A Last Will and Testament, which is also sometimes referred to as a Testamentary Will, is a group of estate planning tools that set forth an individual’s desires for his or her personal property. There are a number of unique situations that require wills to be written in certain ways including when individual are married with children or without children, when individuals have children but are not married, when individuals are single and do not have children, and in many other special circumstances. If you or a loved one requires assistance with a last will and testament, our law firm is committed to creating the strongest estate planning tools possible.
Types of Wills in the State of Oklahoma
There are several types of wills that exist in the state of Oklahoma, which include the following:
- Holographic Wills: These wills are written entirely in the testator’s own handwriting and then dated and signed. In many cases, holographic wills are considered unlawful by a court of law because they fail to meet applicable requirements.
- Oral Wills: No matter how these wills are created, oral wills are not considered valid by courts of law. To avoid pre-established laws in the state of Oklahoma dictating how a person’s estate is administered, a person must make sure to have a written will.
- Self Proving Wills: These wills are called self-proving because the testator or creator of the will is in the company of two adult witnesses. These witnesses serve to attest that the testator actually signed the will. The testator and witnesses also agree that at the time of signing the will, the testator was of sound mind and had the mental competency to sign the will. After this signing, a notary certifies the signatures of both the testator and witnesses. Provided that these requirements are met, the will can later proceed through the probate process without witnesses being required to testify that the signing occurred.
- Standard Wills: A will is considered standard if two unrelated witnesses exist but the testator and witnesses are not required to take an oath like in the case of a self proving will. At least one of the witnesses must testify about the signing of the will before the will is capable of being admitted to probate.
The Limitations of a Will
There are some important limitations to a will in the state of Oklahoma, which include the following:
- Beneficiary Designations: Wills do not change beneficiary designations, which means that the power to name beneficiaries is found in other documents including bank accounts and insurance policies.
- Wills Must be Probated: Wills almost always must be probated by a judge for the terms o fthe will be to be fully carried out. Many individuals who use trusts do so because trusts allow individuals to avoid the probate process.
- Wills Only Become Effective After a Person’s Death: Because wills are not effective until after a person’s death, a person cannot be certain that a will is executed in exact accordance with their wishes.
Speak to a Seasoned Attorney
Attorney Jim A Lyon understands how to best protect your legal rights and fight for the compensation that you deserve. Contact our law office today to make sure that your case resolves in a positive manner.