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wills & TRUSTS

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Wills & Trusts

Do I need a will or a trust?


It depends on several factors and the only way to know what is right for you is to discuss your situation with a competent attorney.  The shortest way to answer the question here is to list some of the pros and cons of a trust versus a will.  A trust that is properly prepared and maintained can help:

  • to avoid the hassle, time and cost of probate.
  • to avoid the invasions of privacy that come with having your financial affairs discussed in probate court.
  • to attach "strings" to the distribution of assets.  For example, waiting until children reach a certain age or certain objectives before receiving their share.


The main downside to a trust is the expense.  A trust will typically cost much more than a will to prepare.  (Of course this cost may be offset partially or entirely by the avoidance of the expense of probate)


What if I die without a will or a trust?


Oklahoma law will provide how your estate is distributed.  The law is fairly complex and definitely beyond the scope of a short article.  There are many different scenarios that vary depending on such things as whether the deceased was married, whether the deceased had children, and whether the deceased had step-children.  The only way to insure that your wishes are honored is to have a will or a trust.


Can I use a computer program to make a will?


Yes, but it is not advisable.  The will produced might prove to be sufficient and it might not.  I have seen much litigation over the years that started with people using forms out of books or computer generated forms purchased from a service of some sort.  The old saying "You don't know what you don't know" applies here.  It is far better to have peace of mind knowing that your will has been prepared by a professional and that your wishes will be carried out without causing a family feud.