OKLAHOMA PROBATE LAW: DO I NEED A WILL?
There are two primary reasons why everyone should execute a Last Will & Testament, regardless of the size of their estate or the level of their assets: (1) to ensure that their subjective intent is followed; and (2) to ensure the efficient disbursement of their assets upon their death.
INTENT: Many people believe that after they die all of their money, personal belongings, real property, etcetera, automatically transfer to their family members– even if they have never executed a Will. Unfortunately, however, that assumption is incorrect. While Oklahoma does have laws that govern the distribution of assets absent a will, these intestate statutes remove the decision from the decedent and in its place, apply rigid rules to determine who will receive property. Such intestate succession, unlike probate under a will, can lead to additional fighting and bickering over what others believe the decedent might have wanted. Therefore, having a Will, in most circumstances, avoids the issue of determining or questioning the decedent’s intent insofar as the disposition of his/her property.
EFFICIENCY: In additional to carrying out the decedent’s clear intent, a Will has the added benefit of effectuating an efficient disposition of property. This is so because a Will can direct that specific property be distributed to specific individuals. This is oftentimes materially different than distributing assets pursuant to intestacy statutes where many times, absent an agreement, the property is sold so that the proceeds can be divided among the predetermined heirs. Therefore, if for example you want to ensure that your son Joe receives your baseball card collection rather than it being sold and the proceeds divided, then you need to prepare a Will.
The attorneys at Brown & Gould are experienced in drafting Last Will & Testaments, and Living Wills (medical determinations like feeding tubes) and are here, standing by, ready to help. For complete information call the attorneys at Brown & Gould, PLLC at 405-235-4500 or visit our website at www.browngouldlaw.com.