Estate Planning can take on many forms based on the goals of the client(s). This can include a simple Probate Avoidance plan, an Asset Protection plan, or a complex Estate and Gift Tax Management Plan. First, read the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
A - If you already have an Estate Plan, Grant Estate Law will review it for free. The review includes a summary of the people currently appointed to serve as your Trustee(s) and Agent(s) as well as the distribution plan for your property.
In general, you should have your Estate Plan reviewed by a licensed attorney every two to three (2-3) years to make sure the people you have named in those documents are still who you trust to serve in the roles you appointed them, whether as your Trustee, Financial Power of Attorney, or Medical Power of Attorney. In practice, most people review their documents when a “significant life event” happens. These commonly include the birth of grandchildren, retirement from full-time work, and illness or death of a relative/friend.
A - Packages include a Trust, a Pour-Over Will, Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Durable Medical Power of Attorney, Oklahoma Statutory Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, Advance Directive for Health Care (aka “Living Will”), and Deed(s). Additional documents may include: Funeral Arrangements or Burial Instructions, Gun Trusts, or LLC documents.
A - The cost varies based on what each individual estate and client wants and needs. In General, a plan costs $3,000. Unless significant additional work is required, this will be the total cost for your plan. All costs are discussed and agreed to in order to avoid “sticker shock”. The initial consultation appointment is free.
A - By making sure the things you own have a plan. Property such as your home, other land or mineral interests, life insurance proceeds paid to the estate, and suspended royalty payments from oil/gas leases are common reasons estates are forced to go through Probate.
Methods for avoiding Probate include titling property in the name of your Trust or using Payable On Death (POD) or Beneficiary designations to transfer ownership of property automatically at death. One way to think about a Revocable Living Trust is to compare it to a Will that simply doesn’t need to go through Probate.
A - Under Oklahoma Probate Law, a Will must be “proved” to be valid before a Judge. (Title 58 Okla. Statutes §21). The Judge will then monitor the case as your Personal Representative attempts to carry out the terms of your Will.
A - A typical probate case will last a minimum of six (6) months. Common reasons that probate cases take longer include selling real property during the probate, contested issues requiring additional hearings, and difficulty identifying and inventorying the assets of the estate.
A - Probate is a Court-monitored process of proving a Will is valid and transferring the property of a deceased person to the people named in the Will. Estate Administration is the name of the process followed when there is NOT a valid Will. The court monitors the transfer of property to the legal heirs of the decedent.
A - A valid Last Will & Testament GUARANTEES you will be required to go to court to file a Petition for Probate. If there is NOT a Will, a Petition for Estate Administration must be filed with the Court.
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