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Who Should Be Notified Of His Or Her Role In My Estate Plan?


There are certain people who should be notified of their role in your estate planning. First, your choice as first successor trustee of your trust should be aware of their role and should also be given notice as to where to find your trust document. The best estate plan written is of no value if the document cannot be located when you’re gone.

You should also give notice to the person holding your medical power of attorney. This person will have the authority to sign consents for medical care on your behalf. But if they do not know that they have that authority, or if they do not know where to find the document, they will not be able to help you in your time of need. You might also consider taking this medical power of attorney to your personal physician and to the hospital where you would most likely be taken if you suffer an illness while at home or at work.

There is a good argument that you should tell your power of attorney where to find a power of attorney document and advise them that they have been nominated to serve as your power of attorney. Some people are made nervous by the fact that the power of attorney has so very much authority and could do great damage. For people who have this concern, I suggest that they give the power of attorney document to a third person to hold and tell them to deliver the document to the person named in the power of attorney document when the time comes that you need their services.

If you have created a plan for your funeral service and interment, and if you have appointed someone to make decisions on that topic on your behalf, you should assure that this person knows that they have this authority and that they know where your written instructions may be found. While on this topic, I would remind you that if you have given written instructions or given a written nomination of who will make your final arrangements, it is a crime in Oklahoma to not follow your instructions. I must admit that I have never seen anyone prosecuted for this crime, but at least the authority is there to make it happen.

Should My Estate Plan Contemplate The Death, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Or Disability Of My Child Or Life Partner?

Your estate plan both should, and probably must, contemplate such life events. We know that divorce is rampant in our society, death will come to all of us, and that disability is not as uncommon as we wish it were. Given that we know that all of these could face us and our family members, we must write our estate plans in such a way that our wishes will be known and enforceable even if our beneficiaries suffer unwanted and unforeseen life events of this nature. The last thing you want is that your inheritance be wasted or used to support a lifestyle that is contrary to your basic beliefs.

Should My Estate Plan Include A Provision Requiring Mediation Or Arbitration If There Is A Dispute Among My Heirs?

This question does not have an easy answer that applies to all families. But there are some general principles that should be considered when you make this decision. First, is your family made up of personalities and characters such that it would be in the best interest of all that every dispute be submitted only to a judge and that there be an avenue for appeal? If so, do not include a binding arbitration agreement. If, on the other hand, reducing the expenses of resolving disagreements is of very high importance to you, arbitration is almost always cheaper than litigation and is almost always much faster. Unfortunately, appealing the decision of an arbitrator is often very difficult. So keep both of these matters in mind when you are deciding whether to include or not include a requirement that disputes be submitted to arbitration or mediation.

For more information on Notification Of Role In An 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.

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