Archive for Estate Planning

Importance of Estate Planning: Is the will up to date?

Estate planning is an essential financial tool that should be used by every adult. Planning your estate is not a service just for the wealthy. It is a planning tool that provides for your family and protects your wishes. Careful estate planning also helps you protect your medical choices and provides legal authority to an appointed representative in the event that you are medically incapable of making your own choices.

Additionally, careful planning of your estate can provide you with protections and tax breaks at the present time. A Tulsa estate planning lawyer can provide you with information on Living Trusts and similar legal issues that can reduce your tax burden now and in the future. read more

The Importance of Estate Planning Lawyer in Estate Planning

It is certain that death and taxes are the only certainties in one’s life. The two are an important part of life, and you should not shy away from them because you presume that they are hard to handle. Nobody wants to entertain the thought that they will die eventually but it is the responsibility of every person to plan for it.  The only best way that you can get ready for this event is by creating an estate plan. Having an estate plan helps you avoid problems that often arise in the case of death. Most people never think about these problems while they are still alive. In other cases, some people feel overwhelmed by them, and they often brush them aside.  In the absence of a will or an estate plan, these problems are left in the hands of the state law and the courts to solve.  A well-prepared estate plan is essential as it allows a person to decide for himself the most appropriate choices for their family. He or she can, for instance, decide who will take care of their minor children, who receives the property, what amount should be handed over to charitable organizations, and the lawyer to foresee all this is done. Planning for your estate helps you avoid problems that arise with the law having to handle your property. This is because the state law is indifferent to the decedent needs and often distributes property regardless of the person’s desires.  The only thing that state law specifies is how a person’s assets will be shared in case someone dies without a Will. Most people assume that the state will be fair enough to hand over the property of the deceased to the surviving spouse, which is not the case. Often, the state will give only a portion of the assets to the surviving spouse usually between one-third and one-half. The rest of the property is given to other family members. The law does not take into account any personal relationship that the deceased may have or consider the person’s preferences. To avoid such a scenario, it is vital to draft the Last will. This is the only way that one can fight against such indifferent laws. A Will is a legal document designed to ensure that one’s assets are passed down from one generation to another in a relatively simple and easy way. The Will allows you to make a statement directing to your spouse inheriting your property, or which child should take the family business, or which organization should benefit from your support. The major and most crucial benefit of proper estate planning is the naming of the guardian. It is a neglected fact by most people with minor children to think of who will take care of these children in case both parents die.  In case such a mistake is done, and both parents are deceased, the court takes it as their responsibility to appoint a caregiver to the children. This decision by the court may not be a good choice as compared to when the parents did the selection of who will take care of their children. A Will gives you a choice of making this crucial decision by yourself without any interference from the judge or court who can never know the needs of your children better than you do. Every state has laws that specify the executor of the personal affairs of the deceased. The list created by the lawmakers is quite expensive and may include even the decedent’s creditor. What this means is that the interests of the executor are at odds with those of the family.  However, if the creditor is not named as the executor, the court will step in and in most cases appoint one of the siblings to take the role of the executor. In such a case, a fight is most likely to arise with some family members claiming that the dividing of the inheritance was not fair. Others may claim that a certain asset was meant for them and not the other sibling. Having a well written Will, you can avoid all these chaos by simply appointing an executor who will be honest and fair. You can choose anyone you can trust to take this role to avoid post-death wrangles among your family members. Estate planning allows you to plan for your last illness. On your will, you can include a directive on how you wish to be treated when you take ill before you die. Everyone has a particular way in which they wish to be handled towards the end of their lives. An advance directive on healthcare gives you the chance to stipulate your preferences. A good estate plan also includes an attached document that gives authority to your family member or any other trusted person to take care of you and oversee the use of your finances if you are not able to take care of yourself again. The absence of these documents puts you at the risk of having these crucial decisions made for you and in most cases not in a manner that you wish. An estate plan comprises of a set of documents that asists you in planning for death and tax certainties. often, when people hear of the term estate plan, many take it to be a complicated thing  that is meant only for the wealthy. The truth of the matter is that an estate plan is meant for everybody despite the complexity of their families of finances. Whether you are wealthy or not, there is a need for you to have a proper estate plan. It is also useful that you have an experienced estate lawyer to assist you in drafting a Will. This will assist in you avoiding making any mistakes that are likely to cost you in future. Tulsa Estate Planning Lawyer will help you in drafting a Will that takes care of your needs at the time of your death. An advanced directive and the help of Tulsa Estate Planning Lawyer, helps you in attaining these goals during your life.  Nobody anticipates a scenario whereby they work hard to ensure that their family is well taken care of by acquiring wealth for them only for the family to be left fighting for their possession once they are gone. To prevent this, a will or an estate plan is what you need. It keeps your family interests protected once you have left. It will also help in preventing any family fights that are likely to occur when the property is being shared. A Will ensures that your property or wealth is passed to your heirs at a minimum cost; both fiscal and emotional. In conclusion, Estate Planning is one of the most important and most neglected part of life. When avoided or done wrongly, it can be costly. There are numerous options for DIY estate planning that can be useful to people with fewer assets and estates that are simple to save money. It is important that everyone considers hiring an estate planning lawyer to get the best out of their assets and ensure that their families do not have passed away.

The Importance of Proper Estate Planning

In his prime Michael Jackson was loved and admired by anyone with a radio. His songs were catchy and his signature dance moves were unforgettable. Before his death he had some Importance of proper estate Planningconsiderable legal troubles, which were mostly settled at the time of his tragic passing. However, after his death a new set of legal problems started.

These legal problems all had to do with his sizable estate he established over his incredibly successful career. Everything from a royalties battle to a profit sharing debate with director of the iconic “Thriller” music video. read more

3 Estate Planning Items You Might Need to Update

One mistake you can easily make when making an estate plan is not keeping it up to date. Most people want to get the paperwork from their lawyer, lock it in their safe, and then never look at it again. As nice as this would be, because your life changes you might also need to make changes to your plan. Here are three thing in your estate plan that need to be updated from time to time.

Estate Planning Picture

  1. Life Insurance– This is very important for anyone who has family members who depend on them to live. It could be children, spouses, or other relatives. Family dynamics can change at any time. Marriages, divorces, have more children, kids moving out, and a long list of other changes. These kinds of life changes can affect your life insurance policy, so make sure the beneficiaries listed in your policy are still appropriate.

    If you’ve changed jobs and this new job offers more or less life insurance coverage, you’ll want to factor that in as well.  Also, some states have inheritance taxes so make sure the rate hasn’t changed. 
  2. Taxes– Do a check to make sure your estate plan is set up in the most advantageous way for your beneficiaries. You’ve worked hard to build up this estate, so make sure it goes to who you want. When estates are set up improperly or not kept up to date, your beneficiaries can end up losing a lot of your estate to taxes.

    Transferring ownership of certain assets to a spouse or a trust can help keep the money from being taxed. 
  3. Relationships– Finally, look at who you’ve named as a beneficiary, power of attorney, trustee, or other roles. Has your relationship with these people changed? Do you still want them to have the responsibility or benefits you’ve designated for them? If you feel like these people are unfit for whatever role you’ve given them, take some time and find a good replacement.

    This doesn’t mean you should write people out of your will, but if you name your old college buddy as a trustee and haven’t talked to them in five years, you might need to find a trustee you have a more current relationship with.

If you need advice regarding updating or drafting your estate plan, call Baysinger, Henson, Reimer & Cresswell. read more