Estate planning is a process by which an individual is able to decide how assets are disposed of upon the individual’s death. A lot of people believe that estate planning is complicated. When broken down into its individual steps and with the help of Anderson & Associates, it becomes a simple but powerful process to help control what happens to your assets. There are two main components for estate planning: a will and a trust. A will is a written document (typed or handwritten) wherein you set out how you would like to dispose of your assets and property after your death. A trust is a document that manages your property while you are sill alive, unlike a will that takes effect after your death. A trust is set up for an individual, called a trustee, to manage your assets and property for you during your lifetime or in the event of your incapacity. After your death, the trustee must transfer the assets of the trust according to your directives set out in the trust. Another major difference between a will and a trust in Oklahoma is that a trust does not have to be probated and a typically a will does. Depending on the size of your estate, will dictate which process is better for you: a will, a trust or a combination of both.
Probate is a court process wherein a Judge authenticates a will and appoints an executor’s administrator to disburse and oversee the estate’s assets. Probate can be expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, the probate costs come directly from the estate. A health care directive, sometimes referred to as a living will, are directives that become effective when you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your medical treatment. While you are still of sound mind, you can decide what medical treatment you should receive if you are persistently unconscious, have a terminal condition or if your life should be maintained on a life sustaining device despite you being unconscious. These are decisions that you get to decide and must be followed by your treating physician. The premise of a health care directive is for you to be able to direct your medical treatment and help relieve loved ones the emotional toll of making life and death decisions on your behalf. At Anderson & Associates, we are here to help you make your estate planning a simple and easy process that will not only benefit you, but your loved ones as well.