When we think of estate planning, we often picture elderly millionaires planning inheritances and putting their many assets into a will. But estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy or the elderly—it is for everyone. If you own a home, a car, or even just have a checking or savings account, you have an estate: and good planning with the help of an experienced attorney can help you prepare for the future.
You never know when you might be involved in a serious accident, become terminally ill, or experience another life-altering event that could incapacitate you or even lead to death. Whether you are young with a new family, or you are growing older, one of the best things you can do to care for your loved ones is to make plans to protect them and provide for them after you are gone. Without estate planning, the state will dictate what happens to your assets and property, and their plan may not align with yours. At Norwood Law Firm in Tulsa, our attorneys are prepared to help with the estate planning services you need. We will work with you to ensure your future and your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes, not those of the state. With our expert attorneys on your side, you can have peace of mind about the future.
What Can Our Estate Planning Attorneys Do for You? 7 Essential Estate Planning Services
The size and complexity of your estate plan depends on your assets and your needs and desires for you and your family. An experienced estate planning attorney will work with you to evaluate your estate and determine which services will best protect your estate and your loved ones after you are gone. Below are the services Norwood Law Firm in Tulsa provides to help you make plans for the future.
Estate Planning: An estate plan is a collection of legal documents which designates how your assets will be managed or distributed after death or if you become incapacitated. Estate planning includes making a will; establishing legal directives such as a trust, powers of attorney, and medical care directives; naming a guardian for your children; making end-of-life arrangements; and designating beneficiaries.
Wills and Probate: A will is a legally enforceable document that expresses your wishes regarding the distribution of your property, names guardians for any minor children, gives instructions for providing for pets or animals, and determining how debts and taxes will be paid. The team at Norwood Law Firm is experienced in helping write wills and ensuring that any instructions in the document will be enforceable in Oklahoma.
After someone dies, a will must go through the probate process. Probate is a court process where a will is authenticated, an executor (usually named in the will) is appointed to administer the will, and the payment of taxes and debts and the distribution of the estate is supervised by the court. If someone does not have a will, their property will still go through probate, but will be distributed according to state laws. Our probate attorneys work with executors and appointed administrators to guide you through the probate process and work to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.
Estate Administration: Estate administration refers to the process of managing an estate after a person dies. It includes paying debts and taxes, distributing property to heirs of the estate, and executing the will. Because administering an estate can be daunting, our attorneys provide estate administration services. The Norwood Law Firm team can help effectively manage any size estate, protect your assets, and guide the estate through the probate process.
Succession Planning: Succession planning is an essential part of planning for the future of your business. A succession plan will govern how the ownership of a company or other leadership roles will be passed and who they will be passed to after a company’s owner or major leader moves on, retires, or passes away. Our qualified business attorneys will work with you to develop a strong succession plan, evaluate a successor, and evaluate your options.
Trust Administration: Another option for estate planning is to create a trust, a legal document which designates a trustee to handle your assets. You may choose to create either a testamentary trust, which functions like a will, or a living trust, which will allow your trustees and property to avoid the probate process. If you are named a trustee, administering a trust after the owner passes away is complex. Norwood Law Firm’s trust administration attorneys will facilitate the trust management and help you navigate required documents, records, and execute the directives dictated by the trust.
Asset Protection: Asset protection planning services help shield you and your family from liability and risk. Creating an asset protection trust and utilizing other protection strategies will help protect your property now and protect your children’s inheritance for the future.
Charitable Planning: Including charitable giving in your estate plan can help you create a lasting, positive legacy. Charitable planning includes special bequests in a will or trust to a charity or creating a charitable trust. Our attorneys can help you determine the best option for your philanthropy goals.
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Estate planning is one of the best things you can do to provide for your loved ones after your death, to ensure your legacy, and to plan for your own needs as well. Without an estate plan, you and your family may be subject to a number of unpleasant situations.
Perhaps the most well-known consequence of not having an estate plan is that the state will determine how your assets are distributed after your death. Without a will or other plan, creditors, taxes, and the state may end up with all of your property and assets, leaving your family with nothing. Or your assets may be distributed in a way that doesn’t align with your wishes or family relationships. Settling the estate without a will or other plan in place can also take an enormous amount of time, leaving your family without the inheritance or assets they need. Without an estate plan, the state will also decide who will become guardian for your children and may leave little means to care for any adult children with special needs or disabilities. The state will also make decisions regarding pets and livestock, often leading to sale or even euthanization.
Not having an estate plan can even have an effect while you are living. If you become seriously ill and are unable to make decisions for yourself, your medical or other wishes may not be met if you do not have a power of attorney or other directives in place.
Estate planning provides a simple way to avoid all of these risks, protect your wealth and assets, and look out for your family. With a thorough estate plan in place, your children and family will be taken care of, any pets will be looked after, and you will have the peace of mind that your wishes will be followed and your legacy secured after you are gone.
Contact Norwood Law Firm Today for Stress-Free Estate Planning
Estate planning may seem daunting, but at Norwood Law Firm, we make it simple. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to ensure you are treated fairly and your estate is secure. Whatever your estate planning needs, we will work with you to save you and your loved ones money, remove the stress of settling your estate, protect your property, and build your legacy.
Contact Norwood Law Firm in Tulsa today for a complimentary consultation.