Will vs No Will - Cortes Law Firm Estate Planning Attorney

Will vs No Will

- Hi guys today we're gonna discuss the difference between having a will and not having a will.

So what's the difference between having a will and not having a will? And this question is really a lot more complicated than just a yes or no answer, because if you don't have an estate plan then nobody knows what to do during your lifetime if you were to become incapacitated and not be able to make decisions for yourself. So when you have an estate plan or you have a will and you go to an attorney you're probably going to get several other documents like a Power of Attorney, a Healthcare Power of Attorney, an Advance Directive and HIPAA authorization, all of these documents together create your estate plan, and not only make a plan for what happens when you pass away, but make a structured and detailed plan for what happens during your lifetime if your were to become incapacitated.

Now if you have a will then you are able to designate exactly what happens, when you do pass away, with all of your assets. And specifically you can say you want to give it to your son, your daughter, or maybe you want to exclude a son or a daughter from your estate and you wanna give everything to your neighbor instead. With a will you're allowed to specifically say where you you want your stuff to go to.

Now if you don't have a will then the State of Oklahoma decides what happens to your stuff. So in other words we have to look at the Oklahoma probate statutes to determine how your estate is going to be divided up. And this can actually create a lot of problems, especially if you have kids, and you're maybe on your second or third marriage.

So while you might have intended for your wife or your husband, your spouse to get everything, under Oklahoma law then they may have to share a substantial portion of the estate with your kids, and that may not be exactly what you wanted. Or the reverse is also true, if you're on your second or third marriage you may have wanted all of your estate to go to your kids, but if you don't have a will and you've not made any plans for that, then your wife could get a substantial, or your husband, your spouse could get a substantial portion of your estate, leaving your kids with less than you actually wanted them to receive. Another thing that could happen if you don't have a will, let's say that you don't have any siblings and your parents have already passed away, well then under Oklahoma law we have to find the next line of heirs to receive.

So your estate could actually go to cousins that you've never even met before. So the bottom line is it doesn't matter how big or how small your estate is, you really need to have an estate plan in place.

So to help you out we have an Estate Planning Strategies guide, and a Deficiency Checkup guide . And I'll also put a link in the comment section to both of these free documents. I really think they'll help you so please download them, and if you have any questions then just give us a call, or continue watching some of our other videos. 

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