No Oklahoma parent wants to think about leaving a child in the world without parental guidance. That said, none of us knows what the future holds, and parents have an obligation to plan for the worst, even while hoping for the best. In terms of estate planning, parents should give careful consideration to whom should be designated as a child's legal guardian in the event of the death of one or both parents. Once that decision has been made, trusts should be the next step in the planning process.
Most Oklahoma residents are aware that relying on a will as one's primary estate planning tool will require that the estate pass through probate before assets are distributed to the designated heirs. By using trusts instead of wills, families can avoid the time, cost and stress of the probate process, and they can achieve a more direct and efficient distribution of assets. Trusts also have the benefit of giving families a greater measure of control over how their assets are passed down, which is appealing to many.
When considering their estate planning options, Oklahoma residents have a wide variety of available choices. Gone are the days when the primary choice was between a simple will or a set of trusts. Today, families can make use of a number of tools to pass on wealth to the chosen recipients. As such, some feel that wills no longer play a valid role within the estate planning process. This, however, may be a false assumption.
One of the primary purposes of drafting a will is to ensure that one's accumulated assets pass down to loved ones in the manner of one's choosing. In making those provisions, many Oklahoma residents fail to adequately consider the wishes of their family members. This leads to many scenarios in which wills become more of a burden than a blessing and create unnecessary tension between loved ones as they enter the grieving process.
The value of establishing one or more trusts is something that virtually all Oklahoma residents can appreciate. That said, many people who want to make use of trusts also want to save money up front while still taking advantage of the benefits that trusts offer down the line. To that end, some will look for ways to cut costs in relation to this important estate planning process. Unfortunately, a number of scams are in circulation that could harm consumers.