Oklahoma Estate Attorneys. PLLC.

How Long Will It Take To Set Up A Proper Estate Plan?


A proper estate plan can be done very quickly if it is a simple plan or may take several weeks if it is a more complex plan. For example, a holographic will is a handwritten estate plan that you can do without the assistance of an attorney. It must be fully in your own handwriting, signed and dated at the end. This can generally be completed in one sitting of less than an hour. If you have so many gifts and own so many things that your holographic will requires more than an hour, you probably need something more elaborate than a handwritten will.

In my office, it is fairly common that a good trust based estate plan will take 4 or 5 weeks to complete unless there is an emergency. In an emergency situation, we can sometimes push your needs to the front of the line but we do charge extra for that, so please try to do your estate planning while you’re in good health and not facing surgery or imminent hospitalization as those plans cost more money.

Is An Estate Plan Expensive, And When Will I Need To Pay?

The costs of estate plans in my office vary drastically. A basic will can be as little as $600, a full estate plan that includes inheritance tax planning can cost $10,000 or even substantially more. Most estate plans fall somewhere in-between. This office does, however, always provide you a menu of options and each of the options is priced in advance. We do not base our prices on what you own as we feel that that would lead to unfair treatment of some families. On the other hand, if we create the estate plan that you describe, and then you make 13 changes, there will probably be additional fees incurred over and above the original price. Fortunately, that rarely happens. You can assure that doesn’t happen to you by giving some thought to your estate planning even before you begin the interview process at the office. You don’t have to make all of the decisions in advance, but have a general idea in your mind as to who will receive what you own when you pass away and who will be in-charge of assuring that those people receive what you have set aside for them.

Who Should Attend The Meeting With My Attorney To Setup A Proper Estate Plan?

Most attorneys will allow a reasonable number of family members to come into the office to talk generally about estate planning options and prices. But most competent attorneys will only allow the trustor (Trust Creator) and his or her spouse when it comes time for them to give the specific instructions concerning who receives what and who will be in-charge. We do this because we desire that the trust plans we create be enforced and honored by the court. If the beloved son who will inherit the most accompanies mom to the estate planning attorney and helps describe what all he will inherit, there is a very strong chance that someone will find this highly troubling in the future and assert that the estate plan was not really what mom wanted. Therefore, the general rule is that when it is time to deliver the final decisions as to who inherits what items, only the people who will be creating the trust or writing the will should be present with their attorney.

Should I Discuss My Estate Plan With My Children Or My Life Partner?

This is a tough decision and there is no single answer that applies to every family. Some of my clients’ family dynamics are such that they insist upon sharing every detail of their estate plan with all of their children. Other families take the position that this is their money and until they die, it is no business of their children what they will be doing with their money. Both of these decisions are very defensible. If you are concerned that one or more of your children will be upset with your estate planning and that it will cause difficulty in the family relationships, perhaps you shouldn’t share that information in advance. On the other hand, if it is important to you that everybody knows everything well in advance, there is no legal reason you shouldn’t tell them. Either way, this is a very personal decision or the law does not mandate what you should do.

For more information on Setting Up A Proper Estate Plan, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 880-8960 today.

Terrell Monks, Esq.

Call For Our Free Probate Book Or To Reserve Your Seat At Our Free Estate Planning Workshop
(405) 880-8960

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