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How do you want to be remembered by your family? One way to be remembered in a positive light is to take the time to plan out how you want your assets and possessions to be distributed. You may only need a will, or you might need estate tax strategies... Continue reading
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The details are what makes the difference between a legacy that is remembered as a blessing or one that becomes an expensive and stressful burden to loved ones. One example: opening a joint account for funeral expenses and failing to fund it. Sad but true—one day, we’re all going to... Continue reading
The cost of a trust is a lot like purchasing a custom-fit, tailor-made suit. How much it will cost depends on a lot of different elements. Without knowing some of the details, it’s hard to determine the cost. There are many different kinds of trusts and many different kinds of... Continue reading
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Here’s an example of how the best made plans can be undermined. Your 401(k), 403(b) or IRA accounts are robust and healthy, and then a tax law changes. As a result, there’s less money for your retirement. A serious retirement planning challenge for anyone with a tax deferred retirement account... Continue reading
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The different kinds of IRAs are complex but not impossible to understand. The biggest difference is all about the taxes. There are pros and cons for both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. It is possible that you might end up using both of them in your retirement planning. The important... Continue reading
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Your will covers the legal side of estate planning, but a Letter of Final Wishes comes from the heart. Use it as a means of telling your family what you’d like them to do and to know, when you are gone. These legal documents are necessary: a will, a power... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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At times it may seem like planning for college was easier than planning for retirement. But you can keep things simple with these four key elements of retirement planning. Investments, health insurance, Social Security, aging in place, taxes: there’s so much to think about when it comes to retirement planning.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Estate plans and the legal documents of estate planning are actually more for the living—the survivors—as they are for those who die. Planning for incapacity, illness and death will make difficult times and decisions easier for those you love. It is natural that you’d rather plan a fun family vacation... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Using a life estate can help you pass down your home to heirs without going through probate, which is costly and time-consuming. Check with an estate planning attorney to make sure this is right for you. A number of estate planning strategies are used to pass the family home down... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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If a trust is created in one state, but the beneficiaries live in another state and the couple who originally created the trust move to a third state, is the trust still valid? In summary, the general answer is yes. Trusts are governed by the laws of the state where... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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If your idea of retirement means not working and enjoying a life of leisure, you’d better start crunching numbers and planning for the unexpected. People like to daydream about their retirement. They imagine themselves traveling, playing with grandchildren, sleeping late and playing. But according to a recent article in Kiplinger,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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This is the worst case scenario that no one wants to think about, but if both you and your spouse should die before your children turn 18, a trust is a way to provide for your children. Minors (children under the age of 18) who inherit assets, must have a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Even if you are not a high profile politician being considered for public office, you should know that the so-called “nanny tax” refers to any household employee, including caregivers and housekeepers. Remember Zoë Baird? She was on track to be the first female U.S. attorney general in 1993, when it... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Think of your will as a love letter that will tell how you want to care for your family and friends when you are gone. It is not just a way to direct how you want your assets to be distributed. Estate planning can make people uncomfortable, since it forces... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
The proposed legislation would, according to the Representative from Maryland, make it easier for family business owners to transfer their business to the next generation. A different approach to estate taxes comes from a House Republican, who proposes that taxpayers make annual payments for a certain number of years during... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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There are rules that govern what the executor can and cannot pay themselves, but often the only way to resolve a dispute between the executor and heirs is litigation. Here’s an example of what happens when things don’t go as planned in estate planning. A parent dies, and has left... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Portability is not as well-known as other estate planning tools, like wills or trusts. But overlooking electing portability can become a costly mistake. Fortunately, there are some remedies. Given the size of the federal estate tax exemption, it’s not unusual for most people in the middle income tax brackets to... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Wills and trusts are two very different kinds of documents used in estate planning. Everyone needs a will, but not everyone needs a trust. Knowing the difference will help you to understand what you need. A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan. It’s the legal document by which... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Children worry about their aging parent’s ability to manage money and are often concerned about what happens when their parent passes away and leaves a substantial amount of debt behind. Kids know their parents all too well. So when your questions about credit card debt go unanswered, or if you... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Conversations between estate planning attorneys and clients are as much about how to talk with children about the intentions behind inheritances, as about the legal means of distributing assets. A lifetime spent creating a family and an accumulation of wealth is an admirable accomplishment. The final note—an estate plan to... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Philanthropically-minded families have long made charitable giving part of their estate plan. While the tax benefits were always a plus, giving was more about creating a legacy than getting a tax break. As the discussion in Washington concerning repealing the federal estate tax heats up, some are wondering what the... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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Having a will is a great start, but there are other things you can to do to help your family after you have passed. To make your estate plan complete, consider a few practical steps that will address some common issues faced by grieving families when a parent or a... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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The reports of elder abuse range from stealing money to horrific acts by family members. The hope is that tougher penalties will deter some instances of elder abuse in Washington State. Dubbed the “Silver Tsunami,” the rising number of aging Americans has been accompanied by an equally dramatic increase in... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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There are a few important things that are commonly overlooked in a will. When’s the best time to add them in? How about right now? When most people think of creating a will, they think about naming an executor, distributing their financial assets and considering whether or not they need... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning
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There are certain questions that every estate planning attorney knows will be asked the first time they sit down with clients. Understanding them makes the process easier. Probate is one of a handful of questions that are routinely asked by clients new to the estate planning process. Figuring out who... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2017 at Oklahoma City Estate & Tax Planning