Harrison & Mecklenburg, Inc. Estate Planning

Estate Planning FAQ

Answers from a Kingfisher, Stillwater & Watonga Estate Planning Lawyer

The process of estate planning can be complex without the proper representation by your side. At Harrison & Mecklenburg, Inc., we can provide you with legal counsel needed to protect your family and property. Our Kingfisher legal team will guide you through the processes involved from start to finish. Whether it is drafting important paperwork or making sure your wishes are reflected in your estate plan, our legal firm is here for you. We have provided a list of frequently asked questions about estate planning in order to give our clients a better understanding of what is entailed.

Who should create an estate plan?

Everyone should create an estate plan. No matter how much property you own or what your age may be, you can benefit from creating a well-drafted estate plan with a Kingfisher attorney. We can reflect your requests into a plan that best protects your family and assets. It can give you peace of mind in knowing that your loved ones are safe and that your property will get distributed exactly how you want it to.

What is the difference between a will and a trust in Oklahoma?

A will becomes effective once the creator passes away. It specifies the name of a personal representative to manage their affairs, the name of a guardian responsible for taking care of their minor children, an individual to manage the property for the minor children, and instructions in how to properly divide the property. By creating a will with a Kingfisher estate planning attorney, it can serve as a blanket over your entire estate and include your exact wishes in how you want your affairs to be managed.

A trust is created to protect and hold an individual's valuable assets. Unlike a will, a trust becomes effective immediately and avoids the process of probate. It specifies the name of a trustee to hold the assets and make sure they are properly distributed to the beneficiaries once the creator passes away. The trustee can step in when the settlor dies, becomes incapacitated or no longer wants to manage the trust. It is important to understand the assets must be personally transferred into the trust for them to be included within the document. If not transferred by the creator, they are then included within the terms of the will.

What happens if I die without a will?

If you die without a will in Oklahoma, you are identified as having died "intestate." This means you are giving the probate court the power to handle your affairs and appoint a representative to manage your estate. The appointed representative must then distribute your property to your closest relatives as identified within the intestate succession laws. This may not be such a bad thing; however, it can cause estate disputes between your loved ones, as well as leave your minor child under improper care. Our Kingfisher, Stillwater & Watonga estate planning attorney can help you avoid these instances by creating an estate plan that caters to your requests.

What are the components of a proper estate plan?

A proper estate plan includes a last will and testament, a trust, a durable power of attorney, and an advance health care directive. These important facets ensure that not only do your loved ones and assets stay protected, but that you stay protected in the event that you become incapacitated. They serve as a safeguard against any unforeseen events in the future as well as incorporate your wishes in correctly distributing your property.

What is a "self-proving" will in Oklahoma?

A "self-proving" will speeds up the process of probate. It becomes authorized in the presence of a notary when you and two other witnesses sign an affidavit. When you pass away, probate can begin immediately because the self-proving will is already determined as valid. This also means the witnesses do not need to come forth and authorize it. By creating this type of will, you can make things easier for your loved ones.

Speak with an exceptional lawyer from our firm!

As an estate planning firm in Kingfisher, Stillwater & Watonga, we can assist you with your legal needs and see to it that you get the representation you deserve. We will answer any questions that you may have as well as get your case started in the right direction. Now is the time to get started in creating a proper estate plan that best protects your family and estate.

Contact Harrison & Mecklenburg, Inc. to get started today!