The world is an unusual place. Things you’d never expect to happen sometimes actually do happen. There are natural disasters and unusual phenomenon. It’s important to prepare, not just for the unexpected but the eventual. by Steve Hartnett All of us face difficulties and tragedies in our lives. Some of these difficulties are expected and some are unexpected. 2020 has been a year of many unexpected difficulties. While all of us get sick from time to time, nobody anticipated the … [Read more...] about Preparing for the Unexpected…and the Eventual
When planning your estate, you want to express your wishes regarding how you want your assets distributed after your passing. Many people think this is the long and short of it. But a well-constructed estate plan will address another possibility Health Care Decision Making You don't know if you may become unable to communicate sound health care decisions at some point. This is not a pleasant subject and many people refuse to think about it, but this is a mistake. If you take the right steps … [Read more...] about What Are Advance Directives for Health Care?
When you’re deciding to whom to leave assets, most people choose their children or other descendants. However, you also need to decide on the “contingent remainder” beneficiary. In other words, who should get your assets if all your other beneficiaries are gone. Read on to learn more about this often-confusing concept. by Steve Hartnett When you’re planning your estate, among other things, you decide who should inherit your assets. You choose your beneficiaries, typically your … [Read more...] about What’s an “Atom Bomb” or “Contingent Remainder” Beneficiary?
People with disabilities are likely to need very expensive medical care throughout their lives. While many Americans get health insurance through their employers, people with special needs are not in a position to work, thereby denying them this benefit. Fortunately, a solution exists in the form of Medicaid. This is a jointly administered federal/state government health insurance program. Many people who qualify for Medicaid also receive modest monthly benefits through another program … [Read more...] about Can You Fund a Special Needs Trust With a Settlement?
A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints someone to make decisions for you if you’re not able to do so for yourself. An Advance Directive expresses your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to have them up-to-date. by Steve Hartnett In the United States alone, the pandemic has infected nearly 7 million people and has killed nearly 200,000 of them. In today’s pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make sure your estate planning … [Read more...] about Staying Current is Especially Important in the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that the unthinkable can happen at any time. You may be living life as usual one day, and find yourself in an ICU unit a week later. While COVID-19 raises the likelihood of health problems, the truth is that the potential for medical problems is always a reality. Advance Directives for Health Care The current threat is very real, but we all know most people go through an ordinary aging process without experiencing sudden catastrophe. Nevertheless, it is … [Read more...] about Prioritize Planning During Pandemic Surge
Currently, each person can give $11.58 million during life or at death. However, that amount will be cut in half by January 1, 2026. It may go down even sooner. Read on to learn why and how you should use it before you lose it. by Steve Hartnett In 2020, each person can give away $11.58 million during life. Whatever portion they haven’t used during life, they can use it at death. However, that generous exclusion will be cut in half at the end of 2025. Beginning in 2026, the … [Read more...] about Use the Exclusion or Lose It
If you are in the process of creating, or adding to, your estate plan, you will need to decide what to do with your estate planning documents when the plan is complete. Like most people, you probably keep other valuables in your safety deposit box, making that an obvious choice. The Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys at Parman & Easterday explain why your safety deposit box is not the safest place for your estate planning documents. Your Estate Planning Documents In many … [Read more...] about Why Your Safety Deposit Box Is Not Safe
Before you sit down to create your initial estate plan, it is always a good idea to learn more about the process by talking to an experienced estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney can also help explain the process and make you feel less intimidated. Before you even get to your scheduled initial consultation, however, there are things you can think about that will ultimately help your first discussion with your estate planning attorney to be more productive. The Oklahoma City … [Read more...] about 5 Things to Consider When Creating Your Estate Plan
A lot of people harbor misconceptions about certain aspects of the estate planning process. This is very common when it comes to the way that many folks think about trusts. Let’s look at some of the myths that circulate so you can go forward with a fresh perspective. Trusts Are Only For Very Wealthy People Individuals that have estates that are valued at more than $11.58 million are exposed to the federal estate tax. These folks do use trusts to gain tax efficiency. However, there are … [Read more...] about Debunking Myths About Trusts