The purpose of preparing a will before you die is twofold: to ensure that your estate is disposed of in the manner you wish; and to save your family from the time, money, and emotional burden it takes to make these difficult decisions while grieving your death. Ordinarily, you do not need an attorney to make a will in Oklahoma. However, there are a number of circumstances when hiring an estate planning attorney to prepare your will would be advantageous.
A will allows you to do the following:
- Dictate how your assets are to be distributed after your death.
- Name an executor for your estate.
- Name a custodian for your children.
- Name an individual to manage your children’s money and finances.
You do not need an attorney to make a will in Oklahoma. The only legal requirements for preparing a will are:
- That you sign it in front of two witnesses; and
- That your witnesses also sign the document.
When to Hire an Estate Planning Attorney
With the aid of readily available software tools and do it yourself templates, the average individual can prepare a valid will without a lawyer. However, it would be to your advantage to hire an estate planning attorney to assist you in preparing your will under the following circumstances:
- You plan to leave behind a large sum in property and other assets that will be the subject of estate tax. Generally, if you plan to leave behind more than 3 million dollars in assets, you should be concerned about estate taxes. Under these circumstances, you should consult with an experienced attorney to write your will and assist you in estate planning.
- If you own a business with other partners and you are concerned about how your share of the business will be distributed.
- When you have questions regarding how you can provide for your current spouse and your children from previous a relationship.
- To prevent others contesting your will, who my claim it was made under duress or mental incompetency.
- If you wish to disinherit your spouse. After you die, your spouse is entitled to everything you owned jointly and a minimum of 1/3 of everything else. If you wish to leave less than the minimum required by law, you should consult with an estate planning attorney.
To summarize, you generally need a lawyer to prepare a will in Oklahoma if you wish to reduce or avoid estate taxes; if you are concerned about the transfer of business interests; to provide for your children from a former relationship; to avoid probate; or to disinherit someone. For more information on preparing a will, contact a reliable Oklahoma City estate planning attorney.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Family Lawyer
Divorce Law Office of Oklahoma City offers initial consultations at no cost. Our knowledgeable Oklahoma City family lawyers can advise you on how best to prepare your will. For a free consultation, call (405) 880-8222 today. If you prefer to reach out to us by e-mail, send your question using the “Ask the Lawyer” form at the right side of this page.