Beginning September 1, 2010, Oklahoma pet owners will have an additional tool to use to provide care for their pets after the owners are no longer able to provide the needed care. On May 12, 2010, Governor Brad Henry signed HB 1641. This bill allows individuals to create trusts where their pets are the initial beneficiary. As long as the pet is alive, the Trustee has to provide care to the pet (or pay a caregiver). A separate trust enforcer is appointed by the Owner to ensure the Trustee is … [Read more...] about Pet Trusts Now Enacted for the State of Oklahoma
The fees associated with probate can end up costing a great deal of money, and the more assets in the estate, the more money probate will cost. And while there is no set amount, there are some fees that are common to the process: Fees to an Attorney – This amount will depend upon the extent of your estate. Some attorneys charge a flat rate for basic services and an additional amount for advanced planning needs while other attorneys prefer to bill on an hourly basis. You’ll have to talk to … [Read more...] about How Much Does Probate Cost?
When you invest in an annuity you are investing in an insurance product that will provide you cash payments later. Annuities are an option that some people choose to include in their retirement planning due to the fact that an annuity will provide them with a cash flow. How the Annuity Works The annuity works something like an insurance policy, but it is really an investment. Typically you pay a lump sum of money at the time of the investment. In some cases, you may make additional … [Read more...] about Using Annuities to Boost Your Retirement
Choosing an attorney to handle your estate planning takes some serious research and consideration. There are a number of things you will need to look at before choosing the right attorney for you. One of the first things to consider is the attorney’s actual experience with the estate planning process. A law degree does not make your attorney an expert in one field or another – experience alone will do that and the more complex the field, the more experience is needed. A larger estate, for … [Read more...] about Tips for Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney
Some organizations like government agencies, nonprofit institutions and foreign agencies pay pensions to retired employees. Your Social Security may be reduced if you receive a pension. There are two laws relating to pension and Social Security: Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Your pension will affect your Social Security depending upon how long you have worked and whether you have paid Social Security taxes or not. An attorney can help you calculate this easily. However, the WEP … [Read more...] about Will A Pension Reduce Your Social Security?
Do you and your spouse want the same things for your estate? Then, draw up a reciprocal Will. Years ago we referred to these as “I Love You” Wills. They are not used much today, but may be appropriate for some clients. Reciprocal Wills are essentially identical testaments that allow you and your spouse to “mirror” how your estate will be handled. You leave your estate to your spouse and your spouse leaves the estate to you. This type of document is the simplest way to plan your estate if your … [Read more...] about What is a Reciprocal Will?
It's conceivable that we will all experience some financial hurdles during our lifetime. Extensive debt, bankruptcy, health issues and long-term care are just a few examples of financial obstacles we might one day face. And should they arise, an asset protection trust would protect your estate. What is an Asset Protection Trust? An asset protection trust is a trust that limits access to the assets placed within it. In the event that a creditor or court seeks to seize the assets of trust … [Read more...] about Do You Need An Asset Protection Trust?
According to recent statistics, 60% of people over age 65 will spend time in a nursing home, or long-term care facility. Although spending time in a long-term care facility is not something that most people plan on or look forward to, knowing your options ahead of time can help you make a well-informed choice if the need arises. Facilities run the gamut from the most intensive 24-hour care for seriously ill patients to more traditional “nursing homes”, providing social and recreation … [Read more...] about Long-Term Care Facilities: An Overview
Frankly, most of us underestimate how much savings we will have to accumulate in order to support us during our retirement. So, in this area it's never too early to start planning for the future. And while most of us are happy to open an IRA or opt-in to employer-sponsored programs, very few of us give any real thought to how the future will affect what we've saved. After all, no one can anticipate what might lie down the road. Life expectancy continues to increase with the advancements of … [Read more...] about Are You Saving Enough for Retirement?
If you've done any research or reading on the topic of estate planning, you've probably heard the term "life insurance trust" or ILIT for short. Wondering what exactly this type of trust does? Life insurance proceeds are income tax-free, but not estate tax-free. They are includible in your taxable estate for determining federal estate tax. The primary benefit of a life insurance trust is its ability to remove the insurance death benefit from your taxable estate. This means you minimize estate … [Read more...] about What is a Life Insurance Trust?