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Estate planning can be an expression of love

Sometimes an expression of love can come in unexpected ways. For many families dealing with the deaths of loved ones, that expression comes in the form of careful estate planning. Nevertheless, financial counselors say that only about 42 percent of people in Oklahoma and across the country have done any kind of preparation for the end of their lives. That number gets even smaller when it comes to parents with children under the age of 18.

Estate planning can start with a simple will, especially for people with children. A will not only simplifies the probate process, but it can also be used to designate guardians for minors. Otherwise, the courts make these decisions, and they may not always be decided according to the parents' wishes.

Another important plan to make is naming powers of attorney for medical and financial decisions. While it may be difficult for some to think about, there may come a time when one's parents are unable to communicate their wishes. Having someone legally responsible for financial matters and medical decisions will ensure things are handled appropriately, saving one's family the burden of seeking a court order.

Many who are reaching their 50s and 60s may be concerned about retiring and being able to afford the lifestyle they desire for their futures. Understandably, they do not want to spend time thinking about the end of their lives.  However, those who neglect the important process of estate planning often leave their families with difficult decisions and frustrations. Those in Oklahoma can consult an attorney to discuss the most appropriate tools of estate planning for their circumstances.

Source:, "Estate Planning: A Love Note to Your Family", Janna Farley, March 7, 2017

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