Frequently Asked Questions Related to Oklahoma Trusts & Estates
At Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC, our experienced attorneys help people in Oklahoma City and the surrounding counties with developing strategies for preservation, management and distribution of their assets using living trusts, testamentary trusts and other legal tools and methods. Deciding on the estate planning options that are right for you requires a complete and detailed analysis of your financial portfolio and desired objectives. When you retain our firm as your qualified adviser, we listen carefully to your wishes and concerns and suggest a full range of options to help you create a personalized estate plan or make improvements to a plan already in place.
When you’re starting out in the planning process, questions are certain to arise. Some common ones we hear are these:
- What is probate and do all Oklahoma estates need to go through it?
- What is the best way to pass down assets without a heavy tax burden?
- Should I create a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust?
- Who should I choose as my trustee?
- Do I need a will if I create a trust?
Whatever questions you have about your estate plan, we have answers.
Contact experienced Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys for a free initial consultation
The lawyers at Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC in Oklahoma City handle a broad range of trust and estate plan actions and disputes. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 405-416-2711 or contact us online.
What is probate and do all Oklahoma estates need to go through it?
Probate is the legal process wherein the assets and debts of a deceased person’s estate are accounted for and distributed. Probate takes place in the Oklahoma district court of the deceased person’s residence. Small estates (valued at less than $50,000) do not need to go through probate. People can also prevent certain property from going through probate by handing over that property via another legal method, such as a trust or deed transfer.
What is the best way to pass down assets without a heavy tax burden?
The taxes applicable to your estate are based on the value of the estate and the type of assets and accounts you own. Most people do not own enough wealth to trigger the Federal Estate Tax, which requires a tax payment from an estate before assets are transferred to beneficiaries. Oklahoma does not have its own estate tax.
Should I create a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust?
Each type of trust serves a different purpose. A person who creates a revocable trust can alter the terms of the trust as he or she sees fit, thereby allowing for more flexibility as life changes occur. Once an irrevocable trust is created, the creator cannot modify it, but this form of trust may provide enhanced tax advantages and property protections.
Who should I choose as my trustee?
Your trustee should be someone on whom you can rely to make financially and ethically sound decisions while keeping your beneficiaries as the top priority. Even if a trustee means well but does not have a solid understanding of money management, he or she may end up mismanaging your assets and harming your beneficiaries.
Do I need a will if I create a trust?
Even if you are meticulous about including your most valuable assets in a trust, there may be property you exclude. A will dictates your wishes for how that property should be handled when you die, so the state does not decide for you. Also, certain trusts are better created by wills, such as a trust that accounts for what happens to your property that has not been fully accounted for at the time of your death.