Our 1st LIVE WEBINAR is coming up! October 19 @ 6:00 pm and October 20 @ 12:00 pm. Link to sign up below!
Preeminent Oklahoma City personal injury, civil rights, and estate planning law firm.
The Cotton Law Firm is a preeminent Oklahoma City law firm specializing in personal injury and civil rights litigation. It is our business to help people who have been injured through the careless actions of others and defend their rights and civil liberties. We will be here every step of the way to help you as your case progresses--from the beginning evaluation, all the way through trial. Our exp
erience litigating cases in both State and Federal Court allows us to assist you in negotiating a fair settlement or aggressively representing you in court. We will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
*Call us today for your free case evaluation*
Our 1st LIVE WEBINAR is coming up! October 19 @ 6:00 pm and October 20 @ 12:00 pm. Link to sign up below!
In addition to the issue of qualifying for financial aid, another benefit of such trusts is that you can not only save for a single child’s or grandchild’s education, you can also structure your trust to provide a pool of funds for the education of all family members. Moreover, when creating the trust, “education” can be broadly defined to include any type of learning institution or organization, such as trade schools, educational workshops, community colleges, and private academies, to name just a few options.
Furthermore, you can provide that the trust can pay for alternative education, such as travel, retreats, business building programs, and other nontraditional educational experiences, which may prove even more valuable than college. Bottom line: when you set aside money to educate your family with an education trust, you get to decide exactly how your beneficiaries can use the funds by what is most in alignment with your family values. And as part of creating your education trust, we will work with you to create a written set of guidelines for the trustee, who will be the person making decisions regarding distributions to the beneficiaries.
Contact us today to learn more about the critical considerations for how to save for your child’s college education.
If you have started to save for your child or grandchild’s college education, it’s worth considering whether to use a 529 plan, an education savings account, or an irrevocable trust.
Last week, in part one of this series, we discussed 529 plans and education savings accounts, which are both popular options for saving for college education. One of the main reasons for their popularity is their tax-saving advantages. The money you contribute to a 529 account grows on a tax-deferred basis, and withdrawals are tax-free, provided they are used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, room and board, and other education-related fees.
Check out the link below for part two of this series.
Since the start of the pandemic, college enrollments have declined by over one million students over the past two years, and with college tuition getting more and more expensive, many students are considering alternatives to the traditional higher education path.
Gap years, travel, trade programs, and online training are replacing the traditional college education path for many, and if you want that to be an option for your children or grandchildren, you should be aware that the traditional college savings plans may not be the right fit for your family.
Instead, consider whether it may make more sense to create an educational trust for your family, in which all of your children and grandchildren can benefit.
Contact us today to get started on planning for your child’s college education.
Big news! I am hosting my first live webinar on October 19 @ 6:00 p.m. and October 20 @ 12:00 p.m. You've worked hard your entire life to provide for your family. In this 30 minute webinar learn what you can do to protect what you have earned and your loved ones!
Link to Register in the comments below.
Next week, in part two, we’ll go into more detail about educational trusts. For now, take into consideration what matters most to you when it comes to saving for college: tax savings, financial aid considerations, or a variety of investment and education options. Then, contact us if you’d like to consider the educational trust option as part of your legal and financial decisions for the people you love.
Schedule a call with me today to learn more!
If you have started to save for your child or grandchild’s college education, it’s worth considering whether to use a 529 plan, an education savings account, or an Irrevocable Trust.
Read this week’s blog article and find out what we think you should consider as you decide on your child (or grandchild’s) college education. Link below in the comment section 👇
Without the proper planning, your assets will get stuck in the court system, which could result in those assets passing to family members you would never want inheriting them, or if the assets eventually do pass to the loved ones you would want inheriting them, those assets could be seriously depleted or even lost. To this end, planning in advance for the inevitability of death is one of the greatest gifts you can give those you love most.
You work way too hard to leave your family’s assets at risk. If you’ve been putting off creating your estate plan—or if you haven’t updated your existing plan recently—now is the time to get it handled.
As your Personal Family Lawyer® firm, we’ve made estate planning incredibly easy, and we start with a Family Wealth Planning Session, which is the first step in our Life & Legacy Planning process.
Schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session now.
Asset protection planning isn’t something you can put off until something happens. Once you are under threat of a lawsuit, it’s likely too late to protect your assets. Like all types of planning, to be effective, you must have your asset protection strategies in place well before something happens. And your asset protection plan isn’t a one-and-done deal: it must be regularly updated to accommodate changes to your assets, family dynamics, and the law.
While you should meet with us, your Personal Family Lawyer® to determine the asset protection strategies that are best suited for your particular asset profile and family situation, checkout these four essential strategies to consider for safeguarding your family’s most valuable assets.
You might think that only the super wealthy need to worry about asset protection planning. But the truth is that if you don’t have millions, you may be at even greater risk. For instance, if you are a multi-millionaire, a $50,000 judgment against you might not be that big of a deal. But for a family with a modest income, savings, and home, it could be devastating.
This week’s blog article, let's talk about the 4 essential strategies for protecting your family’s assets.
I recently had the privilege of presenting a short seminar with and on Estate Planning: The Basics. The link for the video is in the comments for anyone that is interested in learning more about why you need an estate plan.
One other unnecessary task we see families spending a lot of time on is simply locating all of a loved one’s assets when they die.
This happens when you become incapacitated or die, and your family is unable to find—or simply overlooks—all of your wealth and property. And this occurs because most people fail to properly inventory their assets or keep that inventory regularly updated throughout their lifetime. Indeed, this is why there’s currently more than $58 billion of lost and unclaimed assets held by state and federal agencies in the U.S.
Keeping an updated inventory of all of your assets is so important, we offer this service for free to every one of our clients. Moreover, when you work with us, we will not only help you create a comprehensive asset inventory, we have systems in place to make sure your inventory stays consistently updated throughout your lifetime.
Schedule a meeting with us, as your local Personal Family Lawyer®, to incorporate your inventory with your other estate planning strategies.
Last week, in part one of this series, we discussed some of the Cost Of Dying’s most notable findings and explained how proactive estate planning can dramatically reduce many of the financial, logistical, and emotional challenges for your loved ones following your death. Here in part two, we wrap up our summary of the report and outline more of the ways proactive planning can relieve the burden of your death for your family.
This week, let’s continue to find out how estate planning can reduce the high cost of dying. Check out part two of this series. Link below!
The average cost of a funeral was $7,267, and according to the National Funeral Directors Association, that cost has risen 7.6% in the last 5 years.
On top of the funeral, families paid an average of $5,846 to hire additional professionals, such as lawyers, financial advisors, and realtors. The bill charged for these services include the following individual costs:
$3,910 lawyer fees
$4,461 real estate professionals
$1,637 therapists or social workers
Notably, the $3,910 in lawyer’s fees was nearly double for estates that required the court process of probate, which was the case for one-third of families surveyed. When you include lawyers, court costs, and all of the other related fees, the total cost to complete probate for families averaged $16,800.
Fortunately, by working with us, your local Personal Family Lawyer®, your family can avoid the time, expense, and emotional burden associated with probate.
Contact me today to get started.
Only 1 in 7 families had any of the costs associated with their loved ones’ death paid in advance or were able to use payable-on-death funds. Additionally, more than 50% of families had to deal with estates that included debt. To foot the bill for these expenses, 36.1% of respondents used their own savings or investments, while 42.4% used their checking accounts or credit cards.
For most families, the financial costs associated with loss were exacerbated by a lack of information about exactly how much money they should expect to spend, notes internal medicine physician Shoshana Ungerleider, MD, in the report’s section on death’s financial cost. Compounding that stress, Ungerleider says, was the families’ fear of making a mistake that will make their financial burden even worse.
We offer planning strategies that can help you and/or your senior parents qualify for Medicaid and other benefits, without putting the family home or other assets at risk.
Schedule Online or Give me a Call (405) 285-0816 to learn more!
Despite the fact that it happens to every single one of us and is as every bit as natural as birth, very few among us are properly prepared for death—whether our own death or the death of a loved one.
Yet the pandemic might be changing this.
According to Census figures, the pandemic caused the U.S. death rate to spike by nearly 20% between 2019 and 2020, the largest increase in American mortality in 100 years. More than two years and 1 million deaths later, it's more clear than ever that death is not only ever-present, but a central and inevitable part of all our lives
This week’s blog article, find out how estate planning can reduce the high cost of dying. Read my latest blog post and let me know your thoughts!
With divorce occuring in roughly 50% of all marriages in the U.S. and life expectancy increasing every day, second—and even third—marriages are becoming quite common. And when people get remarried in mid-life and beyond, they often bring children from prior marriages into the mix. Such unions are often referred to as a “blended” family or a “Brady Bunch” family.
But blended families can also take other forms. Whether you have stepchildren, adopted children, children from a previous relationship, or you have someone you consider “kin,” even though that individual might not be classified as your legal relative in the eyes of the law, these are also examples of a blended family.
In this week’s blog article, find out the 5 common estate planning concerns for your second (or more) marriage. Check out the link below!
If you're looking to collect life insurance proceeds as the policy’s beneficiary, the process is fairly simple. However, during the emotional period immediately following a loved one’s death, it can feel as if your entire world is falling apart, so it’s helpful to understand exactly what steps you need to take to access the insurance funds as quickly and easily as possible.
Check out this week’s blog and find out what you need to know about collecting life insurance proceeds.
Getting ready for the seminar tonight at 6:00 p.m. , 1624 SW 122nd, OKC, OK 73170. Thank you Mike and Maleah for having me out to talk about the importance of estate planning!
If you're single and childless, consider these three inconvenient truths before you decide to forego estate planning.
Contact us today to learn more!
These days, more and more young people are delaying—if not totally foregoing—a life that involves marriage and parenting. The lack of jobs, crushing student debt, multiple recessions, and the pandemic have pushed many young people into a life path that leaves little room for settling down with a partner and getting married—and even less room for having children.
Yet, for other young adults, staying single and childless is simply a matter of choice. Regardless of the reason, as more young adults opt for non-traditional lifestyles, the number of single childless households is likely to steadily increase in the coming years.
In this week’s blog article, find out the 3 reasons why single folks with no children need an estate plan. Link below!
Although every trust is different, serving as trustee comes with a few core requirements. These duties primarily involve accounting for, managing, and distributing the trust’s assets to its named beneficiaries as a fiduciary.
As a fiduciary, you have the power to act on behalf of the trust’s creator and beneficiaries, always putting their interests above your own. In fact, you have a legal obligation to act in a trustworthy and honest manner, while providing the highest standard of care in executing your duties.
This means that you are legally required to properly manage the trust and its assets in the best interest of all the named beneficiaries. And if you fail to abide by your duties as a fiduciary, you could face legal liability. For this reason, you should consult with us for a more in-depth explanation of the duties and responsibilities a specific trust will require of you before agreeing to serve.
But regardless of the trust or the assets it holds, these are some of your key responsibilities as trustee.
Message us to learn more!
If a family member or friend has asked you to serve as trustee for their trust either during their life, or upon their death, it’s a big honor—this means they consider you among the most honest, reliable, and responsible people they know.
That said, serving as a trustee is not only a great honor, it’s also a major responsibility, and the role is definitely not for everyone. Serving as a trustee entails a broad array of duties, and you are both ethically and legally required to properly execute those duties or you could face liability for not doing so.
Check out our latest blog article!
When creating an estate plan, people are often most concerned with passing on the “big things” like real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles. Yet these possessions very often aren’t the items that have the most meaning for the loved ones we leave behind.
Smaller items, like family heirlooms and keepsakes, which may not have a high dollar value, frequently have the most sentimental value for our family members. But for a number of reasons, these personal possessions are often not specifically accounted for in wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.
Read this week’s blog article to learn how to pass on family heirlooms & keepsakes without causing a family feud.
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