Your Plan For Your Future Begins Today
Creating a legacy takes a lifetime. When your life comes to an end, your legacy should be given the proper care and due diligence that you took in creating it. By setting up an estate plan, you can help protect your assets and help your loved ones appreciate your legacy.
Brier Law Firm, PLLC, offers comprehensive estate planning services across Oklahoma. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation.
Wills Versus Trusts: Which Is Right For You?
The diversity in your options during the estate planning process can be overwhelming. When it comes to how your assets will be handled after your death, you have two commonly used options: wills and trusts.
Wills: A will designates who will receive your property after your death and what property each individual will receive. A will can only govern property that is owned in your name alone. For example, a co-owned house or a life insurance policy that is contractually obligated to a beneficiary already cannot be distributed in a will.
Wills are subject to the probate process, during which the will is reviewed for authenticity and the property is distributed. This is a public and potentially lengthy process.
Trusts: While a will only takes effect after your death, a trust can take effect as early as its creation. A trust appoints a person or an institution – such as a law firm – to hold the title for your property. This party becomes responsible for maintaining the trust and controlling the distribution of your assets according to the terms you set.
Trusts are not subject to the probate process.
Determining which of these estate planning devices is right for you can be difficult without the help of an experienced estate planning attorney.
It’s Important To Plan Ahead
Estate planning comprises more than just choosing what happens to your assets. Our firm can also help you establish power of attorney. This legal document designates one person to make decisions on your behalf. Power of attorney can be as extensive or limited as you desire. The designee can be responsible for making decisions about your medical care, your property or your finances.
An estate plan can also outline the terms for a transfer of guardianship. If you have a dependent who will need care after your death, your estate plan can determine who will become the dependent’s next legal guardian.