There are things to take into consideration beyond the transfer of financial assets when you are planning your estate. If you want to be comprehensively prepared you should consider the possibility of future incapacity.
Oklahoma incapacity planning is going to involve the execution of documents called Advance Health Care Directives. One of these directives is a living will.
Unlike a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will is not a vehicle of asset transfer. With this legal device you record your wishes regarding the use of life support measures.
If you were to fall into a vegetative state while in a terminal condition, would you want to be kept alive via the utilization of artificial measures like ventilators or respirators and feeding tubes? This is a profound question, and you can answer it by executing a Living Will.
A Living Will is centered on the subject of life support. However, circumstances can arise that require decision-making outside of these life support issues. You can execute a document called a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to name someone to make these decisions in your behalf if it should become necessary.
Aside from health care decision-making you should also consider financial decisions when you are devising an incapacity plan. One of the reasons why many people decide to transfer assets through the utilization of a revocable living trust rather than a Last Will is because you can name a successor or disability trustee.
If you were to become incapacitated this trustee would be empowered to administer the financial resources that have been conveyed into the revocable living trust.
Another way to appoint someone who would be empowered to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation would be to create a Durable Financial Power of Attorney. The agent or attorney-in-fact that you choose would be able to manage your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation.
The case of Terri Schiavo that was very highly publicized a number of years ago demonstrates why a Living Will is important for people of all ages. While she was still in her twenties, Terri fell into a vegetative state after suffering full cardiac arrest.
Her parents were still alive, and she had a husband. She was kept alive through the utilization of feeding tubes, and after eight years, her husband wanted doctors to remove these tubes. Her parents were adamantly against this course of action.
The matter was fought out in the courts, and as a result an acrimonious relationship existed between these people that the young woman loved.
If she would have created a Living Will, Terri’s own wishes would have been honored, and there would have been no cause for disagreements among her loved ones.
Parman & Easterday