Taking care of assets and building a valuable estate is the goal of many parents or ambitious individuals. They spend years working hard to ensure that their heirs are left with something after they are gone. Building a memorable legacy is the driving force behind many hard workers. The problem is that a powerful legacy can be lost due to poor management.
Not all serious illnesses that are extremely debilitating happen gradually with plenty of warning. Many have sudden onsets that catch healthy feeling individuals completely off guard. While some serious illnesses lead to death others will have periods of recovery or brief remissions during which a person could discover that their entire estate has fallen apart.
Without creating a living will or entrusting a specific individual with a durable power of attorney your family will have to guess how you want your assets to be managed. In some situations family members will attempt to do the best that they can to keep on top of your personal affairs but without prior knowledge they will often fail. Along with not being informed about your estate individuals will also find themselves unable to act on your behalf without legal proof that they are allowed to.
To avoid having your estate fall into ruin plan for a situation where you will be unable to manage your estate and prepare for it. Choose a trusted individual to become your agent. This person can be a family member, business partner, or attorney that understands how you like to manage your affairs. Create a power of attorney that will allow the chosen individual to act entirely on your behalf. Estate planning in Oklahoma often includes obtaining a durable power of attorney for general and health care use.
The person who is chosen to act as agent must be someone that you trust to act entirely in your best interest. They must also be someone that will help your family maintain their normal standard of living. Remember, once your agent has the power of attorney getting their authority revoked can only be done by going to court so choose wisely. Often times, a neutral third party, such as an estate planning attorney, is the best choice.
In addition to giving an agent the legal authority to manage your assets take some time to create a living will. This document should include detailed instructions for how you want affairs to be managed and any final wishes you might have in the event that you become completely incapacitated. Place this document in the care of an attorney and provide agents and family members with copies.