State laws of Inheritance determine what happens to your property when you die without a will or trust. These laws impact how you transfer assets, to whom, when, and what taxes, if any, will be paid when the property and wealth passes to the new owners. You need to understand how these inheritance laws work so you use the right legal tools to achieve your goals for leaving your legacy.
Parman & Easterday provides assistance with all legal matters related to inheritance. Give us a call as soon as possible. You should not assume that just because you are young, you have plenty of time to create an estate plan to avoid adverse issues when you die. You don’t want the State’s default laws to determine what happens to your wealth or leave your loved ones unprotected. Let our Oklahoma City estate planning lawyers help you make the inheritance laws work for you.
4 Key Facts You Should Know About Inheritance Law
There are several things you need to know about inheritance law in general, and the specific laws that may matter most to you will vary depending on your situation. Four key factors are the following:
- Intestacy law will determine who inherits wealth if you do not have a will or other estate plan in place. If you don’t make some type of plan to provide for the transfer of your assets to your loved ones, family members and charities, your assets could wind up being transferred by these default laws. Sometimes this is okay because it means your closest family members inherit, but you may have a different idea about how you want your wealth distributed.
- Minors under the age of 18 cannot directly inherit. If you have children under 18 and want to provide for their financial needs, you need to make specify in your will or trust who will manage the money for them and when and how it may be transferred to them. Children under 18 cannot inherit directly. If you haven’t made other provisions, a court will appoint a guardian to manage the money on their behalf. You may want to use a trust to select who manages their inheritance and control what is done with the money you leave your children.
- Wealth can be taxed if your estate exceeds a certain size: You could face estate tax if your estate exceeds the exempt amount. Talk with an experienced attorney because the amount you can transfer each year without paying federal tax can change, and because you may be subject to different estate tax rules if you live or own property in different states.
- Most property has to pass through probate. Probate can take many months. If you don’t make plans for your assets to transfer outside of probate, your family will not be able to access the funds you have left to them for an extended time after your death. If your loved ones were counting on an inheritance to meet pressing financial needs, this can be a problem for them.
These are just some key factors about the inheritance law that can make a difference in your life. You need to know how these laws work so you can decide if you want to create a different plan, such as using a trust or other legal tools to avoid estate tax and help your family inherit your property quicker outside of probate.
Getting Help From An Oklahoma City Estate and Inheritance Planning Lawyer
Parman & Easterday can provide the assistance you need to understand the inheritance laws and what they mean for your wealth and family. We can help you to opt out and avoid the application of these default standards that could cause you to lose wealth or make life harder for your loved ones. We can also assist you in making certain you have made smart choices in structuring your estate plan.
To find out more about how inheritance law can impact you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or contact us online for personalized assistance and advice on all aspects of the inheritance planning process.