You've got an irrevocable trust, but circumstances have changed. Maybe family dynamics are radically different from when you created the trust. Maybe you want to change trustees. Maybe the law has changed in ways that mean you no longer need an irrevocable trust, or the trust as drafted won't accomplish your original purpose.
Most of the couples we work with share a concern that is often overlooked in estate planning. What happens when one spouse dies before the other? How can we be sure that the deceased spouse's assets remain available only for the surviving spouse and children?
One of the most overlooked provisions in living trusts and financial and medical powers of attorney is how to determine your incapacity. This is a crucial issue in anyone's estate plan, but it's usually ignored or treated like an afterthought.
A common goal in estate planning, especially for people who are retired or who have a chronic illness, is the protection of assets in case they need long-term care. It's common knowledge that qualification for Medicaid benefits usually requires the recipient to be impoverished. It is less common knowledge, however, that you can protect many of your assets and still qualify for Medicaid if you plan ahead.
Tallgrass Estate Planning Attorney Riley Kern gave a continuing education presentation to the Oklahoma Bar Association's Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Section on May 7. While the presentation was no intended for an audience of non-lawyers, we recognize that there are other attorneys who visit our site and might benefit from this information, and there are many non-lawyers who want to learn more than just the basics about the law.
You've created an estate plan through a will or a trust, but you may still intend to make distributions to your loved ones during your lifetime. You may not have considered it, but these lifetime distributions can create some problems later on. To save time, money, and prevent suspicion, it is important that you clarify now whether these distributions are gifts, loans, or advancements.
The IRS has announced new Section 7520 rates, the rates that are used to determine the values of certain important gifting and estate planning techniques, such as charitable gifts, private annuities, and transfers to charitable trusts and intentionally defective trusts. These planning tools are critical for reducing or eliminating estate taxes and creating asset protection during the grantor's lifetime.