Last week was a tragic week on Oklahoma’s roads, with three reported traffic fatalities. These tragic accidents show us just how quickly lives can change, as well as the importance of having your legal affairs in order. Many people believe that only the wealthy need to create an estate plan; the truth is, everyone needs at least a basic estate plan. An estate plan will make it easier for your loved ones to handle your affairs and ensure your wishes are carried out, should something happen to you. An estate plan can be as simple as writing a will or as advanced as a directive for healthcare. An estate plan can also include trusts and other documents.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A WILL IN OKLAHOMA
A current will is essential. Many people think they don’t have anything of value so they don’t need a will. Nearly everyone has some assets, and a will tells the world exactly how to distribute your assets when you die. Dying intestate (without a will) means the state of Oklahoma will decide who gets what, regardless of your desires or your heirs’ needs. Dying intestate can also cost your heirs significant legal fees. It is also important to ensure your will is up to date. If your marital status has changed, you had a child, or any other significant life event, you should review your will and ensure that it still meets your desires.
ESTABLISHING A LIVING WILL
A living will, also know as an advanced directive for healthcare, is a document that informs doctors of your desires regarding end of life treatment in the event you are unable to communicate. It may also designate a healthcare proxy who may act on your behalf once your living will takes effect. You may also include anatomical gifts (organ donation) in your living will. A living will does not take effect until a doctor determines that you are unable to make decisions for yourself, and you have a terminal or end-stage condition. Your living will can also take effect in the event that you are persistently unconscious.
Everyone’s estate planning needs are different and the estate planning attorneys at Atkins & Markoff will be happy to discuss your options with you. Having your affairs in order will make life a little bit easier for your loved ones when you are gone. Whether you need a basic estate plan or a more complex plan, our attorneys have the experience and expertise to ensure your wishes are carried out. Contact the estate planning attorney at Atkins & Markoff today to schedule a consultation.