It is important to understand the laws related to wills and probate so you can make informed decisions during the estate planning process. Many people do not take any action to plan for what happens at the end of their life or after their death. Of those who do make advanced plans, it is common to create a will but not to take any other estate planning steps. Creating just a will is not enough to provide you and your family with the protections you and they need and deserve.
Parman & Easterday can provide invaluable assistance with creating an estate plan that is comprehensive and detailed enough to help you and your loved ones achieve a secure future. Give us a call to talk with an Oklahoma City estate planning lawyer about wills and probate and to find out more about why so many people stop with a will and what other legal tools should be used in your estate planning process.
Why are Wills the Most Common Estate Planning Tool?
According to ABC News, many people have no estate plan at all. Just 50 percent of Americans at most have a last will and testament. Even fewer have made other plans for the future. For example, only 41 percent of people have advanced directives to dictate what kind of healthcare they wish, or do not wish, to receive in the event of an incapacitating illness or injury.
Wills are the most common estate planning tool because they are the tool that most people know about and understand. Virtually everyone knows they need to identify who will inherit their property after they pass away. Far fewer people think about protecting their assets in case they need nursing home care. Or that they should think about making advanced decisions to protect themselves and their assets in case of incapacity.
Even fewer people understand what trusts are, how they work, or why they would want them. Those who do know about trusts likely believe they are for the very wealthy, for so-called “trust fund” babies, and do not realize that trusts are actually a very important estate planning tool at all income levels.
Since wills are the only estate planning tool that most people fully understand, wills are often the tool people use when they try to plan ahead for their future. Many people order kits off the Internet or buy them in a store, write up a DIY will, and believe they’ve taken care of their estate planning needs. This can be a really bad thing. Mistakes in your will could prevent it from being enforced by the Court. It also assures you will miss out on other very important estate planning tools.
Why You Should Go Beyond a Will in Your Estate Plan
Instead of just making a will, you need to consider additional estate planning steps. Under the laws affecting wills and probate, your heirs could wind up waiting a long time, normally a year or two, or longer, to inherit your estate if all you’ve done is made a will. The probate process usually costs a lot of money and ends up undermining the value of any inheritance. You also won’t have the control you want or the ability to protect your assets that you could have achieved using other estate planning tools.
Your best option is to talk with an estate planning lawyer about wills and probate law, to discuss your goals for your legacy, and to work with an experienced attorney so you can make an estate plan that uses the right legal tools and accomplishes the goals you have for yourself and for the people you love.
Getting Help from An Oklahoma City Wills and Probate Lawyer
Parman & Easterday can provide you with comprehensive and detailed information on the laws related to wills and probate in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. Our legal team has assisted many clients in creating enforceable last wills and testaments and in going beyond just creating the wills to make effective use of other powerful estate planning tools.
To find out more about the components that should be part of a comprehensive estate plan, give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or (913) 385-9400 or or contact us online. You can also join us for a free seminar to discover more about what is involved in estate planning and to learn about the basic components of a comprehensive estate plan. Call today so our legal team can start working for you.
- Founding Attorney, Larry Parman, Shares a Personal and Insightful Message about the Coronavirus Situation and How the Firm is Handling It (click on the video below) - March 27, 2020
- Understanding Estate Planning – Developing a Fair Inheritance Plan - March 26, 2020
- Use Trust Protectors for Added Protection and Flexibility - March 25, 2020