Every client's estate planning needs are individual. For many clients, a basic estate plan is sufficient, such as a will, durable power of attorney and advance directive. Our firm also handles probate when you need to settle a loved one's estate. Contact us today to help you with your estate planning and probate needs.
A will, also referred to as a "Testament" or "Last Will and Testament," is a legal document in which you provide for the distribution of your estate upon your passing. If an individual residing in Oklahoma does not have a will when they pass away, they are considered to be "intestate," and his or her estate will pass according to the laws of Oklahoma. The estate will therefore not necessarily pass to the individuals the person would have chosen, if they had a Will.
Durable Power of Attorney
Most individuals have heard of or have themselves used a Power of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) is distinctly different, and is a common document created for your basic estate planning needs. A DPOA is a way for you to plan for times when you are considered "incapacitated," and can be is limited or general as you specify. A limited DPOA may allow a trusted loved one to be able to only sell property in the event you are incapacitated, while a general DPOA may allow them to perform every act legally available to you. You will be able to choose the agent for your DPOA, and is often a family member or other trusted loved one. A DPOA is an important part of estate planning, and can help ease the difficulties family members often encounter when a loved one is incapacitated.
An advanced directive is often referred to as a "Living Will", "Personal Directive" or "Advance Health Care Directive." An advance directive is a legal document that will allow you to make known your wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. You will be able to specify your wishes on important decisions such as resuscitation, tube feeding, and organ or tissue donation. An advance directive will also allow you to appoint your Health Care Proxy, who will make medical treatment decisions for you when you are not able to do so yourself, subject to your advance wishes in the advance directive.
Probate is the process in which the estate of an individual who has passed away is resolved, and the handling of all claims and distribution of the estate is completed. Often when a loved one has passed away, family members are unsure of how to proceed. There may be times when the Will of the individual is contested. There are also client's who are faced with handling their deceased loved one's property and debt, and a Will was never created. Our firm is available to help you navigate the legal process during this difficult time.