What is a Last Will and Testament


A Oklahoma Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their childrenís inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representativeóor co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)óto manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedentís debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedentís property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usuallyóin most statesómeans it must be properly witnessed, as wellónot just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedentís debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedentís heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedentís property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a Oklahoma Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they donít, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  Oklahoma free information on last will and testament forms.

Legal Requirements for Last Wills in Oklahoma

Some people consider writing a Last Will to be a bad omen. Despite all the stereotypes, the Last Will is a necessary document that allows you to distribute property among the heirs. If a person did not have time to make the Last Will before their death, their heirs must receive the property in the order of inheritance by law. In Oklahoma, there are rules for the transfer of the estate, which each testator should read.

Main information

A Last Will is a document that guarantees the transfer of your property according to your preferences. You independently determine the circle of beneficiaries and the share of their inheritance. In Oklahoma, you may bequeath property to any person, including trust and charitable foundations. Important note: do not confuse this document with the preliminary directive on life in the event of your disability.

In Oklahoma, the Last Will is not binding since you regulate all property issues yourself through a personal representative. However, any Will involves a judicial process. Indeed, you need to apply to the district court for the appointment of a personal representative. This person deals with all issues of your property, including debts, loans, and income. You may use a simplified procedure if the value of your property is not more than 200 thousand dollars.

Dying without a testament

For some reason, some people do not have time to draw up a document about the inheritance. Such moments imply strict compliance with the established laws:

  • If there are no children, the spouse receives all the property

  • If there are children, the spouse and children receive the estate in half

Moreover, the circle of heirs also includes parents, and in the absence of beneficiaries, other relatives receive an inheritance.

There are also certain exceptions, according to which the property under the Will will not be transferred:

  • Property with the right of inheritance

  • Income from life insurance

  • The share of the spouse

Key requirements

In Oklahoma, the following requirements apply to the Last Will. Firstly, the testator is a capable person of 18 years of age (or older). Secondly, the Will includes the signature of both the testator and two witnesses. The court considers only the written form of the document, except nuncupative wills. In general, in the state, the testator may make a handwritten document and an oral one.

The second significant point is the beneficiaries. As already noted, you may transfer the inheritance to any person and organization. You may also change the Last Will at any time by making amendments. No one forbids you to rewrite the document, specify new heirs or exclude them from the list.

As for the annulment, this procedure is possible by destroying the paper copy or changing it to another version. Keep in mind that as a result of divorce, the provisions on the property of the spouse change. Therefore, keep track of relevant information and review the requirements and laws carefully. Thanks to your knowledge in this field, you will quickly draw up a document and avoid any risks.



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