Don’t Have A Lot of Assets? 3 Reasons You Still Need An Estate Plan
Article by Tulsa Estate Planning Attorney, Breanna Grove of Grove Legal Services.
I often hear from Clients that they do not believe they need an estate plan because they don’t have much. However, even small estates can greatly benefit from planning ahead. Failing to plan can be costly and cumbersome to your loved ones when you pass. Here are the top 3 reasons for setting up an estate plan today!
1. You Have Minor Children
If you have minor children do you know what would happen to them if something were to happen to you and/or your spouse? If you do not have a plan in place your children could be placed in DHS custody. They likely would eventually be placed with a family member, if available, but a Judge would have to make that determination. Also, there could be a lengthy and costly custody dispute that may not end up the way you would have chosen. At a very minimum you should have a will with guardianship provisions that details who would care for your children in the event you are unable to do so. Additionally, careful planning can offer added peace of mind by ensuring that your children’s needs will be met and protected for their future.
2. Avoiding Probate
Even if your estate is not large you will likely still be subject to probate. Currently in Oklahoma any estate valued in excess of $175,000.00 is subject to probate. Probate, on average, can take between 6 months and 2 years and can cost between 2% – 5% of your estate value. That can be significantly more than it costs to set up a Trust now. Plus by having a Trust your family is able to avoid the hassle of going through the probate process.
3. Making Your Own Choices
What if you suddenly were unable to care for yourself or make your own financial decisions? What about medical decisions? Would you want to be kept alive on a ventilator? Would you want to be placed in a nursing home or have in home care? How do you want your assets to be divided? While Oklahoma Judges and State Statutes can determine the answers to the above questions it will not likely turn out how you would want it to. Additionally, it will cost you and your family more time and money to have a Judge make these decisions for you. Be proactive and make your own choices.
For more information call me for a FREE consultation at (918)899-7949 or visit my website grovelegalservices.com.