white paper folders with black tie
Uncategorized

Decanting: How to “Open Up” an Irrevocable 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

Beneficiary Designation, Business, Digital Assets, Estate Planning, Legal News, Life Insurance, Oklahoma News, Trusts

Planning for your Digital Estate

As our world moves further along in the Digital Age, we as a society have become increasingly dependent and intrigued with the digital world around us. As a result of this dependence we have created and accumulated vast amounts of "digital assets". These digital assets range from and include the digital files on a computer,… Continue reading Planning for your Digital Estate

photo of people having conversation
Uncategorized

I Already Had a Will Drafted, Do I need to do Anything Else?

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?

Divorce, Estate Planning, Holographic Wills, Intestacy, Legal News, Oklahoma, probate, Trusts, Uncategorized, Wills

“I Know What Will Happen to my Finances, but What Will Happen to my ‘Stuff?’”

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?’”

Beneficiary Designation, Estate Planning, Oklahoma, Oklahoma News, Our Attorney, probate

Oklahoma Small Estate Affidavit

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

Estate Planning, Oklahoma, probate, Trusts

What Happens To My Trust After I Pass Away?

Many people who create a Revocable Living Trust fail to understand what happens to the trust after they are gone (for more information about types of trusts, see Let's Talk Trusts). One of the most common misconceptions is what happens to a Revocable Living Trust after the trustmaker or "trustor," or the person who created… Continue reading What Happens To My Trust After I Pass Away?

Estate Planning, Legal News, probate, Uncategorized, Wills

A Common Error to Avoid Probate

One common scenario that estate planning attorneys encounter is clients who believe that deeding their home to their children solves the problem of avoiding probate. Most retired individual's main asset is their home, which many have paid their mortgage off. Such a situation is common for many of our clients, and the attorneys at Skillern… Continue reading A Common Error to Avoid Probate

Estate Planning, Legal News, National News, Oklahoma News, Sex-Same Planning, Trusts

Edith Windsor’s Fight for Same-Sex Marriage Recognition

There is currently a legal battle in the federal courts regarding a Federal law mandating that marriage is between a man and a woman. EdiTh Windsor  challenged the federal law in DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) as unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held… Continue reading Edith Windsor’s Fight for Same-Sex Marriage Recognition

Debt, Legal News, Medicaid planning, National News

Federal Assistance Programs are Running Out of Money

Social Security and Medicare, are the two most expensive federal social programs, and it has been recently announced that they will run out of money three years earlier than original estimates indicated. Trustees estimated that Social Security will run out of funds in the year 2033, and Medicare will be insolvent in 2024. More and… Continue reading Federal Assistance Programs are Running Out of Money

Advance Directives, Estate Planning, Legal News, living wills, Oklahoma, Oklahoma News

Do You Need to Update Your Advance Directive (Living Will)?

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)?