Estate Planning FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Estate planning comes with a lot of unknowns. There are many different options to create an estate plan. Each person is different, so it can be difficult to determine what you specifically need. Here are some commonly asked questions:

WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?

It is the creation of a definite plan in the form of written documents that knit together your intentions for managing your assets during our life and distribution them at your death in the most certain, least complicated, and least expensive way. An important part of such a plan is to anticipate and provide for unanticipated events and contingencies. That is where experience helps.

WHAT IS AN ESTATE?

It is everything that you own that has value, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, and personal property, including your personal effects.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSULT A LAWYER?

Now is the best time to get started with your estate plan. Attorney Jon T. Oden will help you with the available choices that your particular circumstance present. The most important elements based on your age, family situation, career and other factors.

SHOULD I GO WITH A TRUST OR A WILL?

A trust is a flexible document, and it allows you easier control of the transfer of assets, addition or deletion or change of beneficiaries or change of other amendments while you are alive. A will is more difficult than a trust to amend. Wills and probate will also transfer title at death, but trusts do so more easily and privately. I will work with you to determine which is right for you.

I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF ASSETS. DO I STILL NEED AN ESTATE PLAN?

Yes! Your car, personal property, house and bank account are things that need to be accounted for in an estate plan. What's more, things like health care directives, power of attorney and guardianship should be considered as soon as possible. It is important that everyone have an estate plan.

IS ESTATE PLANNING EXPENSIVE?

Do-it-yourself and internet wills and trusts may seem like the right choice because they are inexpensive, but the one-size-fits-all nature of them can be woefully inadequate. Estate planning, trusts, and wills are very personal, and individually crafted documents that are done right are far more satisfactory in every respect. Remember, estate plans are legally binding, and will save your loved ones the confusion and conflict that will certainly come without an estate plan. That is worth paying a reasonable fee to get the personalized, comprehensive estate plan you and your family need.