. Further complicating the issue of state taxation is the fact that most people no longer stay in one state.

Understanding more about power of attorney

Estate owners in Oklahoma might want to learn more about power of attorney and the advantages the designation may provide. The requirements and provisions that govern power of attorney vary from state to state. Establishing power of attorney grants an individual permission to act as an agent, or on the behalf, of an estate owner. The powers granted may be broad in their application, or they may be limited to a specific activity, like closing a real estate transaction.

Learning more about different trusts

Oklahoma residents may benefit from learning about the different types of trusts that are available. The two primary classifications of trusts are testamentary trusts and living trusts. A testamentary trust is established in a will and only goes into effect after the estate owner's death. Living trusts, otherwise referred to as "inter-vivos" are established during the estate owner's lifetime and can either be designated as a revocable or irrevocable trust.

Grounds to challenge an Oklahoma will

It is believed that 99 percent of wills successfully pass through probate. Typically, a successful challenge is brought about by a spouse, and the most successful reason to void a will relates to lack of testamentary capacity. A testator is the person who creates a will, and only those over the age of 18 and of sound mind are allowed to create a will.

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