Why Every Married Couple With Children Should At Least Have A Will
A lot of assumptions are made about who gets what when someone passes away without a will or trust. For instance, most people assume that a surviving spouse will receive full control of property owned by a deceased spouse. But, this is only true in certain limited circumstances. According to Oklahoma law when someone dies without a will, if that person is married and the couple have a child, the property will be split equally between the child (adult or minor) and the surviving spouse. This resolution of the deceased’s estate can be shocking to discover. Although, as an adult, the child could disclaim their inheritance in favor of the surviving spouse, such a result is not guaranteed.
Some property can be passed without a will in Oklahoma. It is likely that a couple’s house is owned jointly with rights of survivorship. This kind of joint ownership does avoid probate upon the first spouse’s passing. However, probate would still be necessary upon the surviving spouse’s passing and if a will is not executed, Oklahoma law will decide who receives the house.
Creating an estate plan using a will or revocable trust is a great way to prevent shocking probate resolutions. Contacting an attorney at Elwell & Spain is a first step to creating an effective and cost-efficient estate plan.