Planning your estate doesn’t have to be a complex maze. Despite various individual circumstances, a basic framework exists to guide you. Let’s cut through the jargon and break down the essential documents you need for a comprehensive estate plan.
Your Trust: More Than Just a Will
While many consider a will to be the cornerstone of estate planning, the scope is often broader. A revocable living trust serves as a dynamic tool suitable for a wide array of needs. With a revocable living trust, you hold the reins. You control the assets during your lifetime and can change the terms whenever you want.
Why Choose a Trust?
One compelling reason is to establish spending restrictions. After you pass away, your successor trustee can distribute limited assets over time. This strategy protects your resources and shields them from your beneficiaries’ creditors.
Additionally, a trust lets you bypass probate – a legally mandated, time-consuming, and often costly process required if you have only a will. Avoiding probate means quicker asset distribution, preserved privacy, and more of your estate left for your beneficiaries.
Specialized Trusts for Specific Needs
For those worried about estate taxes or seeking Medicaid eligibility, specific irrevocable trusts offer solutions. Trusts aren’t a one-size-fits-all answer; they can be adapted to meet your unique requirements.
Living Will: Clarify Your End-of-Life Preferences
No one wants to ponder the worst-case scenarios. However, a living will provides a voice when you can’t speak for yourself. It specifies your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments, such as feeding tubes and mechanical respiration.
Additionally, you can designate your preferences for organ and tissue donation, as well as comfort care medications, within this document.
Health Care Proxy and HIPAA Authorization: Prepare for the Unpredictable
Emergencies don’t always involve end-of-life decisions. A healthcare proxy names someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t. Coupled with a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization, your healthcare agent gains access to your confidential medical information, ensuring well-informed choices are made on your behalf.
Durable Power of Attorney: Secure Your Financial Future
Cognitive impairment can affect anyone, especially seniors. A durable power of attorney ensures that someone you trust manages your finances if you become incapacitated. If you already have a living trust, consider naming a separate disability trustee, who doesn’t necessarily have to be the successor trustee of the trust.
Don’t Wait – Act Now
There’s no better time to start planning your estate. Tailoring a plan that fits your needs can seem daunting, but it’s a significant step in securing your legacy and giving you peace of mind.
In fact, when you work with us, we make it easy. We treat our clients the way that we would like to be treated if we were in their position. When you choose our firm, we will put you at ease from the start and gain an understanding of your family dynamic and your objectives.
When we see a clear picture, we will explain your options and make recommendations that meet the circumstances. At the conclusion of the process, you will emerge with a tailor-made plan that is perfect for you and your family.
You can set the wheels in motion right now if you call our Oklahoma City estate planning office at 405-843-6100. Our Tulsa office can be reached at 918-615-2700, and we have a contact form on this website that you can fill out if you would like to send us a message.
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