A donor-advised fund, also known as a DAF, is a great way to donate to various charitable organizations without going through mountains of paperwork, all the while minimizing your taxes through deductions. It also offers tremendous flexibility for post-death giving, specifically if the DAF is funded while you’re still alive.
It would be nice and much easier for everyone if this blog post was one sentence long and simply told you the exact amount of time probate takes in the state of Oklahoma. However, probate is an extensive process, and the length depends on the complexity of the probate estate and the ease of the litigation involved regarding asset distribution and the payment of debts.
As you probably already know, a trust is a fiduciary agreement that allows a third party or trustee to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts are used in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to beneficiaries. One type of trust that is especially useful is a special needs trust, also referred to as a supplemental needs trust. A special needs trust is useful for beneficiaries who are receiving or may receive Medicaid or other state/federal benefits. A special needs trust provides for an individual’s supplemental needs without disqualifying the person from benefits. In other words, it keeps a nest egg of assets for the person’s future needs and keeps the person qualified for government benefits. Supplemental needs are needs or benefits other than those being provided by the government. For example, supplemental needs might include expenses for televisions, cell phones, pre-paid funeral arrangements, personal care items and vacations.
Many have heard that it’s wise to avoid probate, but few know the reasons why. Probate is the legal process of proving a will, determining heirs and distributing the property of a decedent.
Every adult, wealthy or not, should have a valid will or a living trust in place. Yet, more than half of Americans are unprepared for the inevitable. A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines where and whom your property will pass to after death. Another option is a living trust. A trust also says how you want your assets distributed, but also helps distribute your assets faster, avoids probate, may help avoid unnecessary taxes and keeps your wishes private.
Probate is the legal process of proving the will and determining heirs. An estate executor or attorney representing the estate will initiate the process. From there, the court will validate the will, authorizing the executor to distribute assets to beneficiaries as instructed in the will as well as pay any creditors or taxes the estate may owe.
Most people don’t know a lot about wills, trusts or probate. After all, they’re not exactly topics you’d discuss at the dinner table. However, each of these documents plays a role in how you plan to distribute your assets. It’s important to know the basics. Not just for knowledge sake, but so that you’ll know enough to recognize common myths as you run across them.
Millennials are often smart, ambitious, innovative people who focus on career building. If you are a member of this group, estate planning may be the furthest thing from your mind.
When left without a will or a trust, the property of a decedent will only be distributed once a Final Decree has been ordered by the Court.