Estate Planning Lawyers in Oklahoma Providing Quality Counsel for Clients Looking to Leave a Legacy
Over the years, the film industry has featured countless scenes or entire movie plots in which a wealthy person passes away, and all the heirs gather in a very ornate office to hear the decedent’s will being read out loud by an attorney. This kind of scene is repeated over and over in movies and television shows, leading many people to believe that having any type of will or estate plans is reserved only for the wealthiest members of our society. In reality, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. The attorneys at Parsons, Graham & Day, LLC, explain everything you need to know about estate planning in Oklahoma and why everyone should have estate plans, regardless of their age or financial situation. If you are ready to create your estate plans or have questions, contact Parsons, Graham & Day, LLC, at 918-553-5771.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of creating a plan to manage, protect, and distribute your assets after you die. It involves taking a comprehensive look at your financial situation and choosing the right set of documents and strategies that will best protect your assets. Estate planning can help you ensure that your assets are transferred to your heirs in the most efficient way possible while still respecting your personal wishes and preferences. It can also help you avoid probate, which is the court-supervised process of distributing your assets after you die.
Estate planning is important because it allows you to make decisions about how your assets should be distributed and ensures that your family is taken care of in the event of your death. Estate planning also allows you to put plans in place to protect your assets from creditors. Having a comprehensive estate plan in place can help to ensure peace of mind and preserve your legacy for the next generation.
What Documents Should I Include in My Estate Plans?
When creating your estate plans, there are several documents that you should include. These documents help to ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes. It is important to understand that your estate plans may look different than a friend’s or a family member’s plans because you have unique goals and assets. Your estate plans should reflect those goals and be configured to work for you.
In general, the most important estate planning documents include wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives.
A will is a document that allows you to specify how your assets should be distributed after you die and list the beneficiaries who should receive them. A will also allows you to appoint guardians for your minor children and nominate executors to manage the process of distributing your assets.
A living trust works like a container for your assets. It is created and funded while you are still alive, and it can be made revocable (which can be changed or canceled at any time) or irrevocable (which cannot be easily changed or canceled). A living trust allows you to avoid a lengthy probate process and gives you greater control over how and when your assets are distributed.
Estate plans can also help you get adequate care while you are still alive. Powers of attorney allow you to appoint another person to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. Health care directives allow you to specify your wishes for medical care in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Talk to an attorney about which documents would be right for you and your personal estate planning goals.
Is Estate Planning Just for Wealthy Individuals?
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is something everyone should consider, regardless of income, age, or wealth. Consider the fact that if you die without estate plans in Oklahoma, the state will determine who will receive your assets. This means that your assets may not be distributed according to your wishes and that your family may not be taken care of as you would have wanted. A probate judge will use Oklahoma’s intestacy laws to distribute your estate assets, meaning it will likely go to your closest relatives and may end up being distributed to someone whom you did not intend to include in your inheritance while leaving others out – such as distant relatives, friends or charities.
Additionally, any creditor claims against your estate will take precedence, and your assets may be used to satisfy those claims before they can be distributed to your heirs. If you have significant debt, there may be nothing left to pass down to your beneficiaries after paying creditors and taxes. As you can see, estate planning is not reserved for certain members of society – everyone can benefit from it, no matter if you are a recent college graduate just starting out your career or a grandfather who is about to retire.
Why Should I Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer?
The process of creating your estate plans can feel overwhelming – and if we must be honest, rather unpleasant – as you start thinking about what will happen after you pass away. The thought scares many people, causing them to avoid the subject or keep postponing the task. At Parsons, Graham & Day, LLC, we understand it. Our law firm is here to help you ensure your family’s future is taken care of and that your wishes are recorded while making the entire estate planning process easier and less stressful. Our estate planning attorneys can walk you through the different options available to create a customized estate plan that works for you. Contact our law office today at 918-553-5771 to learn more and get started.