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Oklahoma Residents

Oklahoma Estate Planning FAQs

What is Estate Planning?

What do I need in an Estate Plan?

What happens if I die without a Will?

Who can make a Will?

What do I put in a Will?

What if I already have a Will?

Q: What is Estate Planning?

No matter who you are everyone needs Estate Planning.  It is all about what happens to you and your personal affairs if you become incapacitated or become deceased.  Estate Planning is plan to your family and friends letting them know your end of life decisions, how you want to be remembered (burial requests), and how you want your personal affairs and effects divided. Because everyone is different and wants different things no two estate plans are the same.  For this reason everyone needs their own Estate Plan.

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Q: What do I need in an Estate Plan?

At a minimum I would recommend the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Powers of Attorney – because your Will only takes over after you die you need Powers of Attorney

Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is the legal document by which you identify individuals or charities that you want to receive your property at death. These individuals and charities are commonly referred to as the beneficiaries under your last will and testament.

Powers of Attorney

  • Durable Power of Attorney for financial matters
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
  • Living Will

Why do I need them? If something should happen to you your loved ones would know exactly what you want.  They would be able to step in and help you manage your affairs without going to court.  If you do not have a Power of Attorney, then your loved ones would be forced to go to court to become your guardian to take control of your assets and manage your personal affairs.  This can be costly and time consuming.  Whoever you appoint would still have to follow the same reporting requirements as if the court had appointed them, you just avoid the cost of going to court.

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Q: What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die in Oklahoma without a Will then the state of Oklahoma has a law which determines how all your assets are distributed even if that is not what you wanted.  By having an Estate Plan, YOU are in control of your assets and estate.

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Q: Who can make a Will?

Anyone who is 18 years or older and of sound mind. You must understand what property you own, what it is worth and whom you wish to leave it to. This includes real property, jewelry, guns, art, collectibles, stamp or coin collections – anything you feel is valuable.

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Q: What do I put in a Will?

You list how you want your property distributed, who you want to what, also if you have minor children you can nominate a guardian. You can leave your assets to anyone or anything such as your church, favorite charity, friends, family, or schools. It is also your choice to decide if you specifically do not want someone to inherit from you such as a child.

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Q: What if I already have a Will?

Good for you for planning for the future but at the same time things change and people change. You can at any time revoke your will and make a new one or even make simple changes through a Codicil. Please contact me for further assistance.

Things to think about:

  • Executor – This is the person is the administrator of your estate. They will oversee making sure your estate is distributed the way you wanted.  It is important to pick someone who understands what you want and you trust.
  • Witnesses – A Witnesses must not be listed in the Will as a beneficiary.  Because a Will must go through Probate it is a good idea to choose a Witness who is in good health and if possible younger than you.  They may have to be called into court to testify that they indeed did sign as a witness to your signature on the Will.

Online Forms 

While there are online forms that you can purchase these are highly discouraged as everyone’s situation is different.  There is no guarantee that the forms you have purchased are completed correctly.  Sometimes you may only find this out is when you have passed on and your family is left with invalid documents.  This could cause more stress and cost more money than if you had paid a licensed attorney to help you.

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6608 N Western Avenue , #1102, Oklahoma City, OK 73116
| Phone: 405.679.2755

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