Estate Plans in Oklahoma – How to Avoid Probate
What is an estate plan?
Many people have the misconception that estate planning is something that only multi-millionaires should do. Creating an estate plan is certainly helpful to and prudent for wealthy individuals, but it can be even more important for median and middle-income families to plan their estate-related documents. An estate plan can be very simple or more robust; it starts with a simple will (the last will and testament of the maker) or can include a trust and many limited liability companies and other asset protection methods.
Who should have an estate plan?
Anyone over 18 years of age who meets the minimum competency requirements set out by Oklahoma law can make an estate plan, starting with a will (last will and testament) at the very minimum. AARP, Investopedia, and Nerd Wallet all recommend wills as part of an estate plan as a critical way to protect your hard-earned money and property in the event of a health issue or death.
How long does the estate planning process take?
The Avenue Legal Group estate planning process is intentionally designed to take the frustration, delay, and high cost out of estate planning. On average, our estate plan documents are drafted within two business days of receiving our clients’ key information and agreement on which documents are necessary. For most of our estate plans, the entire process takes less than one month.
Want to move slower or more cautiously? Don’t worry – we can move at a pace that is comfortable for you.
How many meetings are required to complete an estate plan?
Our firm values your time. We also know you don’t want to pay for more of our time than you have to. In most cases, only one in-person appointment is absolutely necessary; our estate plan signing includes notaries, independent witnesses, and an attorney to walk you through the signing at your pace. Most of our estate plan correspondence, strategy discussions, and document revisions and feedback are performed remotely by phone, email, video chat, or secure online questionnaire. If you still prefer to speak to an attorney in the office, we are always available for in-person appointments.
What is the typical cost range for an estate plan in Oklahoma?
The cost of most estate plans is determined by the amount of planning desired. For basic simple wills, costs begin around $600. For joint marital estates which will use a revocable living trust, costs are typically in the $2,500 to $6,500 range, including retitling and conveying multiple real estate and business venture assets.
Are there estate planning discounts available?
Yes! Avenue Legal Group always offers discounted estate plan rates for educators and veterans.
What documents can be included in an estate plan?
The main documents that are frequently included in an estate plan are:
- Simple will or pour over will (last will and testament)
- Health care advance directive (also known as a “living will”)
- Health care power of attorney
- Trust (most often a revocable living trust, land trust, pet care trust, special needs trust, or similar)
- Deeds for real estate assets
- Transfers of business interests
- Business succession planning
- Memorandum of intent
What are the primary benefits of an estate plan?
The key benefit of estate planning is to provide guidance to your surviving loved ones as to what should happen to your children and your property after you are gone. For many clients, their goal is to avoid probate and simultaneously protect their assets. Because typical probate case costs exceed $10,000 in attorney fees and court costs, probate avoidance should be strongly considered.
Can an estate plan be given as a gift?
Yes! Oklahoma law allows one individual to pay for the cost of legal representation for the benefit of another individual. Because of that rule, Avenue Legal Group encourages family members to consider giving their loved ones the gift of an estate plan or contribute funds towards the goal of an estate plan for their children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, etc.
Do I need a will?
A will (last will and testament) is commonly viewed as the minimum amount of estate planning needed for most individuals. Because each person’s situation is different, a will may be extremely helpful for you or may need to be included in a larger estate plan. If you have questions about whether a will or other documents are appropriate for you, contact Avenue Legal Group today.
What happens if I don’t have a will?
If you have minor children and no will when you pass, Oklahoma statutes will control who will become the guardian of your minor children. Additionally, Oklahoma courts will determine who will act as the administrator of your estate and control the distribution of your property. In effect, a probate case will become necessary for all estates where the deceased owner did not have a will; see our articles on probate, summary probate, and ancillary probate for more information on probates.
Add a trusted estate planning attorney to your team.
Contact Avenue Legal Group to discuss the possible need for an estate plan, update an old will or trust, begin a new estate plan, give the gift of an estate plan, or discuss probate.
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