Irrevocable Trusts have long been an effective, albeit static, estate planning tool. These trusts didn’t always change with circumstance, but now they can. Sometimes circumstances change in ways you never anticipated when signing your irrevocable trust. While you cannot reverse time, there are a few ways that you might be able to modify an irrevocable trust. This first part of a three-part series explores changes to irrevocable trusts using judicial and nonjudicial modification. The … [Read more...] about Changing “Irrevocable” Trusts Through Judicial and Nonjudicial Modification
This is the second in a two-part series on Roth IRAs. The first part reviewed the basics of Roth IRAs. (Click here for the first article in the series.) This second part looks at two advanced planning strategies. The first advanced planning strategy is to use a Roth IRA to maximize the deferral on an inherited IRA. Prior to the SECURE Act, beneficiaries could take distributions over their life expectancy. For those dying after 2019 with IRAs, the SECURE Act applies. Under the Act, most … [Read more...] about Roth IRAs Can Be a Great Planning Strategy: Advanced
Some people try to oversimplify the estate planning process. They are under the impression that you can simply draw up your own will, and you will be adequately prepared. A simple will is better than nothing, but in many cases, a will is not the right choice. In fairness, you can potentially create a legally binding will on your own, and even write it out by hand with no witnesses. This is called a holographic will, and they are legal in Oklahoma and about half of the other states in the … [Read more...] about Can I Write Out My Will By Hand?
If you use a will as the foundation of your estate plan, you name an executor to administer the estate. After your death, the executor admits the will to probate, which is a court-supervised legal process. Oklahoma Probate Shortcuts There are a couple of available shortcuts for the administration of small estates. An affidavit is a statement that is signed under oath. If you are the rightful inheritor of property valued at $50,000 or less, you may present an affidavit along with the death … [Read more...] about Is a Small Estate Subject to Probate in Oklahoma?
Roth IRAs can be a great planning strategy. They can save taxes and help in many ways. This is the first in a two-part series on Roth IRAs. This first part will look at the basics of Roth IRAs. The second part will look at more advanced planning strategies. An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a savings vehicle in which a deduction may be taken upon contribution (with limitations). The maximum contribution in 2021 is $6,000, and those age 50 and over may contribute an additional … [Read more...] about Roth IRAs Can Be a Great Planning Strategy: Basics
Occasionally, those who aren’t Estate Planning attorneys will attempt to do their own Estate Planning. They think they can find a document online or use a friend’s document and can figure it out. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls one could run across. Let’s look at three of these pitfalls which one must sidestep. Bill and Mary had a house worth $500,000, an IRA worth $500,000, and investments of $500,000. They have three children, Aaron, Betty, and Charlie. At the death of the … [Read more...] about Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning
If a living trust is the centerpiece of your estate plan, you act as the trustee while you are alive and well. There is no loss of control of the assets, and you retain the right of revocation. As part of your estate plan, your trust allows you to direct the actions that must be taken after you pass away. To this end, you name a successor trustee to assume the trust duties after your death, and you name your beneficiaries. We will share some tips with regard to the trustee selection … [Read more...] about How Do You Choose a Successor Trustee?
ABLE accounts are a nice, flexible way to supplement the usefulness of a Special Needs Trust. But certain limits apply. by Steve Hartnett The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allowed accounts to help people with disabilities (and their families) save and pay for disability-related expenses. ABLE allows states to create tax-advantaged savings programs for eligible people with disabilities. Distributions from ABLE accounts are tax-free if used for qualifying disability … [Read more...] about ABLE Accounts Complement Special Needs Trusts
There are different types of trusts that are somewhat unusual, so they fly under the radar. When you are planning your estate, you should be aware of all the options that are out there, so we are going to look at five trusts that you may not be aware of in this post. Rabbi Trust The first trust that we will explain has a very unusual name, but it is receiving more attention. A rabbi trust would appear to have something to do with religion, but in fact, this is not the case at all. It … [Read more...] about A Look at Five Peculiar Trusts
Planning is important when providing for your children or grandchildren. But planning for their education has special importance and may have special advantages. This article looks at how 529 plans may have tax advantages when providing for education. Further, the article looks at how such a plan may provide asset protection in bankruptcy, as well. by Steve Hartnett A 529 plan, otherwise known as a qualified tuition plan, is a tax-sheltered way of saving for education expenses. 529 … [Read more...] about 529 Plans: Planning for Education with a Tax and Asset Protection Bonus