The one estate planning document that everyone has heard of is the simple will that you can use to state your wishes with regard to the distribution of your assets. You may also designate a guardian for your dependent children if you execute a will.
Many people are surprised to hear that this is just one of a number of different types of wills that are used in the field of estate planning. In this post, we will look at these different documents so you can go forward with a better understanding of the possibilities that exist.
Some get confused about the terms “living will” and “living trust.” A living trust is a device that is used to facilitate asset transfers after you pass away.
On the other hand, a living will has nothing to do with financial matters. A living will is an advance directive for health care used to record your life-support preferences. The document can also contain your comfort care medication choices as well as organ and tissue donation decisions.
You should definitely have a living will in place to make sure that your wishes are carried out if you are ever in this position. In addition to the personal part of the equation, it is really not fair to leave a life or death decision in the hands of a loved one.
If you have a living trust that contains most of the property that comprises your estate, you may still have some assets in your direct personal possession for one reason or another. To account for this, you can include a pour-over will in your estate plan.
This allows the trust to assume ownership of these assets, and streamlines the estate administration process.
A holographic will may sound like some type of futuristic concept, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. This is simply a fancy way of describing a will that is drawn up by hand.
Most states do not allow these wills, but they are recognized in the state of Oklahoma if they are dated and signed by the testator in their own handwriting. There is no witness requirement.
In addition to our office in Oklahoma City, we also have a location in Overland Park, Kansas. These wills are not legal in the state of Kansas.
Reciprocal and Joint Wills
A reciprocal will is typically entered into by a married couple or two people that are in a long-term committed relationship. Their respective wills would leave everything to the other person. There would be a beneficiary named to account for the possibility of both people passing away simultaneously.
After the death of one party, the other one could retain the same beneficiary, but they may also change it and make other revisions to the will if they choose.
A joint will would be executed by a married couple, and it would leave all property to the surviving spouse. When both people are still alive, a final beneficiary would be named, and the survivor would not be able to change that designation.
Ethical wills have been around since biblical times, and they stem from the Judaic tradition. In an ethical will, you record your moral and spiritual values so that your loved ones can draw from them after you are gone.
Schedule a Consultation Right Now!
If you are ready to put an estate plan in place, or if you would like to adjust your existing documents, we are here to help. You can set up an appointment in Oklahoma City by calling us at 405-843-6100, and the number in Overland Park is 913-385-9400.
We also have a contact form on this website you can use to send us a message, and if you reach out this way, you can expect to receive a prompt response.