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Estate Planning Archives

Estate planning is not just for older people

Young people have a reputation for being carefree and feeling invincible. They may see their lives as a great adventure with no end in sight. The idea of estate planning may be the last thing they want to spend time and energy considering. In fact, 78 percent of those under the age of 36 in Oklahoma and across the country do not have even a simple will.

Estate planning for digital assets is more than just sentimental

Technology has certainly made it easier for people to manage certain aspects of their lives. For example, people in Oklahoma can pay bills, make purchases and handle investments all online and even automatically. However, because many of these types of accounts contain vital and private information, people often secure them with passwords. Estate planning now must consider how an estate executor, trustee or heir will access those accounts if the account holder becomes ill or passes away.

Some use estate planning to get even with disappointing heirs

Among the many entertaining things to be seen on the internet, web surfers may run across articles detailing the unusual messages people have left in their wills. While estate planning is generally a serious endeavor, some in Oklahoma may use their wills to leave a humorous statement in order to ease the grief of their loved ones. Others, however, see their wills as a way to take a parting shot at someone who has hurt them. Many estate planning experts agree that this is a bad idea.

Estate planning for childless singles

The dismal news is that 64 percent of Americans do not have a will. When estate planning is overlooked, a person essentially agrees to allow Oklahoma courts to decide who gets what. More critically, someone who does not prepare may have no one to make vital medical or financial decisions in the event of an emergency. Married couples with children may rely on state laws to appoint their spouses and children as proxies or beneficiaries. However, those without families do not have that safety net.

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.

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.

No estate planning means long, expensive probate for Prince heirs

As the one year anniversary of Prince's death approaches, probate drags on. Because the superstar did no estate planning, the court is left to decide the best interests of the estate and its heirs without knowing Prince's intentions. While some progress has been made over the past year, fans in Oklahoma may be frustrated to see that new disputes arise among the heirs with each court decision.

Estate planning often includes difficult end-of-life topics

End-of-life decisions are difficult conversations to begin. Most people in Oklahoma prefer to ignore the subject, perhaps thinking they will be able to make decisions about their own health care up until their last breath. Still others have taken the step of starting the conversation about estate planning and end-of-life wishes, but the results were murky. In fact, a recent survey showed that even those who believe they have expressed their wishes may not have made those wishes clear.

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