Lidia Law Firm, P.C.
Estate Planning & Business Law

Edmond Oklahoma Estate Planning Blog

How to create a simple will

When Oklahoma residents begin to create their estate plan, one of the first things they might decide to do is write a will. There are many different kinds of wills. However, many people may find that a simple will is all they need.

Simple wills can be a good option for people who have a small estate. According to FindLaw, a simple will usually explains how property should be distributed. If people have children, this document also names a person who will take care of the children's finances and act as their guardian. Some people may be surprised to learn that their will might need to go through probate. This is why it is important for people to make sure they name an executor of the estate in their will.

Who can benefit from a trust?

In Oklahoma, there are different types of trust funds that can suit different and unique purposes. Lidia Law Firm, P.C., is here to help you as you determine which type of trust suits your needs and which will benefit your personal situation the most.

First, it's important to understand what a trust is. In essence, it's a financial relationship in which one person transfers a property - such as a sum of money - to another. Generally speaking, the trustor is the one who provides the property to the trustee, who then manages it for a third party, known as the beneficiary.

How to choose a trustee

If you’re setting up a trust in Oklahoma, selecting the right trustee can be a bit daunting. After all, you want to make sure that the person you choose is capable of managing your estate after you die. Accordingly, AARP recommends the following tips to help you find the best choice for your needs.

Keep Age in Mind

Estate planning a good idea for young adults

Young adults in Oklahoma may think they will not need an estate plan until they are older. However, it is a good idea to start creating an estate plan early on, even when someone has just graduated from college and is starting his or her first job.

One of the things young people usually need to consider is what will happen to their belongings after their death. U.S. News says that it is a good idea to write a will to ensure assets are distributed according to a person's wishes. Sometimes young adults may be unmarried but have a significant other. With a will, people can ensure that their partner receives certain items. Additionally, it is recommended that people make sure they have a beneficiary for their life insurance or workplace retirement plan.

The importance of estate planning for parents

If you are a new or expectant parent in Oklahoma, you may understandably be very focused on providing for your new baby. This can be a thrilling and enriching experience albeit a bit tiring at times. However, it is all too easy for new parents to get overly focused on the immediate needs of an infant and forget about the long term. While in most cases you will get to see your child grow up, you should have a plan in place just in case that does not happen.

For the sake of your child and anyone else who may help raise your child if you were to die or become disabled prematurely, NerdWallet recommends a thorough estate plan. This may include multiple documents one of which is a durable power of attorney. Another thing to consider is to establish a trust in which you can place your assets. Naming a trustee who you know to be financially responsible will be important as well.

How does a living will differ from a last will?

As a resident of Oklahoma currently looking into writing a will, you are going to quickly discover that the process may not be as straight-forward as you think. Not only are there different types of wills, but they each serve a unique purpose and can even be used at many points in your life.

A living will, for example, is different from a last will. FindLaw defines a living will as a type of estate plan meant to address the end-of-life and medical treatment options of the will's author. Essentially, it's meant to speak for you if you get into a situation where you aren't in the right mind to make decisions for yourself. As an example, if you get into a car accident and are in a coma, your living will can dictate how long you wish to be kept on life support.

Understanding probate

When someone dies in Oklahoma, many people may think they can simply take the belongings of the deceased. However, most of the time, a person's estate needs to go through probate. 

The Motley Fool says that probate determines whether a will is valid. The executor of the estate typically needs to make a list of the assets and debts the deceased has and take these to court with the will. The court usually considers the will's validity and tells the executor how to manage the assets before they are distributed to the beneficiaries. While some people might think it will not take long to show that the will is valid, probate can be a long process. Sometimes it may take several months for a court to rule that the assets can be handed out to family members.

Asset planning for remarriages

Oklahoma residents who are planning to get married for the second or subsequent time can benefit from stopping to consider their unique estate planning needs and situations. In many remarriages, each partner brings their own biological children and even grandchildren into the family. Even if everyone gets along well, issues may arise when one of the spouses dies. Fidelity Investments recommends that couples have frank conversations with each other and even with their adult children about their future plans for their estates.

In most situations, when a married person dies it is the spouse who is set to inherit any assets if there is no other formal documentation in place. If this happens in a remarriage, the adult children of the deceased spouse may feel neglected and might even pursue action to get what they believe is their family inheritance. A good estate plan may help to avoid these conflicts by spelling out what assets go to different parties.

Can you write business inheritance into wills?

As a business owner in Oklahoma, you've put monumentous effort into growing your company from the ground up. Naturally, you want your business to continue flourishing even after you pass. Lidia Law Firm is here to help ensure that your business is passed on according to your wishes.

Business and estate law do tend to intersect when it comes to family or self-owned businesses that you wish to pass down to someone else. In some cases, you might want to leave it to one or multiple members of your family. In other cases, you might prefer leaving your share of the business to a trusted business partner, even if they aren't related. It's up to you to first decide who you want your business assets to go to.

What are the benefits of drafting estate plans?

As a resident of Oklahoma, you have the ability to draft an estate plan in order to help out your loved ones in the event of your passing.  Lidia Law Firm is here to help you get the complex paperwork and other legalities out of the way so that you can focus on what's important.

Estate plans are of vital importance. They determine how matters, especially of the financial variety, will be handled after your passing. A few of the most commonly quoted benefits include:

  • Peace of mind
  • Asset protection
  • Financial provision
  • Tax minimization
  • Creation of Trusts
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