Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country has understandably seen an increase in the number of people creating estate plans. If you feel the need to quickly create or revise the terms of your estate plan, there are easy changes that can be made to turn a retirement plan into a strategy to handle your death or incapacity.
Create a Will
If you have not yet created a will, it can be challenging to make sure that your will meets all requirements during stay at home restrictions. Oklahoma does not require you to notarize your will to make it legal, but if you want to create a “self-proving” will then you will need to notarize the document.
Wills that are “self-proving” proceed through the probate much more quickly because a court can accept the document without contacting witnesses. It can be challenging to notarize documents during the pandemic, even if you utilize creative methods like self-notarization. Fortunately, a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can make sure that your will is properly written as well as adequately executed and attested.
Create a Power of Attorney
Power of attorney documents allow a person to designate an individual to act on their behalf if the creator is not able to do so due to either mental or physical incapacity. Much like wills, Oklahoma law requires that power of attorney documents be signed in the presence of witnesses, which can create planning challenges.
Establish a Document Storage Plans
Creating the proper estate planning documents means little if your loved ones are unable to find these forms or if it takes too long to locate the document. For example, a power of attorney will do little good if your physician has already decided to end life-supporting treatment. Also, a will that contains burial wishes means little if the document cannot be located.
Due to the unpleasant circumstances that can result if your estate planning documents cannot be located, it is a good idea to create sufficient document storage plans. Understand that safety deposit boxes can prove problematic due to regulations that many financial institutions have addressing who can access the box after the holder passes away.
Also, appreciate that virtual vaults might be a popular option but they might not prove as advantageous as clients anticipate. For example, a will located in a virtual vault might not be found effective. Your attorney, however, can provide you with a better understanding of any validity concerns with estate planning about which you should be mindful.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney
Before you decide to create an estate plan, you should take some time to reflect on what you would like to achieve with your estate. Also, understand that even the best online estate planning advice can never fully substitute for the assistance that can be provided by a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
Fortunately, attorney Jim A Lyon understands the challenges created by this pandemic and is prepared to meet with you virtually through video conferencing or by phone to discuss your estate planning goals.