A lot of people think that you do not have to put much time and effort into planning your estate. This perspective this a gross oversimplification. The reality is there are many important factors that you should carefully consider when you are planning your estate. You should take the time needed to understand the facts so you can make decisions in a fully informed manner.
Choose the Right Asset Transfer Vehicle
The notion that a will is all you need is incorrect. If you are going to be leaving an inheritance to someone that is not ready to handle a large amount of money, you may be doing them a disservice.
All too often, individuals who receive large sums of money all at once have a tendency to squander the money. In some cases, those individuals have nowhere to turn later on if they run into financial difficulties. When a will is used, the individual receiving the inheritance will receive the full amount of the inheritance, without any restrictions, leaving the inheritance vulnerable to creditors and other litigants.
Some folks think that this is just what happens when someone dies and that there is no way around it. In reality, there is a perfect solution in the form of a revocable living trust.
If you establish a living trust, you are the trustee of your trust during your lifetime. This mean that you do not lose control of your assets. In addition, you can revoke the trust at any time and reassume direct personal possession of the property.
You can add a spendthrift clause, which means the beneficiary would not have direct access to the asset. You can also limit the amount of the distributions that will be provided by the trustee. Further, the trust can remain active for years if this is your choice.
Living trusts can provide numerous benefits. You can create a trust that will satisfy your targeted objectives. You can custom craft your trust to suit the unique situation of you and your family. This is one of the main reasons why advance estate planning is important.
If you continually procrastinate and you pass away without any estate planning documents at all, your estate would have to go through the dreaded process of probate. During this process, an individual is appointed as the personal representative of your estate. The probate court will supervise this individual until your estate is finally settled.
This situation can be very confusing for your family. And in some cases, the process can be messy at best and downright hostile at worst.
In intestacy cases, after final debts have been paid, the assets are distributed under the intestate succession laws of the state of Oklahoma. This could result in a distribution of your assets in a way that is inconsistent with what you would have done.
Address End of Life Issues
One of the major mistakes that people make is a failure to see the big picture. For example, you may become unable to handle your own affairs as you get older, or you may require in-home care or reside in a nursing home. It is important to note that Medicare does not pay for long-term care.
Another potential concern involves the appointment of a guardian if you become incapacitated. If you do not name an individual to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity, you may become a ward of the state.
When you work with an estate planning attorney from our firm, you will walk away with a comprehensive plan that covers all your bases in the optimal manner.
Take Action Today!
If you are going through life without a plan, action is required. You can schedule a consultation at our Oklahoma City estate planning office if you call us at 405-843-6100, and you can use our contact form to send us a message.