Shawn J. Roberts

Writing about law, technology and productivity

How are the federal estate tax and gift tax connected?

Do you know why the federal estate tax and the federal gift tax are often addressed in the same discussion? Although the federal estate tax and federal gift tax are separate statutes, they are connected by what is known as the unified credit. The unified credit is automatically provided by the IRS Code to every […]


What is the federal estate tax?

According to the IRS, the estate tax is a “tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death.”  The top federal estate tax rate for property transfers that are not otherwise credited or excluded is […]

What is that coupon (unified credit) the IRS provides?

Do you know what the Internal Revenue Service and your local grocery store have in common? They both provide you with coupons you can apply to reduce the amount you required to pay! Well, the IRS’s “coupon” is not exactly like scoring big with a $2.00 off coupon for Tide Detergent.  The IRS administers the […]


How does the IRS unified credit work?

In a previous post, I talked about the IRS unified credit, the IRS version of a coupon.  Here are some of the specifics on the unified credit. The unified credit for people passing away in 2015 is approximately $5.4 million. That number is indexed to inflation and will rise a small amount each year and […]

You need to know . . . when the IRS thinks you have made a gift

Since the word “gift” is at the heart of federal estate taxation, it makes sense to understand how the IRS views the term IRS Gift.  The IRS states that a gift is: The gift tax is a tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full […]


If I start an additional business do I need a new company?

Have you ever wondered why some companies that have multiple lines of business have multiple legal entities to operate them? Why does one company have a holding company that owns 14 different Oklahoma limited limited liability companies? The answer may be important to your Oklahoma company as you expand and grow. The General Philosophy My […]


When do I need to get a federal trademark instead of simply an Oklahoma trademark?

I have said that getting an Oklahoma trademark from the Oklahoma Secretary of State is a no-brainer. This is absolutely true but to understand the complete picture you need to understand why in some cases you would want to move on and get federal trademark protection. It is easiest to understand why you would want […]

What type of protection does an Oklahoma trademark provide?

I have said that getting an Oklahoma trademark from the Oklahoma Secretary of State is a no-brainer. So what is an Oklahoma trademark? And, what do you get when you secure an Oklahoma trademark from the Oklahoma Secretary of State?  Read on to find out. The Oklahoma Secretary of State will provide you with the […]

What items can’t a creditor take from you under Oklahoma law?

How you ever wondered what items Oklahoma law allows you to protect from creditors? If you have ever had debt collectors coming after you, you know that almost nothing you own is safe. Your wages, your bank accounts, some types of personal property and some types of real property are all at risk. However, in […]

Take a look at the scenery . . .

I have mentioned our new office, at the Waterford, is an exceptionally nice place to work. Recently, when I was walking out of the office and heading home I realize one of the things that I really appreciate about the place: The view. Relying on the old maxim that a picture is worth 1000 words […]

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