Did you know (DYK)? Your Estate Plan [FreeStyleFriday]

Whether you have created a will, trust, or even thought about creating one, you have made plans about what happens to your property when you die.  An estate plan is the way to set out the who, what, when, where, and how:

• Your property will be transferred upon your death;

• The recipients of your property and in what amounts;

• The administrator of your estate and the division of your personal property;

• The person or persons who will be the guardians of your minor children, and what type of resources the guardians will have;

• Your caretaker if you become incapacitated and a power of attorney granting the authority to handle your affairs.

From where does this sophisticated estate plan come?  The statutes of the State of Oklahoma provide it.  Within the thousands of words contained in the Oklahoma Statutes (whatever state in which you reside), all the decisions are made about what you have, what happens to it, and who takes care of you and your children upon your death.  These laws set a rigid formula and make no exceptions for unusual or special needs.  Without a will or trust in place, your estate will be administered by the court, according to these statutes.  If this happens, the cost to your estate could be greater than if you have an estate plan.

Sound good?  If not, there is an alternative: plan your own estate, determine who takes care of your family and who takes care of you, yourself. Talk to an attorney to find out how to plan your own estate (whether it is small, medium, or large), and to draft documents that fit you and you and your family’s unique needs – not the convenient one size fits all solution provided by the statutes.  In the process, you are taking care of your family the way you know is best.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Cazes Roberts, PLLC in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with wife Amy and my two children, Sam (17) and David (9). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

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