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May 2017 Archives

Oklahoma expands interlock use for drunk driving offenses

Despite the increase in public awareness, education and penalties, alcohol-related driving fatalities in Oklahoma continue to rise. However, one defensive tool seems to work to prevent drunk driving accidents, and that is the ignition interlock system. Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently applauded the state legislature for working to increase the role of the interlock devices in the efforts to reduce the number of DUI accidents.

Probate administration: Adding pour-over assets to a trust

One of the appeals of a trust-based estate plan is that it allows the assets funded in the trust to avoid probate. A drawback of a revocable trust is that people often forget to fund all of their important assets to the trust. When this happens, those assets not funded must go through probate administration.

Delaying estate planning raises risk of testamentary incapacity

Challenging a will is usually difficult. A person who decides to legally dispute a will in Oklahoma must prove that the testator was unduly influenced or was not of sound mind at the time the will was signed. This latter point is often misunderstood. While soundness of mind is essential for estate planning, it is not as limiting as it seems.

Digital assets are a forgotten part of estate planning

When someone in Oklahoma creates a will or trust, it is usually fairly straightforward to determine how that person's belongings will be distributed when he or she passes away. While a will may direct the inheritance of digitized items like computers and smart phones, an important part of one's digital life is often overlooked during estate planning. In other words, a will may pass along a computer to an heir, but the heir may not have a legal right to the information on that device.

Letter of instructions often added to estate planning

Once an Oklahoma resident has made the decision to create a will or trust, there is certainly a lot to think about. Estate planning ensures a person's loved ones are provided for and assets are protected. However, some people like to add a personal touch to their will or trust, or they may wish to leave a message that is typically not included in a will. This is where a letter of instruction comes in handy.

Probate administration duties of an executor

One of the most difficult choices people must make when planning their estates is to choose the person who will represent them during probate. Probate administration can be tedious and frustrating. It can also be time-consuming. The person chosen for this important task must be able to fulfill the duties in accordance with Oklahoma law.

New bill in Oklahoma may result in more drunk driving arrests

There is no question that impaired driving is a problem in Oklahoma and beyond. The number of accidents and injuries that result from drunk driving seems to continue to rise despite awareness campaigns and stricter laws. However, a new bill recently introduced in the state Senate has many wondering if lawmakers are going too far.

Estate planning for college students includes powers of attorney

Going off to college is a rite of passage, both for children and their parents. The sense of independence and self-reliance is an important step toward maturity, and parents often find their own freedom at the same time. However, what many Oklahoma parents overlook is that their child's independence from them extends beyond deciding what courses they will study or what time they will go to bed. Once children reach the age of majority, certain elements of estate planning could save their lives.

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