A Living Will in Oklahoma: Estate Planning for Life Care
Oklahoma estate planning documents include many different parts. When it comes to long-term life care, one of the documents that should be included is a living will. In this post, you will learn what a living will in Oklahoma is, why it is important to your estate plan, important tips about choosing a healthcare agent, and the names of other Oklahoma estate planning documents you may also wish to consider.
Oklahoma estate planning documents are different for each person because each person has their own goals and desires. However, an Oklahoma living will is crucial for every person. If you have questions about establishing a living will for yourself or if you have questions about estate planning documents after reading this blog post, schedule your free consultation with the experienced estate planning attorneys of Ball Morse Lowe.
What Is an Oklahoma Living Will?
A living will is not the same as a Last Will and Testament. A Last Will and Testament is used to distribute your personal property to your heirs and other named beneficiaries. A living will in Oklahoma is officially known as a Declaration as to Medical or Surgical Treatment. It gives you the ability to proactively provide your permission to state whether you authorize certain medical and/or surgical treatments if you are unable to do so because you are unconscious or considered incompetent or incapacitated by a doctor. This document also gives you the power to name a health care agent to ensure that your wishes are honored and to make other decisions on your behalf.
Some of the decisions that you may include are whether you wish to have life-sustaining treatment, such as artificial hydration and nutrition, provided or withheld; whether you are willing to receive a blood transfusion; whether you wish to donate your organs; and whether you wish to be resuscitated. This is only a partial list of potential inclusions.
The Importance of a Living Will in Oklahoma
A living will in Oklahoma helps your family members with your life care. Because the document allows you to express your wishes related to your life care related to medical treatments and surgical procedures while also naming a health care agent to act for you if you become unable to voice your desires, your family members do not have to guess about what you would or would not have wanted. It also gives you the ability to name someone you trust to honor your wishes.
If you do not create a living will, your family members may not know what your wishes are or they may fight among themselves. Additionally, someone you may not want to make decisions for you could be the person named to do so. Both of these facts highlight the importance of a living will as a Oklahoma estate planning document for everyone.
Choosing Your Health Care Agent
When choosing your health care agent, these are some aspects to consider:
- Choose someone you trust. Your health care agent will have the job of making decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious or declared incompetent or incapacitated by a doctor.
- Choose someone who has only your best interest at heart. Not all family members are interested in doing what is best for us when they are in a position of power. It may be worth the effort to speak with an estate planning attorney to determine if you should choose someone who will benefit from your estate if you die.
- Choose someone who meets the legal qualifications to fulfill the role. They must be a legal adult. They may not be your doctor or an employee of your doctor, except under limited circumstances (such as marriage).
Oklahoma Estate Planning Documents for Life Care
A living will is just one Oklahoma estate planning document used for life care purposes. Other estate planning documents that may be used for life care include but are not limited to:
- Durable financial power of attorney. A durable financial power of attorney allows you to name an agent or attorney-in-fact to manage your finances if you are declared incapacitated. This allows your agent to use your financial accounts to help pay your expenses and make other financial decisions on your behalf.
- Revocable living trust. A revocable living trust has many benefits. During your life, it can be used for your benefit. Your personal property can be placed within it to fund it. After your death, the remaining property within it avoids the probate process.
Schedule a Consultation with an Estate Planning Attorney
Living wills in Oklahoma are crucial estate planning documents. To learn more about living wills and other estate planning documents that could positively benefit you in the future, schedule your free consultation with the experienced estate planning attorneys at Ball Morse Lowe.