Many things go into planning your estate.
To ensure that your medical care needs are addressed one should make sure they have instructed their loved ones about what kind of care you desire if you are unable to make those decisions. One must appoint someone to make the medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions due to incapacitation.
One must appoint someone to manage your property and money and make choices on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions.
One should determine if they want to be moved to a nursing home, assisted living, or have home health care in the event you can no longer care for yourself.
One must determine how to protect their assets before and after death.
One should provide detailed instructions regarding how to care for minor children until they reach adulthood.
One should determine who will inherit all money and property, both personal and real property.
Depending upon your specific situation, there may be other steps involved in the estate planning process as well. Because your plan should be personalized to you, you should plan your goals, your financial situation, and your family situation and we can assist with the creation of your personalized plan.
How to best prepare your estate plan:
Easy Paralegal Services helps to prepare your estate plan by providing some tools you can use to address the issues you may have.
- A Power of Attorney: This allows you to transfer authority to make decisions on your behalf. There are several different types of power of attorney that one can grant. You can grant authority over certain things such as bills, or investments or bank accounts or health care for example. You can grant authority over anything and everything that you have power over. The choice is yours. We provide both general powers of attorney and durable powers of attorney.
- A Living Will: A living will gives you control over what kinds of medical care you’ll receive or reject. You can specify under what circumstances you want extraordinary measures to be used to keep you alive, and can accept or decline specific kinds of care. For example, using a living will, you can make clear you don’t want a feeding tube to be used or a ventilator to breathe for you. In our living wills, we also have a provision to appoint a health care proxy (someone to make medical decisions for you) and the HIPPA provisions to allow someone to obtain your medical records.
- Advanced Directives: Advanced directives is a broad term for all of the different advanced instructions you provide regarding healthcare choices if you become incapacitated. It can include the creation of a living will as well as naming a healthcare power of attorney or a person to make healthcare decisions for you if you can’t.
- A DNR: this is a Do Not Resuscitate Order. This allows you to decide if the doctors or health care providers can use extreme measures to keep you alive such as using the paddles or CPR. If you sign this DNR you are telling them you do not want them to use extreme measures to keep you alive.
- A Trust: This is beneficial to people who own real property. A trust transfers all real and personal property’s ownership from you personally into a trust. Meaning, you personally no longer own the property but your trust does. You continue to have power over the trust and are able to add and delete property to and from the trust until you are no longer able to. In Oklahoma, any real property is subject to the probate courts which could reduce the value of your estate for your beneficiaries with the costly legal fees involved. If you have a Trust created and your real property is transferred into the trust properly, the successor trustee can transfer that property the way you decide according to the terms of the trust without having to go through the probate courts, thus protecting the value of your assets you worked all your life to establish. There are many different kinds of trusts. Easy Paralegal Services mostly helps with the general Revocable Trusts which includes all provisions you desire to include in your trust.
- A Last Will and Testament: A last will and testament is something most people are familiar with. This will provide instructions for distribution of your property. If you have a trust prepared, your last will and testament may provide for all property to be transferred into the trust. Please be reminded that without a Trust and only a last will and testament, your assets may have to go through the probate process. This is another process that takes time, and can lead to many downsides.
- After death Planning: We provide a road map for you to determine what you want to happen when you pass away. Those plans will include whether you want to be buried and where or if your desire is to be cremated. It can also include what type of memorial service you want and even songs you want to be played at your memorial service. If you have a funeral home or a burial place already picked out we can help you write everything out so your loved ones can provide the exact service you desire.
- Probate: If your loved one failed to furnish an estate plan you may be faced with your only choice is to file a probate. We can help with that as long as your probate is uncontested. Once the probate becomes contested we do not recommend you proceeding on your own pro-se. We highly recommend you hire an attorney to make sure your rights are protected and your loved ones’ property is secured.