Our Most Popular Estate Planning Blog Posts of 2018

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect on life and to commit yourself to improvement in the year to come. (And to create some awesome estate planning New Year’s resolutions!)

We recently wrote about the importance of using this time to review your estate plan. But estate planning is a big and often complicated topic. To help you think about estate planning and the issues you may face in the future, here are our posts from 2018 that readers found the most useful:

1. What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Wills and Trusts are two of the most common (and most well-known) estate planning documents. But what are the differences between them? What are their relative advantages and disadvantages? In our most popular post of the year, we explain the differences (and similarities) between a last will and testament and a living trust.

2. 4 Tips to Identify Undue Influence

In Oklahoma, undue influence consists of taking an unfair advantage of another's weakness of mind or body or the use of authority to procure an unfair advantage over someone. This post explains how undue influence can occur in estate planning and how you can identify and avoid it.

3. IRS Raises Estate and Gift Tax Limits for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that the estate and gift tax exemption is increasing next year: up from $11.18 million per individual in 2018 to $11.4 million in 2019. This post explains what the estate tax exemption means and why it is important to understand estate and gift taxes.

4. Estate Tax Portability in a Nutshell

Estate tax “portability” is a concept that essentially allows spouses to pool their estate tax exemption amounts to minimize or avoid estate taxes. This post explains portability and how and when you should elect it.

5. Anthony Bourdain and Estate Plans for Separated Spouses

Anthony Bourdain and his wife were separated at the time of his death — separated, but not divorced. Without a prenuptial agreement, Bourdain’s wife still stands to inherit a large portion of his estate. This post explains the difference between separate and divorce and the importance of estate planning for separated spouses.

6. 5 Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of adults in cohabiting (unmarried) relationships relationships is up 29% since 2007. That's about 18 million adults. Without an estate plan, your significant other may be left with nothing after your death and may have no right to make medical or financial decisions for you in the event of your incapacity.

7. The Ultimate Guide to Lawsuit-Proofing Your Estate Plan

Estate plans can be challenged in a number of ways. Challenges mean lawsuits, and lawsuits often result in everyone (except the lawyers) losing. This post discusses strategies for avoiding disputes over your estate plan, both with strong legal language and with good practices.

8. How to Recognize Fraud in Estate Planning

Like undue influence, fraud is one of the most common ways an estate plan can be challenged. This post explains how fraud can occur in the estate planning process, how you can recognize it, and how you can avoid having your own estate plan challenged on the ground of fraud.

9. The #1 Argument Against DIY Estate Planning

The rise of technology has prompted many people to turn to “Do It Yourself” (DIY) estate planning tools. However, these programs can have devastating consequences if you execute the documents without proper legal advice. This post discusses the pitfalls of DIY estate planning and why you should seek the advice of an attorney (at least to review your documents) instead.

10. Estate Planning in the Digital Age

Who gets your Facebook account when you die? What happens to your Twitter? Your Instagram? Your e-mail account? Your Bitcoin? This post discusses the importance of estate planning for your digital assets and how you can aide your representatives with administering your estate after your death.

Schedule a Consultation for More Information

For more information about estate planning, or if you still have questions after reading these articles, contact the experienced Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys at Postic & Bates for a free, no-obligation consultation appointment. Click the link below for our contact information:

David M. Postic is an associate attorney at Postic & Bates, P.C. His practice includes estate planning, probate, real estate, adoption, business law, and litigation.

You can email David through our Contact Us page or by calling our office at (405) 691-5080.

[As with all our posts, the contents of this article do not constitute legal advice and are subject to our site-wide disclaimer.]