Good estate planning in Oklahoma involves more than just preparing a will.
It not only involves planning for the disposal and finalization of your estate after you die, it also involves avoiding probate, reducing estate taxes, planning for your needs should you become unable to care for yourself, protecting your estate from unforeseen creditors, and providing for the protection of those who will inherit your estate.
Estate planning in Stillwater, Oklahoma is as important for single people as it is for married couples.
Here are a few helpful estate planning tips that will benefit you whether you are young or old, married or single, or have or do not have children.
Estate Planning in Oklahoma: First Steps
Prepare a will. A valid will allows you to designate an executor for your estate, to name who inherits your assets, and to establish guardians for your minor children.
Create a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust differs from a will in that it covers how your estate is to be dealt with in all of the following three scenarios:
- When you are alive and healthy.
- When you are incapacitated.
- After your death.
A revocable living trust will contain provisions to allow you to manage your own estate while you are alive and well, but it will also name a disability trustee who will manage your estate in the event you become mentally incapacitated. It will also outline how this trustee should dispose of your estate if you die, and it will name those who should receive the balance of your estate after all bills have been settled.
Draw up a power of attorney. You can draw up a power of attorney to authorize someone to handle your affairs when you are unable to. Multiple power of attorneys may be drawn up, each for different purposes. For instance, you may draw one up for an accountant who will manage your finances and another for a family member who will make medical decisions on your behalf.
Create a living will. A living will, also known as a healthcare declaration, can allow you to let your wishes be known when a decision needs to made regarding life-prolonging medical treatment.
Update your beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations in documents such as your life insurance policy, bank accounts, and investments will allow you to name who will receive the proceeds of these accounts when you die. It also allows the funds to avoid probate.
Whoever you designate in these documents will inherit the underlying assets regardless of what your will or trust says. So, you must make it a point to review and update your beneficiary designations every so often — especially after major life events such as the birth of a child, marriage, or divorce.
Consult with an attorney. Finally, each individual’s estate planning needs are unique and will depend on a variety of factors. An experienced Stillwater estate planning attorney can assist you in determining which estate planning options provide the best protection for you and your family.
Free Consultation: Stillwater Estate Planning Attorney
You can be speaking for free with a Stillwater estate planning attorney within minutes. Simply dial 405-673-1600 or 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452)
If you prefer written correspondence, submit the “Ask an Attorney” form at the top right of this page.