In the field of estate planning, there are a number of different types of wills that are routinely utilized. Of course, the most commonly understood will is the Last Will. This document, which was once typically referred to as a “Last Will and Testament,” is utilized to express your wishes regarding how you would like your resources to be distributed after your death.
Another type of will that is highly recommended these days is the Living Will. With a living will, you express your wishes regarding medical procedures, such as being kept alive via the use of artificial means. If you are unable to communicate because you are either persistently unconscious or in a terminal condition and two physicians say your condition is “irreversible” decisions may be necessary. This is a highly personal matter and it is important to record your preferences in a legally binding manner.
You may think that if you use a revocable living trust as your vehicle of asset transfer you do not have to execute a Will. However, even if you use a trust you are going to want to have a Will in place. When used in tandem with a revocable trust this is called a Pour-Over Will. It serves two purposes: first, it declares this to be your last will thereby revoking all previously executed wills and codicils; second, it names your trust as your beneficiary. Therefore, with this Will you direct assets that remain titled in your individual name at the time of your death into your trust so there is no confusion regarding how they should be distributed. Beware – you want to keep your assets titled in your trust name because using the pour-over will to make this transfer requires a probate of that asset.
Should you be interested in learning more about these inheritance planning instruments, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to arrange for a consultation with a good Oklahoma City Estate Planning attorney.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday