Estate planning in Oklahoma comes with peculiar emotional and relational aspects. It can be a difficult topic to discuss with your family. That is why only 33% of Americans have an estate plan. When you decide to create yours, here are some of the essential documents to include.
Last will and testament
Your last will and testament is a written document that specifies how your property will be distributed to your beneficiaries after you die. It can also dictate when they should receive the named assets.
The last will and testament is the only place where you can name an executor and guardian. Your executor is the person who will make sure that your final wishes are carried out and that all debts and taxes are paid. The guardian will take care of your minor children if the other parent is unable to do so.
A trust is another estate planning tool that allows you to transfer your assets upon your death, but you can also use it during your lifetime. It’s an arrangement in which one person (the trustee) holds the legal title to property for another person’s benefit (the beneficiary). The trustee manages the property according to the terms set forth by the grantor (you). You can be both the grantor and trustee of your trust but cannot name yourself as the sole beneficiary.
Unlike a will, a trust doesn’t have to go through probate, which is the court-supervised process of validating a will and distributing the estate. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, so avoiding probate can be beneficial.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf whether financial, medical or both. This is usually done when someone becomes incapacitated and is unable to make decisions for themselves.
Estate planning is a challenging but necessary process. By having the essential documents in place, you can ensure your final wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of according to your preferences.