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Will Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Making a will is a fundamental aspect of estate planning, allowing you to express your wishes clearly regarding the distribution of your assets after your death. At Boettcher & Drummond, we understand the importance of creating a will that accurately reflects your intentions and safeguards the future of your loved ones.  

Our Oklahoma estate lawyers are dedicated to providing personalized legal services to help you formulate a comprehensive will that meets your specific needs. 

Contact our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to arrange a free consultation about drafting or updating your will. Our team is proud to offer experienced and attentive legal counsel to individuals throughout Pawhuska, Claremore, Okmulgee, and Osage County. 

What Is a Will? Why Do I Need One?

A will is so much more than just a legal document. It's a fundamental estate planning tool you can customize to ensure that 1) your final wishes are carried out and 2) your loved ones are provided for after you pass away.  

Essentially, a will is a written statement outlining how you want your property to be distributed among your chosen beneficiaries. Without a will, the state's laws of intestate succession will determine how your assets are distributed, which could work out alright, but wouldn't you rather have the ultimate say in who inherits your belongings? 

The following are a few reasons why it's important to have a well-drafted will: 

  • Ensures Proper Distribution of Your Assets: A will allows you to specify exactly how you want your property and possessions to be divided among your heirs and beneficiaries. 

  • Appoints a Guardian for Minor Children: If you have young children, you can nominate a guardian in your will, giving you peace of mind that they will be cared for by someone you trust should anything happen to you. 

  • Minimizes Family Disagreements: By clearly stating your wishes in a will, you can help prevent contested wills or any potential disputes among family members about the distribution of your estate. 

  • Streamlines the Probate Process: Although a will has to pass through probate, having one can significantly streamline the process, making it easier for your executor to settle your estate according to your wishes. 

Design Your Future, Your Way

What's the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Understanding the difference between a will and a trust is crucial for effective estate planning. A will is a document that specifies your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children upon your death. It becomes effective only after you pass away.  

A trust, on the other hand, is a legal arrangement that allows you to distribute your assets before, upon, or after your death, and can offer more control over when and how your assets are distributed.  

Trusts can also help your estate avoid the time-consuming and often costly probate process, providing privacy and potentially reducing estate taxes.  

Which Option Is Right for Me?

Choosing between a will and a trust depends on your individual circumstances, goals, and the complexity of your estate.  

For individuals with straightforward estate planning needs, such as passing on a modest estate directly to heirs or appointing guardians for minor children, a will alone might suffice.  

This approach is well-suited for those who prefer a simple, cost-effective method for ensuring their assets are distributed according to their wishes after death. It's particularly appealing for younger adults or those whose primary concern is the guardianship of their children rather than the distribution of complex assets. 

A trust, however, is ideal for individuals with more complex financial situations or specific desires about how and when their assets should be distributed.  

For example, those with sizable estates, properties in multiple states, or a desire to bypass the public and potentially drawn-out probate process may benefit from establishing a trust. Trusts also cater to those seeking to manage and protect assets for beneficiaries who are minors, have special needs, or might not be financially responsible. 

Combining both a will and a trust offers the most comprehensive estate planning strategy. This is suitable for individuals who wish to cover all bases, combining the straightforward asset distribution a will provides with the nuanced, controlled asset management a trust offers.  

Utilizing both allows for the detailed specification of guardianships and legacies in the will, while the trust manages specific assets or conditions for distribution. In other words, a will-and-trust combo can offer the best of both worlds by maximizing estate control, minimizing legal issues, and ensuring careful provision for heirs. 

To build a tailored-to-you estate plan, it's in your best interest to discuss your options with an experienced estate planning attorney. If you're located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Boettcher & Drummond's team is here to help.  

Our Wills Services

At Boettcher & Drummond, our experienced estate lawyers can assist with a wide range of services related to wills, including: 

  • Drafting New Wills: We work closely with you to understand your estate planning goals and draft a will that reflects your wishes and ensures the security of your beneficiaries. 

  • Updating Existing Wills: Life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or changes in financial circumstances might necessitate updates to your will. We can help you make the necessary revisions. 

  • Will Review and Analysis: Our attorneys can review your existing will to ensure that it is up to date with current laws and continues to accurately reflect your intentions. 

  • Executor and Guardian Designations: We'll guide you in choosing an executor for your estate and, if applicable, a guardian for your minor children, making sure they're roles you're confident entrusting. 

When's a Good Time to Update My Will?

We typically like to suggest that people update their wills every 3-5 years, or whenever a significant life event occurs.  

Updating your will is a critical step in ensuring that your estate plan reflects any changes in your preferences or circumstances. Here are some examples of when it's a good time to update your will: 

  • Marriage or Divorce: If you get married, you may want to include your spouse as a beneficiary in your will. Conversely, divorce is a significant change that usually requires adjustments to your will to reflect your new status and intentions regarding your ex-spouse. 

  • Birth or Adoption of a Child: The addition of a new family member is a joyous event that should prompt a review of your will. You'll want to ensure that your child is included as a beneficiary and consider appointing a guardian who would take care of them if something were to happen to you. 

  • Acquisition or Disposal of Significant Assets: Buying a new home, receiving an inheritance, or selling a major asset can significantly impact your estate's value and distribution. It's crucial to update your will to account for these changes, ensuring that your estate plan aligns with your current financial situation. 

  • Changes in State Law: Estate planning laws can change, and what was valid a few years ago may not comply with current legal requirements. Regularly consulting with your estate planning attorney can keep your will compliant and effective. 

  • Relocation to a Different State: If you move to another state, it's wise to update your will to conform to that state's legal requirements. Estate planning laws vary significantly across states, and what is acceptable in one state may not be in another. 

  • Change in Beneficiaries or Executors: Over time, you may wish to change who will inherit from you or who will serve as the executor of your will. Life changes, such as a beneficiary predeceasing you or a falling out with someone you had named as executor, necessitate revisions to your will. 

Regularly reviewing your will with an experienced attorney, especially after any significant life event, is a great habit to form. It'll help ensure that your estate plan effectively captures your evolving wishes and provides for your loved ones as intended.

Wills Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma

At Boettcher & Drummond, we're committed to making the process of drafting or updating a will as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Our team brings in-depth of experience and a compassionate approach to every client's unique situation. Contact our Tulsa office today to schedule a free consultation and start the process of protecting your legacy.