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March 2015 Archives

Irrevocable trusts: Can I plan a trust for my pet?

As many Oklahoma residents know, an estate plan is a vital part of any person's preparation for death. Furthermore, since the inevitable end of our lives can happen at a time when we least expect it to, it is best to prepare your estate now rather than waiting until it is too late. Generally, individuals create their estate plans and irrevocable trusts for the benefit of their family members and heirs; however, it may also be beneficial to consider your pets needs too.

Trusts to care for our pets

In Oklahoma, we definitely love our pets, and in some cases, we spoil them far more than we would even spoil our grandchildren. As we grow older, it is not uncommon to be concerned about how our pets will be taken care of in the event of our incapacitation or death. This is where a trust can help. Special trusts can be created to help support an individual's pets long after her or she has died.

Does your family know what to do if you're incapacitated?

Do you know what will happen should you become incapable of making your own medical decisions? You might think that you conveyed your wishes clearly and accurately to your loved ones, but, without the necessary legal provisions in place, your wishes may have very little impact on how your affairs are handled if you become incapacitated. Although most people in Oklahoma have little desire to contemplate this type of situation, it is still important to give careful consideration to what your wishes are and who you trust to handle them.

What will my spouse get if I do not finish my estate planning?

Most Oklahoma residents do not need to be convinced of how important it is to complete one's estate planning before it is too late. Whether it is the result of procrastination or a lack of education, though, many individuals never get around to completing the estate planning process. In such cases, interstate succession statutes exist to dictate what will happen to a person's estate and what his or her surviving spouse will receive in the event the individual dies without a will or estate plan on the books. 

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