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June 2017 Archives

When doctors are arrested for DUI

Anyone charged with driving under the influence will face fines and penalties, including the suspension of driving privileges. If you are licensed as a physician or are going through medical school, and this happens to you, the consequences can be extremely serious.

SB 643 increases DUI penalties

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin recently signed SB 643, which requires all people convicted of a DUI to use an ignition interlock for at least 6 months. Previously, first-time drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher needed to install the device to maintain driving privileges, but now even drivers with a 0.08 percent will have to use the device to ensure public safety.

Estate planning is not just for older people

Young people have a reputation for being carefree and feeling invincible. They may see their lives as a great adventure with no end in sight. The idea of estate planning may be the last thing they want to spend time and energy considering. In fact, 78 percent of those under the age of 36 in Oklahoma and across the country do not have even a simple will.

Estate planning for digital assets is more than just sentimental

Technology has certainly made it easier for people to manage certain aspects of their lives. For example, people in Oklahoma can pay bills, make purchases and handle investments all online and even automatically. However, because many of these types of accounts contain vital and private information, people often secure them with passwords. Estate planning now must consider how an estate executor, trustee or heir will access those accounts if the account holder becomes ill or passes away.

Woman facing drunk driving charges after fatal accident

A 38-year-old Oklahoma woman told police she was traveling southbound when she swerved and clipped another southbound vehicle, causing an accident that took the life of the other driver. However, investigators say the woman's story does not match the evidence at the scene. The woman is now accused of drunk driving, and because the accident resulted in a fatal injury, she is likely concerned about her future.

Estate-planning issues millennials may not think about

It is not unusual for millennials to put off the idea of preparing a will or trust. Estate planning matters are often the furthest thing from their minds. Many younger people are focused on their careers and on new goals and experiences, and believe that the need for estate planning is at least two or three decades away.

Some use estate planning to get even with disappointing heirs

Among the many entertaining things to be seen on the internet, web surfers may run across articles detailing the unusual messages people have left in their wills. While estate planning is generally a serious endeavor, some in Oklahoma may use their wills to leave a humorous statement in order to ease the grief of their loved ones. Others, however, see their wills as a way to take a parting shot at someone who has hurt them. Many estate planning experts agree that this is a bad idea.

Duties of probate administration may overwhelm an executor

When a loved one dies, family and friends may carry a burden of grief. However, for the one chosen to be the personal representative of the deceased, there may be additional burdens to bear. Probate administration can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, and being named the executor of someone's estate means dealing with that frustration almost exclusively. Those in Oklahoma charged with the task may find a few tips helpful.

Estate planning for childless singles

The dismal news is that 64 percent of Americans do not have a will. When estate planning is overlooked, a person essentially agrees to allow Oklahoma courts to decide who gets what. More critically, someone who does not prepare may have no one to make vital medical or financial decisions in the event of an emergency. Married couples with children may rely on state laws to appoint their spouses and children as proxies or beneficiaries. However, those without families do not have that safety net.

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