Prior to engaging in any form of estate planning, individuals in Oklahoma often do not realize that there are several differing types of Power of Attorney (POA). They are used for differing purposes and situations. However, the single definition of “a document that speaks for a person when he or she cannot speak for themselves” is universal. For this reason, it is essential that a person, referred to as the “principal”, make a careful, well thought-out decision as to whom will be appointed as their representing “agent.” There are four types of Powers of Attorney. They are simple, durable, springing and health care or business. A simple POA immediately grants power to an agent to act on the principal’s behalf. It ends upon death of the principal, or upon determination of mental incompetency of the principal. A durable POA isContinue reading: Differing types of Power of Attorney
Oklahoma residents may be pleased to hear that in 2018 United States veterans, as well as Social Security benefit recipients, will receive the largest cost-of-living increase since 2012. Beginning December 1, 2017, all will see a 2 percent increase in payments. This will amount to approximately $25 for the average veteran, that is, about an additional $300 in 2018. The larger increase is due in part to a disastrous hurricane season in 2017. Both hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked significant havoc, driving gas and other prices up. The prices of consumer goods are the measurement by which the government determines a cost of living adjustment each year. This measurement is known as the Consumer Price Index. The government examines the Consumer Price Index for the third quarter of the year (July through September), and compares it the same quarter ofContinue reading: Veterans’ benefits rates to increase in 2018
If you find that you are unable to work and hold gainful employment because of a medical condition, you know that it is placing your Oklahoma family at a risk for financial duress. You need income to support your family and take care of your own needs, but if you are physically or mentally unable to do so, it can be both disheartening and overwhelming. While your situation is serious, you have certain options available to you. You could be eligible for federal disability benefits through Social Security. Your options may include either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The eligibility requirements for each are different, and you may find it beneficial to gain an understanding of your options and your right to seek support through some type of disability program. What’s the difference between SSDI and SSI? WhileContinue reading: Which type of federal benefits is available to me?
Estate planning is essential to the timely and less stressful administration of a decedent’s estate. For decedents in Oklahoma who owned oil, gas, or mineral rights, prior planning is especially recommended. These matters can quickly become a complicated situation if preparation was not made for the transfer of those rights prior to death. A great recommendation for the administration of these rights is for them to be placed into a living trust. This can be done in one of two ways, depending on the type of rights owned. If the real estate containing the gas, oil and mineral deposits is owned by the decedent as well, then the property can simply be deeded into the name of a trust. A new deed transferring ownership would simply need to be drafted, executed and recorded with the probate clerk. If the decedentContinue reading: How to transfer gas, oil and mineral rights into trusts
Commercial real estate transactions are in a league of their own. As opposed to a simple residential real estate transaction, they present unique and complex issues that may necessitate the assistance of a commercial real estate transaction attorney. Attorney Charles Wetsel offers 25 years of experience in real estate transactions, including commercial purchases and sales. He knows what to look for, and how to make sure you are protected from any issues that may arise. Further, he has successfully represented multiple clients who have found themselves caught in the middle of real estate disputes. In commercial transactions, there are often many additional variables that need to be taken into consideration. Those include development restrictions, zoning laws, land use restrictions and title claims. These can often be time consuming and complex matters to resolve. The purpose of a commercial transaction shouldContinue reading: Attorneys can assist with commercial real estate transactions
An Oklahoman who is suffering from a disability, injury, condition or illness and believes he or she can get Social Security disability benefits must understand that it is not a simple matter of applying and being approved. There are steps to the process that must be followed. The Social Security Administration makes its decision based on five steps to determine if the person is disabled. It is also important to remember that if the claim is denied for any reason, there are options available to appeal the case. First, the SSA will ask if the applicant is working. A person who works and earns over a certain amount per month will generally not be viewed as disabled. The amount is adjusted on an annual basis. For a person who is not working or has an average monthly income that comesContinue reading: How is it decided whether a person can get SSD benefits?