Estate Planning

Planning for What Happens to your “Stuff” When you Die

Everyone can benefit from having their own personal estate plan. Without a plan of your own, the State of Oklahoma will determine how your assets are distributed after you pass away. It’s important to ensure your estate is represented by a trusted partner focused on making sure your wishes are carried out, minimizing costs, and streamlining the distribution of assets to your loved ones.

An estate plan can also help you accomplish a variety of other goals
  • Protect your assets against creditors, lawsuits, and other potential threats
  • Reduce estate tax and protect against inadvertent income tax
  • Pass your values and work ethic on to heirs
  • Keep information about your family and financial affairs private
  • Protect your heirs’ inheritances against divorce and creditors
  • Leave a lasting legacy
  • Achieve the peace of mind that comes from having a plan in place for the future
Planning for What Happens to You and Your Stuff if You are Not Able to Make Decisions for Yourself

Having a plan of your own can also ensure that a person you designate will make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Without a plan, someone might petition the court to make these important decisions for you—a person you might not want to have this authority.

Our team will take the time to get to know you on a personal level to gain a thorough understanding of your goals, concerns and hopes for the future.

Estate Planning Objectives
  • Explain all your planning options plainly and answer all your questions.
  • Create a customized plan to address your particular needs and goals.
  • Work with you in the future to make sure your plan takes into account changes in your life and changes inthe law.

A will is much more than just a statement written on a piece of paper. In order for the wishes of clients to be upheld upon their passing, it’s important to do it the right way. We have experience walking families through every step of the process, from the nominations of trusted people to oversee distribution of property, to ensuring the statutory formalities are in place for the court to recognize the will’s validity. 

Revocable Living Trusts

Like a Will, a Revocable Living Trusts is considered a “testamentary instrument,” indicating how you want your property to be distributed when you die. If you put your property in the name of the trust, it bypasses probate and makes it easier for friends and loved ones you nominate to oversee your estate, and distribute it to the people and/or charities you want it to go to. Establishing a trust can also contemplate how and when your estate is distributed, which is important if any of your beneficiaries are underage, or receive public benefits with strict income and resource limitations.  At Rischard Elder Law, we fully understand the potential of long-term estate decisions throughout a client’s life, and we utilize state of the art software to draft revocable living trusts tailored to the specific situation and desires of each client.

Powers of Attorney

A durable Power of Attorney grants a designated “agent” the authority to control finances, conduct business, and make health care decisions on behalf of a person in the event they are incapacitated. Executing a Power of Attorney Your chosen agent is considered a “fiduciary,” so when they act on your behalf, they have a duty to act in your best interest. Appointing a financial or healthcare power of attorney, with the right documents, gives you the opportunity to control who has the authority to act on your behalf if and when you are unable, and how much authority the agent has. As you can imagine, this control is not a feature of court-involved guardianship proceedings, so we recommend all of our planning clients have these powers of attorney in place.

Health Care Directives

We include a living will (also known as an “advanced directive for healthcare”) as part of our Estate Planning package to communicate to healthcare providers the wishes of our clients in certain end of life situations, including organ donation. Healthcare Powers of Attorney can also be designated in this instrument. Although these scenarios can be uncomfortable to think about, clearly stating your end of life healthcare preferences helps ensure your desires are carried out, which can provide peace of mind to your loved ones in very difficult situations.

HIPAA Authorizations

Documents we include in our Estate Planning package give healthcare providers a list of individuals to whom clients agree to share their healthcare information. These authorizations do not grant decision-making authority but allow access that can be limited or expanded based on the client’s wishes.

Business Planning

Oftentimes, protecting your assets can include safeguarding your business interests. At Rischard Elder Law, we assist with both business formation (like LLCs and partnerships) as well as helping clients understand how their business ties together with their estate planning.

Specialized Trusts

Rischard Elder Law creates Medicaid asset protection trusts, third party or first party special/supplemental needs trusts, and customized trust agreements for clients with unique situations regarding their properties and benefits.

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