One of the most important aspects of any estate planning package is the creation of a system by which one's heirs are able to inherit wealth with as little taxation as possible. For Oklahoma families who have amassed a level of wealth that exceeds the current estate tax exclusion amount, it is important to create a plan that will protect assets from excessive taxation. One such solution is found in the creation of Generation-Skipping Trusts (GST).
As many Oklahoma residents know, an estate plan is a vital part of any person's preparation for death. Furthermore, since the inevitable end of our lives can happen at a time when we least expect it to, it is best to prepare your estate now rather than waiting until it is too late. Generally, individuals create their estate plans and irrevocable trusts for the benefit of their family members and heirs; however, it may also be beneficial to consider your pets needs too.
In Oklahoma, we definitely love our pets, and in some cases, we spoil them far more than we would even spoil our grandchildren. As we grow older, it is not uncommon to be concerned about how our pets will be taken care of in the event of our incapacitation or death. This is where a trust can help. Special trusts can be created to help support an individual's pets long after her or she has died.
Oklahoma parents who are caring for a special needs child are very special people themselves. Just like their children may need special attention beyond childhood and into adulthood, though, these parents' estate plans will likely require special attention as well. Special needs trusts are one way that parents can prepare for the future needs of their children with disabilities long after the parents have passed away.
Every year, many residents of Oklahoma are either met with rewards or regrets in their ability to plan ahead. Neglecting one's estate plan can have a direct impact on the legacy left behind and cause more grief that extends beyond the stage of mourning and acceptance.
As some Oklahoma residents have already learned, protecting assets may be difficult. For many individuals, there are reasons to use tools for asset protection, especially those that offer enhanced security for the future of an individual's family. Asset protection trusts are an example of such a tool.
Some Oklahoma residents mindful of estate planning sway back and forth on the idea of starting a trust. In general, a trust is either living or testamentary, with the latter type taking effect only after the trustor's death. Living trusts can be further divided into those that are irrevocable and those that are revocable.
Trusts can be an effective tool to use in planning an estate. A trust can be used to manage assets upon the death of a person for the benefit of children or others, protect the privacy of the person who established the trust, protect assets from additional tax burdens and manage a person's own assets while they are still living in case they become disabled.
By establishing a living trust, Oklahoma individuals may be able to avoid the lengthy, public and expensive process of probate. Additionally, they can create a plan to handle disability and retain control over their assets so that they can use them during their lifetime. At the same time, they can prepare for the future and set parameters around how heirs should use assets and income from the trust.
Many Oklahomans who want to leave money for their beneficiaries after their demise use trust structures. Those who worry about their beneficiaries' money management skills may take the additional step of designating their trusts as spendthrift trusts. These structures are expressly designed to give their creators a greater degree of control over the disbursement of the assets they leave behind.