This article is written to conclude the series on the essential tools that we believe must be a part of every estate plan.  I chose this topic because there seems to be confusion regarding the execution and purpose of various estate planning tools, including the will, various power of attorneys, and advance directive.  My primary goal is to demystify the entire process and educate my readers on some basic estate planning tools.  Using these tools you will be able to dispose of your property upon your passing, make provisions for minors or disabled individuals, appoint a healthcare proxy, or designate an Agent to handle your business.

There is a widespread misconception that estate planning must be complex and expensive, which is simply false.  The four estate plan tools discussed in this series should be sufficient to handle most of the estates.  However, please note that every case is unique, and the mere utilization of these tools is no substitute for a well-tailored estate plan prepared by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.  Another goal of mine was to provide enough information to help you hire an experienced estate planning attorney.  If you or a loved one is seeking to prepare a will, powers of attorney, advance directive, or a comprehensive estate plan, we are here to help.  Please contact us online or by telephone to speak to an estate planning lawyer.

Some of the crucial estate planning tools covered in my recent articles include:

I chose these topics for several reasons.  Firstly, while people may be familiar with the concept of a basic will, many are unaware of the strict rules that must be followed to execute one.  Additionally, there is a widespread misconception about a hand-written will, which I wanted to clarify through this series.

Secondly, not all estate planning tools involve the disposition of the testator’s property.  A power of attorney is one such tool that helps designate another person to take care of your affairs.  The article on this topic outlines the two types of power of attorney and the process to execute them.

Thirdly, one of the most forgotten tools in the entire process is the healthcare power of attorney.  This document allows you to name an Agent who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

Lastly, the most misunderstood document of them all is the living will.  It is not a will in the traditional sense, instead consists of instructions for end-of-life situations if you become dependent on life support.  It is usually executed as a section under an advance directive, whereas the other section is an appointment of a healthcare proxy.  Although these documents are not complex, they must be executed following certain rules under the law.  My ultimate goal is to shed some light on these tools so that you are educated about their purpose and procedural requirements.

One important point emphasized in the previous post is the importance of hiring an experienced estate planning attorney to assist you with your estate plan.  Every plan is unique, and what is optimal in your case may be quite different from what is best for another person.  The final product depends heavily on numerous factors such as estate size, number of beneficiaries, the possibility of a will contest, or expected illness.  A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can gather information, review the facts, make proper recommendations and provide advise appropriate for your specific situation.  As an Oklahoma City Estate planning lawyer, I understand that a planning process can be complex and intimidating.  My office is dedicated to guiding you through the entire process and helping you every step of the way.  We will promptly attend to your matter and give your case the attention it deserves.  Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an appointment.  We serve clients in Oklahoma County, Logan County, Cleveland County, and Grady County.