If you've been reading this blog for a while, you have probably heard us refer to executors numerous times. But what is an executor? Who determines who this person is? What does the executor do? Understanding an executor's duties, the role he or she plays in your estate plan, and what you can do to choose an executor is absolutely essential when crafting a plan. Today we are going to take a closer look at executors, what you have to do to choose one, and other important issues surrounding … [Read more...] about Understanding Estate Planning – What is an Executor?
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
The one estate planning document that everyone has heard of is the simple will that you can use to state your wishes with regard to the distribution of your assets. You may also designate a guardian for your dependent children if you execute a will. Many people are surprised to hear that this is just one of a number of different types of wills that are used in the field of estate planning. In this post, we will look at these different documents so you can go forward with a better … [Read more...] about Are There Different Types of Wills?
The popular website Caring.com has been conducting surveys over recent years to gauge the estate planning preparedness of American adults. They are finding that fewer and fewer people have estate plans in place. According to their 2020 results, 32 percent of people in the United States have a will or a trust. In 2017, the number was 42 percent, so this is a significant decrease. As you might imagine, the unpreparedness is greater among lower age groups. Just over 16 percent of people … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Young Adults
Before the pandemic, Americans were more mobile than ever. When you move, you have to change your address, your voter registration, and all sorts of other things. But, do you need to revise your estate planning documents? Like with many things in law, it depends on your situation. by Steve Hartnett In the prior decade, millions of Americans moved each year. Here’s a link for more information on moving in America. Often, people wonder, “What happens to my estate plan if I move?” … [Read more...] about Will Your Estate Plan Still Work If You Move?
There are those that think an executor can read the terms of a will to the people named in it and distribute assets immediately. In reality, this is not the way it works. The will must be admitted to probate, and the court will provide supervision during the estate administration process. The court also has jurisdiction when a deceased person dies without any type of estate plan. When a will is executed, the executor or personal representative named by the testator (the person who created … [Read more...] about What Is Probate and Why Do People Avoid It?
Many half-truths circulate about nursing home asset protection that can cause misunderstandings. We will clear up one of them here. First, we need to provide you with some background information about Medicaid and long-term care. Medicare Gap You qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65 if you worked and paid taxes for at least 10 years. Even if you did not meet this work requirement, you could become eligible based on your spouse’s record if you are married. Medicare provides a … [Read more...] about Can Medicaid Take Your Home?
Estate planning solutions can be implemented to address any situation. This is one reason you should discuss all your options with an attorney. With the above in mind, let’s look at a relatively common scenario that looks complicated at first until you understand how to proceed. Small Business Partners The best way to explain this approach is with a simple example. Let’s say that you started a business with a partner a number of years ago, and have been quite successful. You own the … [Read more...] about Succession Planning for Small Business Partners
With offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Overland Park, Kansas, there are a lot of farmers and ranchers in our general service areas. In many cases, large tracts of ranch and farm land have been in families for many generations. The land was purchased when it was inexpensive by today’s standards, but at the present time the land is very valuable. These folks can face estate tax exposure and we will provide some of the details here. Federal Estate Tax The federal estate tax can have a … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Can Impact Farmers and Ranchers
What’s the right direction for you in planning for the help you might need in the future? Seven in ten of us will need long-term care at some point in our lives. Here are possible paths for covering the assistance you may need. by Steve Hartnett Young nurse is taking elder man’s blood As Americans grow older, more and more of us need help with our daily activities. It could be a little help or a lot of help, depending on the situation. Of course, the level of assistance we need … [Read more...] about How Will You Obtain the Care You Need?