Last Wills & Trusts in Oklahoma

By Anna Assad

A last will or revocable living trust agreement is a useful estate planning tool, but you must adhere to Oklahoma law when executing either document. A last will lists your directions for your estate after you die, while a living trust agreement provides for management of your income and assets while you are living and after your death. Your last will or living trust may not be valid, or your directions may not be followed, if the document does not meet Oklahoma standards.

Required Parties

Your revocable living trust must have three parties: the settlor, the trustee and the beneficiary. Oklahoma law allows you to serve as all three. The settlor is you, the person making the trust, the trustee is the person who oversees your trust, and your beneficiary is the person or persons who will benefit from the contents of your trust. A will in Oklahoma must have named beneficiaries, and the document must clearly belong to you. An executor, a person you designate to oversee your estate after your death, must be appointed in your will.

Execution

Your living trust agreement must be typewritten, signed and dated by you and the trustee. At least two witnesses should sign and date the document as well. Your will does not have to signed by your executor, but you must sign and date the document along with two witnesses. If a will beneficiary signs as your witness, the person may have his share of your estate limited by the court. Oklahoma law provides for holographic, or handwritten, wills without witnesses, but the court will decide the meaning of any provisions if your handwritten is illegible. Neither document has to be filed with a government agency prior to your death, but you may file the will for safekeeping in some Oklahoma probate court systems.

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Beneficiary Limitations

Oklahoma law provides for a surviving spouse who was omitted from a last will or trust. Your omitted spouse may still take a portion of your estate, and your exclusion will be overridden by law. If you fail to intentionally state you are excluding one of your children or a grandchild of a deceased child in your will of trust, Oklahoma law may allow the heir you wanted to omit to take a share of your estate.

Amendments and Revocations

You may amend a living trust, but the amendment must be executed in accordance with Oklahoma laws and cannot be "written in" on the original agreement. The amendment must be written on a separate piece of paper, signed and dated by you and put with the original trust agreement. You may revoke a revocable living trust by transferring all of the property out of the trust and back into your name. A will may be amended by a codicil, a separate typed document that lists what provision you are changing and the new directions. You may revoke a will by drafting a new will and including a statement indicating you are revoking all prior wills.

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A Comparison of a Living Trust to a Last Will
 

References

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