According to Privett:

"I've been practicing law for over 35 years. This gives me the ability to make decisions based on experience and sound reasoning being seasoned in trial combat." 

Oklahoma Wills and Living Wills


Perhaps the most well-known instruments used by people in Oklahoma and around the country in regards to estate planning are wills, and one of the instruments that’s gaining prevalence at an extreme rate are living wills, each of which serve a distinct purpose, and both of which require certain technicalities to be met if they are to be seen as valid by the probate court. Many people make the mistake of assuming that wills and living wills can be put together in a somewhat informal fashion, but this mistake always causes problems down the road.


Privett Law has helped countless clients put together wills and/or living wills, and we’ll be able to handle your requests with ease. The estate planning lawyers at the firm always start with listening to your situation, your desires and even your needs, and from there the wills and living wills are put together in a way that will allow you to rest easy that your interests will be protected.


Below is an overview of both wills and living wills in Oklahoma, and for an individualized set of answers and solutions, contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation.


Oklahoma Wills


Wills have been used to deal with estates after a person’s death for centuries, and there are many forms and options available when it comes to putting one together. However, you need to be extremely careful when you decide to take this step, as any mistakes in the will formulation process can lead to extensive delays, confrontations between your beneficiaries and even tax problems after you pass, which would basically defeat the entire purpose of the will altogether and create a negative situation on several fronts.


Technicalities of Oklahoma Wills


There are several technicalities that must be met in order for a will to be valid in Oklahoma, and a few of the most basic requirements are as follows:


1. The will must be in writing; 
2. The will must be witnessed by at least two people at least 18 years of age;
3. If a witness to the will is also a beneficiary, his or her benefit is limited to that which would be devised to that party absent a valid will under Oklahoma law.


Codicil


There are two other issues of note as they relate to wills in Oklahoma, and the first of these issues is that of the codicil. A codicil is basically a change to the original will, and the person who’s writing the will can basically change his or her will at any time. However, that person must be of sound mind when formulating a codicil and the same witness and writing requirements apply to a codicil as they would the original will.


Holographic Wills


The second issue deals with holographic wills in Oklahoma. Holographic wills are basically those that are hand-written, and while they can be seen as valid in the probate court, it is a process to do so. Generally, the parts of the holographic will that can be proven to be written by the testator will usually be accepted by the court, but any parts of a holographic will that do not appear in the testator’s handwriting will not be accepted.


Living Wills in Oklahoma


A quickly-growing estate planning phenomenon in Oklahoma is that of the living will. It could be argued that including living wills within the realm of estate planning in Oklahoma is a bit of a misnomer, as living wills do not dole out an estate, name beneficiaries or bequeath any sort of gifts. Rather, a living will is meant to govern one situation – when the writer’s life is in question and he or she faces a grave health situation.


There is a specific Oklahoma statute in place that deals directly with living wills, and in it are some basic requirements for all living wills to follow in order for them to be valid in the eyes of Oklahoma law. Specifically, the statute states, in part:

§63-3101.4.

An individual of sound mind and eighteen (18) years of age or older may execute at any time an advance directive governing the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. The advance directive shall be signed by the declarant and witnessed by two individuals who are eighteen (18) years of age or older who are not legatees, devisees or heirs at law.


The statute goes on to lay out examples of what acceptable forms and formats of living wills should look like in Oklahoma, and these living wills are generally used when someone’s health situation is at its worst, and the patient is incapacitated and unable to make decisions regarding whether or not to extend his or her life alone. 


When someone puts together a living will in Oklahoma, he or she can be as detailed as possible, including laying out different medical scenarios, different diseases and different types of incidents that could leave the person in a coma or on life support, and the decisions as to whether or not to sustain life can be different for each or any of these scenarios.


Living wills in Oklahoma are not only responsible, but also remove the horrible contingency that many family members face without one, which is to decide whether or not a person’s life should continue without having a clear idea as to what the patient desires. Having to make this decision without guidance can affect someone for the rest of his or her life.

Your Next Step

As you see, putting together wills and living wills in Oklahoma is not only advisable, but responsible, and if you work with Privett Law Firm, you won’t have to worry about technicalities becoming a problem when it’s time to execute these instruments.