Estate Planning and Probate
Our attorneys offer clients years of experience in a full array of sophisticated services in estate planning, trusts, and probate. Our Firm works closely with your accountant and financial planner to maximize your benefits. We respond to each client's wishes by creating an estate plan that will minimize future estate taxation, avoid needless probate costs and expenses, and maintain family unity. The estate planning department provides our clients with a cost-effective and comprehensive planning strategy and can readily prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, family partnerships and corporations. We can assist our clients in limiting taxes and preserving family wealth. In conjunction with creating a comprehensive estate plan, the Firm can also assist with:
If you leave property to a child in trust (rather than outright) the assets will not be included in the child's estate. The assets will also be better protected against the child's spouse and potential creditors, while the child can still have a substantial degree of control. Such a trust is sometimes called a lifetime or generation-skipping trust. There may be a generation-skipping transfer tax upon the child's death or if distributions are made to a grandchild during the child's lifetime.
Property passing to a spouse generally qualifies for the marital deduction and is not subject to estate tax. In addition, property passing to the spouse in a trust in which the spouse is entitled to all of the income for life qualifies for the marital deduction. Such a trust is called a marital or QTIP or A trust. This allows you to get the marital deduction without having to give the spouse control over the principal of the trust.
Credit Shelter Trust
If you leave your entire estate to your spouse, it will qualify for the marital deduction and you will not pay any estate tax. However, your spouse will only have one exemption. A common technique is to leave the exempt amount in a trust that will be available if the spouse needs it, but will not be included in the spouse's estate. Such a trust is called a credit shelter or bypass or family or B trust.
With the extensive and on-going change in legislation, it is critical that our attorneys keep abreast of the rapidly changing law. Members of our tax section are dedicated to continuing education to keep informed of any tax law changes that may benefit or otherwise impact the client.
Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)
You can contribute property to a trust that will not be included in your estate, but for income tax purposes, you will pay tax on the trust's income as if the trust did not exist. The advantage of an IDGT is that your payment of the income tax is not treated as an additional taxable gift.
Charitable Lead Trust
A charitable lead trust (CLT) is the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. The trust will make annuity or unitrust payments to charity, generally for a specified number of years, after which the balance of the trust assets will pass to, or in trust to, one or more noncharitable beneficiaries. If the trust is set up so that the present value of the annuity payments is equal to the value of the property contributed to the trust, and if the trust earns more than the assumed rate, the balance of the trust at the end of the term can go to or in further trust for the donor's family free of estate or gift tax.
Charitable Remainder Trust
You can contribute property to a charitable remainder trust (CRT), which will make payments to one or more persons for life or for a term of up to 20 years, after which the trust ends and the balance goes to charity. The payments must be a specified percentage of the value of the trust, at least 5%, either of the initial value of the trust (an annuity trust) or of the value of the trust recalculated annually (a unitrust). Since the trust is exempt from income tax, this allows someone with appreciated property to diversify out of the appreciated asset without current capital gains tax
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust
You can contribute property to a trust and retain the right to annuity payments from the trust for a specified number of years. The annuity payments are valued based upon interest rates prescribed by the IRS based upon prevailing interest rates. If the trust assets grow at a higher rate than the assumed interest rates, the additional growth is removed from your estate, assuming you survive for the term of the trust.
Qualified Personal Residence Trust
You can transfer your residence to a trust and retain the right to use it for a specified number of years. The advantage of this is that, if you survive for the term of the trust, the entire value of the residence is removed from your estate, while the taxable gift is discounted to present value for the number of years of the term, as well as for the possibility that you do not survive for the full term.
Buy/Sell Agreements for Companies Owned by Clients.
Transfer of Corporate Assets into Trust.
Key Employee Agreements for Family Owned Businesses.
Real Estate Law
The need for sophisticated legal counsel in real estate matters reflects the dynamic growth of Oklahoma City and the Southern Midwest. The legal team at Evans & Davis is actively involved in all aspects of real estate law, including: purchase and sale agreements; title and escrow issues, financing, property management and leasing, foreclosure, and development issues. The Firm provides a full range of client services from land acquisition to rezoning, financing and construction law.
Title and Escrow Law
As general and special counsel, we assist title and escrow companies in preparing documents and interpreting contracts and statutes. We represent individuals and companies in litigation in the areas of real property, title insurance and escrow law.
Real Estate Security Instruments, Foreclosures and Forfeitures
The Firm has experience in preparing, interpreting, and enforcing deeds, mortgages, contracts for sale and other real estate security instruments. The Firm also represents lenders, title companies and individuals in enforcing deeds of trust by non-judicial trustee sales or judicial foreclosures, as well as the foreclosures of mortgages and other liens by judicial action.
Real Estate Development
Attorneys on staff are veterans in all facets of commercial and residential real transactions. We can weave through the maze of governmental regulations, obtain the applicable documentation, and interpret the ever-changing zoning and platting laws and guidelines. We are also experienced in the subdivision of office parks, industrial parks, and mixed-use, master-planned community developments.
Commercial Legal Matters
Evans & Davis plays an integral part in the development of many of our business clients. Moreover, the Firm has assisted small businesses evolve into enterprises with a national presence. Our commercial law division is dedicated to providing sound business and legal advice to meet the specific needs to the business.
Evans & Davis has a history of representing buyers, sellers, developers, contractors, architects, engineers, subcontractors and materials suppliers. We prepare, draft and review construction contracts, as well as prepare, records, and foreclose on liens for labor, material and professional services.
Corporate Law & Formation of New Companies
Typically, our attorneys become involved with a client upon formation of a corporation or limited liability company and continue to be involved by offering legal advice, and being available to solve an array of corporate or limited liability company problems. Our attorneys will guide a corporation or limited liability company through changes involving reorganizations, mergers, consolidations, stock/assets sales, and final liquidations. We can help our clients take advantage of various tax opportunities and limit the liability of their personal and family assets. The firm's lawyers represent corporations and limited liability companies of all sizes, from newly formed businesses to national enterprises.
The Firm believes strongly that the key to our success in litigation is aggressive case preparation, giving our client the edge during a trial or settlement. Representing plaintiffs and defendants, Evans & Davis litigators are skilled veterans in adversarial argument and negotiation in both state and federal courts. A support team of legal assistants and law clerks assists the trial attorneys, saving valuable time and lowering the cost of legal services to the client. Ultimately, thorough case preparation, combined with a dynamic presentation, will result in serving our client's best interests, whether it be through a trial, or through alternate dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration or settlement mediation.
Family & Domestic Law
The Firm's domestic relations lawyers are at the forefront of family law in such areas as the valuation of professional practices and closely-held corporation and in structuring spousal maintenance settlements and mediating custody disputes. From premarital agreements to post-dissolution matters, our domestic relations division can competently handle all aspects of family law. The firm represents husbands, wives, grandparents, stepparents and children, and we are sensitive to the often complex and highly emotional issues in domestic situations. We strive to obtain the best results for our clients by resolving disputes though negotiation and settlement whenever possible. If settlement cannot be negotiated, a domestic relations attorney with a proven track record in litigation will take the case to trial.
Premarital Agreements (Prenuptials/Antenuptials)
It may be necessary to draw up a premarital agreement to protect the interests- and assets- of each spouse in the event of dissolution or death. We can draft agreements to meet the individual needs of the client while taking into full consideration Oklahoma's laws.
Probate and Estate Administration
Our lawyers and legal assistants are skilled in the full spectrum of probate work, including conservatorships and guardianships. We can effectively administer any size estate and provide clients with advice on estate planning in relation to living trusts, insurance contracts or retirement survival benefits.