One of the many complications one needs to think about when planning for the distribution of their estate is minor children. It is vital that parents make plans for their children should should they die prematurely. Typically however, a minor, any one under 18, is not legally able to inherit your estate and manage his… Continue reading Minor Children: Will v. Trust
You've got an irrevocable trust, but our world and your life have changed dramatically. Maybe your family doesn't look the same as when you first created the irrevocable trust. Maybe the law has changed and it makes the administration of trust financially unreasonable or the distribution would now be considered financially wasteful. Maybe you simply… Continue reading Decanting: How to “Open Up” an Irrevocable Trust
Passed by the legislature in the spring, House Bill 2548 established Oklahoma's new Uniform Power of Attorney act and went into effect on November 1st under Title 58. This act, which provides for more uniform power of attorney documents from state-to-state, mostly focuses on the financial power of attorney. Unfortunately though, through some drafting oversight, the… Continue reading What are these new change to Oklahoma’s power of attorney laws?
The answer to this question is probably yes, but depends on your personal goals. A valid will tells the probate court how you want your assets distributed after you pass, but even with a will, an estate needs to go through the probate process and have the court approve the will before assets are distributed. This typically takes at least… Continue reading I Already Had a Will Drafted, Do I need to do Anything Else?
A common question in estate planning is: “How do I dispose of my ‘stuff?’” While bank accounts can have beneficiaries listed, and items like homes and vehicles can be titled over to a trust, passing on the jewelry, furniture, and antiques around our homes may be less obvious, but does not necessarily need to be… Continue reading “I Know What Will Happen to my Finances, but What Will Happen to my ‘Stuff?’”
Oklahoma permits the distribution of a small estate without probate, if the estate is worth $50,000 or less in total. There are two ways to avoid probate using affidavits in Oklahoma - one for financial accounts, one for personal property. The first type of "Small Estate Affidavit" allowed in Oklahoma is one for financial accounts… Continue reading Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit
Most, if not all, timeshare owners will have to decide, at some point in their life, who they want to receive their timeshares after they pass away. Most timeshares are real property interests, that are deeded into the owner(s)'s name(s). If a timeshare is held in an individual's name at death, just like any other piece of… Continue reading The Importance of Placing Your Timeshares Into A Trust
One of the most prominent cases of Living Wills or Advance Directives was the Terri Schaivo case in the early 2000s. It is prominent for Living Wills, in that Terri Schaivo did not have one, and her situation caused a legal battle that lasted years and costed thousands of dollars for her family. In this… Continue reading Avoiding the Terri Schaivo Case – The Oklahoma Advance Directive
In September of 2010, a non-lawyer wrote an article about her experience trying out four different will-making computer programs. This article appeared in the New York Times. After she got all four different wills drafted, she took the wills to an established estate planning lawyer in New York City, and had them reviewed. The results… Continue reading Why Online Wills Can be Harmful to Your Estate Planning
Many clients of the attorneys at Skillern Law Firm, PLLC believe they do not need a new Advance Directive since they had one drafted many years ago. Well, if you got your living will completed before 2006, you may need yours updated. During the 2006 Legislative Session, the Oklahoma Legislature amended the Oklahoma Advance Directive… Continue reading Do You Need to Update Your Advance Directive (Living Will)?