Free Legal Information: Estate Planning
See the information below regarding wills and trusts, probate and advanced directive for health care (living will). Click the + next to a topic to read more.
Preface regarding terminology: Terminology used in the legal profession can be confusing. Some of the terms used in this article are described as follows, with explanation:
“Beneficiary” and “beneficiaries” are persons entitled to receive property, including money, under the terms of a trust or insurance policy. In this brochure, those terms include “legatees” and “devisees,:” being those persons entitled to receive property under the terms of a will, and include the term “heirs” when referring to those persons entitled to receive property from a deceased person’s estate.
“Personal representative” is the person appointed by the court to oversee a deceased person’s estate. This term is interchangeable with “executor,” being a male personal representative, and “executrix,” being a female personal representative.
Q: What is a will?
A: A will is a written instrument by which you provide for the disposition of your property after your death. In Oklahoma, if you are of sound mind and 18 years or older, you may dispose of your property by will.
Q: Should I have a will or a trust?
A: A person does not have to be wealthy or elderly to do some serious thinking regarding an estate plan. If you own a home or a car or have a checking or savings account, you have an estate. Often a person with a small or modest estate is most in need of a plan to provide for the proper transfer of that property at death.
There are several reasons to have a will or a trust. Most importantly, having a will or a trust allows you to decide who will receive your property rather than leaving that choice to state law.
Having a will allows you to choose your personal representative. Without a will, the court could appoint someone as personal representation other than a person you would choose.
Having a trust allows you to avoid the probate court system altogether if your trust is created and funded properly.
Equally important, if you have minor children you can name their guardian in your will or trust. Your selection of a guardian is not binding on the court, but the court will give strong consideration to your selection. Without a will or a trust, the court may appoint a guardian other than the person you would have chosen.
Q: What if I die without a will or a trust?
A: Oklahoma law provides for distribution of your estate to your heirs. The general rules for how your estate will be distributed if you die without a will or a trust are described as follows:
If you die leaving a surviving spouse and children, your spouse takes one-half of your estate, and your children split the remaining one-half in equal shares. If you die leaving a surviving spouse and no children, your spouse takes one-half of your estate, and your parents share the remaining one-half.
If you die single but have children, your children take your entire estate in equal shares. If you die single with no children, your parents take your entire estate. Oklahoma law provides for distribution of your estate in additional situations, all depending on the identity of your legal heirs. Special rules apply if you have children from a prior marriage and you have property acquired during your last marriage as well as separate property.
If your children are minors, your surviving spouse, in order to use their portion of your estate for their support or education, would either have to be appointed guardian of the children by the court or have someone else appointed, give a bond, make annual accountings to the court and obtain the court’s permission for many routine transactions. This will result in considerable expenses as well as legal difficulty.
A common misconception is that the state of Oklahoma will take your estate if you do not have a will. That is untrue is most cases. Your estate will go to the state of Oklahoma for the support of public schools only if you die without leaving a spouse, lineal descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.), parent, brother or sister or lineal descendant of either, grandparent, lineal descendant of a grandparent (aunt, uncle, cousin, etc.), or other relative.
Q: May I dispose of my property as I wish with a will or a trust?
A: Under Oklahoma law, a married person may not completely exclude the surviving spouse. Oklahoma law allows the spouse to elect to take a certain portion of the estate despite the will. If your will does not name a child or in some cases a grandchild, or indicate that the child or grandchild has been considered, then the child or grandchild may have certain rights to take a portion of your estate. Your lawyer can explain these restrictions and show you how to accomplish your desires.
Q: May I change my will or trust?
A: You may modify or revoke your will or revocable trust at any time. You should take steps to revise your will or trust whenever changes in the size or circumstances of your family or estate mean that your old will or trust no longer disposes of your property as you want. All changes, to be effective, must be made in strict conformity with the law. Any change made in a will or trust by erasure, in your handwriting or typed as an insertion is likely to be invalid.
Q: Does it cost more to administer an estate with or without a will?
A: Unfortunately, “it depends” is the appropriate answer. You could have the cost of having an attorney prepare your will, but you may also have costs for talking to an attorney for help with estate planning, even if you do not prepare a will. With a will, you can include cost-saving provisions such as waiving the bond requirement for your personal representative as well as authorizing your personal representative to sell property and perform other functions without first obtaining permission from the court. However, other procedures exist which may allow the same results or more favorable results, whether or not you have a will.
If you have a will, your estate will be “probated” in court. If you do not have a will, your estate will be “administered” in court. Both procedures are governed by the Oklahoma Probate Code (Okla. Stat. title 58) and many of the procedures apply equally to probate and estate administration. The Probate Code provides several methods to probate or administer an estate, some of which can reduce costs if used appropriately.
An attorney with a working knowledge of wills, inheritance, probate and estate administration can provide guidance on minimizing probate or estate administration costs and achieving the desired results for distribution of your estate.
Q: How do I make a will or a trust?
A: Using a will or trust form or computer program for estate planning is not recommended. A will or trust must be prepared within the legal technicalities prescribed by the law. These technicalities are for the protection of you and your heirs, and they must be observed. The proper drafting of a will or a trust requires the professional knowledge, skill and experience of a practicing lawyer. Some attorneys charge on the basis of time spent in preparation of a will or a trust while others have a flat fee. A few hours of an attorney’s time now can save your beneficiaries not only the costs of litigation over a poorly drawn will or trust but also the additional expense of a guardianship of your minor children. Your attorney will be glad to discuss the charge for services with you.
Q: Is a handwritten will valid?
A: Under Oklahoma law a will that is entirely written, dated and signed in your own handwriting, and which contains no typed or printed portion, is valid. The problems resulting from this type of will are not so much in what the person writing the will says as in what the person fails to say. Without the advice of an attorney, most people who prepare handwritten wills fail to include provisions that address the issue of a beneficiary who dies before the will maker, the naming of a personal representative and waiver of his bond, the source for payment of costs and debts of the estate and the specific powers the personal representative will have, as well as the problem of the simultaneous death of the will maker and a will beneficiary.
Your lawyer can explain these matters and show you how to simplify the administration of your estate as well as accomplish your desires with the best tax consequences.
Q: What is a living will?
A: A living will is part of a document called an Advance Directive for Health Care. In the living will portion of such document, if you 1) have a terminal condition, 2) become persistently unconscious, or 3) have an end-stage condition, you may direct that your life not be extended by life-sustaining treatment. Your directions go into effect if your attending physician and another physician determine that you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your medical treatment. As part of this living will, you may also make an election whether you desire the artificial administration of food and water under these circumstances if you are unable to take food and water by mouth.
Q: What is a revocable or living trust and what are its advantages over a will?
A: A revocable or living trust is a written document providing for the management of your property which becomes effective while you are living, unlike a will which takes effect after your death. A trust is set up for a trustee to manage your property for your benefit during your lifetime or in the event of your incapacity. Ordinarily you serve as the sole trustee until you die or become incapacitated. After your death, the trust document will provide for your successor trustee to distribute any remaining property to those persons or entities you have chosen (just as in a will) or provide for the continued management of your property by that successor trustee for many years, with the ultimate distribution as you direct. The primary advantage of a revocable trust over a will is that upon your death, the administration of your estate in probate court is avoided, and the distribution of your property is governed by your trust outside of the probate court system.
This normally results in a quicker and less costly distribution of your property to the people you have selected. In addition, a revocable trust is a private document which is not recorded at the courthouse or anywhere else. In this regard a trust is unlike a will which, if probated, normally requires a list of your property and its value to be public record at the courthouse. When a revocable trust is fully funded by conveying all of your property into your trust during your lifetime, no probate of your estate is required.
Another advantage is that a trust can continue after your death, holding property for the benefit of a spouse, a child or another named beneficiary. This is especially useful in the event the spouse, child or other beneficiary is disabled or is receiving assistance from other sources. The trust cannot be continued indefinitely, but can be continued long enough to achieve many desired purposes. The same results can also be achieved by adding trust provisions to a will, but normally results in a delay in providing for the beneficiary since the will must first be probated.
Q: What are the advantages of having a will instead of a trust?
A: Generally the cost to prepare a will is less than the cost of preparing a revocable or living trust. That is because a will requires no action on your part after it is signed and is simpler to create than a trust. On the other hand, a revocable trust is more complicated than a will because it involves the management of your property during your lifetime as well as its distribution after your death. In addition, a trust must be funded during your lifetime and this can require significant effort and paperwork. If you fail to transfer all property into your trust or you subsequently acquire property in your own name instead of the trust name, your estate will still have to be probated. Your attorney will assist you by explaining the steps necessary to put your property into the trust. Basically, wills and trusts are two separate approaches to estate planning. You should consult with an attorney who works extensively in estate planning for an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of wills, trusts and joint tenancies. Keep in mind, you can include in a will provisions to establish a trust. However, such a will is usually no longer a simple will and the costs could approach what a revocable trust would have cost. Either a will or a trust can be used to transfer your property following your death.
Q: Do other alternatives to a will or trust exist?
A: Oklahoma provides several methods of transferring property upon your death. One option is a “Transfer on Death deed” which provides for the transfer of real property to a named beneficiary upon the death of the owner, with the owner retaining full ownership during his or her lifetime. Oklahoma also provides for “Transfer on Death” or “Payable on Death” for other types of property, including bank accounts, corporate stock and other types of personal property. Oklahoma recognizes the division of real property between a life estate and a remainder interest, with certain persons owning the real property during the lifetime of one or more named persons, with the property becoming fully owned by the designated remainder interest owner upon the death of the named persons. Trusts other than revocable trusts also exist which are useful in appropriate circumstances. All of these are useful planning methods and can be used separately or in conjunction with a will or a trust to achieve your desired estate plan.
Q: Is joint tenancy a substitute for a will or a trust?
A: No. Joint tenancy is a useful estate planning tool, but to rely solely on joint tenancy ownership for estate planning is generally a poor idea. Usually home and bank accounts are owned by married couples as joint tenants. Upon the death of the first joint tenant, the property passes to the survivor by law. The survivor becomes the sole owner of the property and should make additional provisions for distribution upon his or her death. Furthermore, if both joint tenants die simultaneously, both of their estates will require probate, although, in some instances, both estates can be probated or administered through one court action.
Holding property in joint tenancy is useful, but is not a substitute for a will or a trust in many cases. Your attorney can advise you as to whether the use of joint tenancy is appropriate.
Q: I own real property in another state. What do I need to do?
A: Each state has its own laws, but can also have laws in common with other states. As long as every state in which you hold property recognizes the validity of holding property in trust, a trust helps avoid having to probate your estate in every one of those states. Whether you use a will, trust, joint tenancy or other planning device, you will need to comply with the laws of each state in which you hold property. Often, you or your local attorney will consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in the state where the property is located to make sure the method used is handled properly according to that state’s laws.
(Revised December 2017)
All Rights Reserved
Copyright ©2017 Oklahoma Bar Association
Q: What is meant by probating an estate?
Upon the death of a property owner, Oklahoma law provides for a legal process to take control of the deceased owner’s probate assets, assess their value, pay creditors and distribute the assets to the person’s legatees (if the person died with a will) or heirs (if the person died without a will). Such procedures take place in the district court of the county where the deceased property owner lived. If there is probate real property of the deceased located in another state, additional proceedings called “ancillary administration” will be necessary in that state.
Q: Why is probate necessary?
An estate is probated for the following reasons:
- to identify and take control of the probate property,
- to protect the estate’s property,
- to pay debts and taxes,
- to determine who is entitled to share in the estate and distribute the property to the proper parties and
- in the case of real estate and other record ownership property, probate provides a method to transfer title to the property to the ultimate takers and thereby maintain a clear chain of title to the property.
Someone is required to step into the shoes of the deceased person, so to speak, and carry out the business of the estate and pay the debts, taxes and expenses, and, in the end, see that the property is distributed to the rightful parties in interest. That someone is called the personal representative of the estate. All these functions are carried out under the supervision of the district court.
Q: What property must go through probate court?
When a person dies, that person’s property can be classified as either 1) probate property or 2) nonprobate property. Probate property generally includes any property owned by the deceased person in his/her name alone that does not have a named beneficiary (i.e. real estate and solely owned bank accounts and securities accounts). Probate property must go through probate court.
Nowadays, many people own much of their property in nonprobate property types of ownership. Nonprobate property includes property held in a trust, retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs, life insurance, pay-on-death (POD) bank accounts, transfer-on-death (TOD) securities accounts and property held in joint tenancy. Nonprobate property does not go through probate court.
Q: Can a small estate avoid probate?
Yes. If the cumulative value of a deceased person’s probate personal property (not including real estate) that would otherwise go through probate court is less than $50,000, that probate property can be obtained by the deceased person’s successors by the use of a Small Estates Affidavit and thus avoid probate.
Q: What determines who receives the probate property?
If the deceased person had a will, the person’s will determines who receives the probate property. If the deceased person did not have a will, the Oklahoma laws of descent and distribution determine who receives the probate property.
Q: What are the laws of descent and distribution?
If a person dies without a will, the Oklahoma laws of descent and distribution determine how that person’s probate property will be distributed in the following circumstances. If the deceased person is survived by a spouse and children, the surviving spouse receives half of the probate property and the remaining half of the probate property passes in equal shares to the surviving children. If the deceased person is single but is survived by children, the entire estate passes to the children. In either case, if a person’s child has predeceased him/her, if that deceased child is survived by his/her own children (the deceased person’s grandchildren), those grandchildren will receive in equal shares the portion of the estate that their parent would have received if living. There are some special rules if the deceased person owned both property acquired during marriage and property acquired before marriage or acquired during marriage via a gift or inheritance from another person. Those rules are not covered in this pamphlet.
If the deceased person has no living spouse or descendants (i.e. children, grandchildren, etc.) the entire estate goes to the deceased person’s parents. If both parents are deceased, the entire estate goes to the deceased person’s brothers and sisters and the children of any deceased brothers and sisters. If there are no living siblings or descendants of siblings, the entire estate goes to the deceased person’s grandparents and their descendants (most likely aunts, uncles and cousins).
Q: Do I need a will or a trust?
Whether or not you make a will or create a trust is up to you. A major factor in deciding whether to use a will or a trust is the fact that wills must be probated to accomplish the transfer of probate property while trusts can accomplish the transfer of both probate property and nonprobate property without going through the probate court. See the Oklahoma Bar Association brochure titled “Do You Need a Will or Trust?” for additional information on this topic. Regardless of whether you choose a will or a trust, experience has proven the wisdom of one who carefully considers the provisions of these estate planning documents. Having your will or trust timely and properly drawn will assure you and your loved ones that upon your death the disposition of your property will be as you intended. After you have made your will or trust, it is important that you periodically review it with your attorney to keep it up to date as circumstances change.
Q: What does probate involve?
Probating an estate requires that a responsible party, called the personal representative, be appointed by a district court judge at a hearing to carry out the duties outlined below. The personal representative may be an individual such as the deceased person’s spouse or adult child or it may be a bank or trust company. If the deceased names a personal representative in a will, that party is usually appointed by the district court. If the deceased does not have a will, the district court will usually appoint the closest relative as the personal representative. The functions and duties of the personal representative are:
- to identify, take possession, protect and conserve all the real and personal property of the estate,
- to receive and collect all rents, payments and debts due the estate, including interest, dividends, claims and notes,
- to determine the names, ages, residence and degree of relationship of all possible heirs,
- to determine and pay any outstanding valid debts including taxes and
- to carry out the orders of the district court in all matters before the court and to distribute the property to the proper parties.
These steps and proceedings require preparing and filing numerous legal documents, publishing certain notices in a newspaper, holding district court hearings, securing appraisals of property, preparing interim and final income tax returns and any required federal gift and estate tax returns, providing an accounting of funds, making actual distribution of the property and receiving the final discharge of the personal representative by the district court.
All these proceedings are under the jurisdiction and supervision of the judge of the district court. Every action taken by the personal representative is subject to the scrutiny and approval of the judge. All determinations are made by the judge including the payments of debts, payment of attorney and personal representative fees and the final distribution of the estate assets.
Q: How long does probate take?
It is difficult to predict how long it will take to administer any estate because each one is different. Creditors must be given two months in which to submit claims following publication of a notice to creditors in a newspaper. The personal representative must file an inventory of the estate assets within two months after appointment unless the inventory is waived by the court.
The personal representative must file an accounting of the handling of the estate funds at the conclusion of the probate and a minimum of 20 days notice must be given for a hearing on the accounting.
The minimum time required to administer a simple estate is normally six to 12 months. Complex estates with property to be sold usually take longer. In the increasingly rare case where an estate is subject to federal estate tax, a tax release from the Internal Revenue Service must be filed with the court before the judge will issue a final decree distributing the estate property. Special procedures are available for administering small estates and estates passing completely to a surviving spouse. In these cases, the time required may be considerably shorter.
Q: What expense are involved in probate?
The expenses incurred in probate court include what are called the “expenses of administration” such as appraisal fees, newspaper publication charges and court costs. Court costs are charged by the district court for filing the case and other filings and usually amount to a few hundred dollars.
Regarding estate taxes, Oklahoma no longer has an estate tax for persons who died after Jan. 1, 2010. It is highly unlikely that federal estate taxes will be incurred due to the extremely high threshold for being subject to this tax. Federal estate taxes are assessed against estates where the total value of the probate property and nonprobate property exceeds the exemption amount for the year in which the person died, as set forth below:
In addition, there will be attorney fees and possibly personal representative fees. Attorney fees are based upon the reasonable charges necessary to provide appropriate compensation to the attorney, considering the scope and extent of services rendered. The personal representative is allowed a fee, fixed by law, of approximately 2.5 percent of the value of the probate property. Family members serving as personal representative sometimes waive their fee. Fees for attorneys and personal representatives are subject to the approval of the district court.
(Revised February 2018)
All Rights Reserved
Copyright ©2018 Oklahoma Bar Association
Q: What is an Advance Directive for Health Care?
A: An Advance Directive for Health Care is a written legal document which allows you to instruct your attending physician whether or not you wish to be given life-sustaining treatments and artificially administered nutrition (food) and hydration (water) and to give other medical directions that impact the end of life. Its purpose is to recognize your right to control some aspects of your medical care and treatment, primarily the right to decline medical treatment or direct that it be withdrawn even if death ensues. An Advance Directive for Health Care may include a living will, the appointment of a health care proxy (a proxy is a person authorized to act for another) and directions for organ donation.
Q: Who can sign an Advance Directive for Health Care?
A: Any person of sound mind who is 18 or older.
Q: Does the signing of an Advance Directive require witnesses and a notary public?
A: An Advance Directive must be signed before two witnesses who are 18 or older. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries under your will, nor may they be persons who would inherit your property if you died without a will. An Advance Directive is not required to be notarized.
Q: When does an Advance Directive go into effect?
A: An Advance Directive goes into effect when your attending physician and another physician determine that you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your medical treatment and you are in one of the three conditions explained on next page. Advance Directives do not determine your medical treatment in situations that do not affect your continued life, such as routine medical treatment and non life-threatening medical conditions.
Q: What conditions does an Advance Directive cover?
A: An Advance Directive covers three conditions: 1) terminal condition, 2) persistently unconscious and 3) end-stage condition.
Q: What does “terminal condition” mean?
A: A terminal condition is an incurable, irreversible condition that, even with the administration of life-sustaining treatment (such as putting a person on a respirator, dialysis, pacemakers, surgery, blood transfusions and antibiotics) will, in the opinion of your attending physician and another physician, result in death within six months.
Q: What does the term “persistently unconscious” mean?
A: “Persistently unconscious” means an irreversible condition as determined by your attending physician and another physician, in which thought and awareness of self and environment are absent.
Q: What is an “end-stage condition”?
A: An “end-stage condition” means a condition caused by injury, disease or illness which results in severe and permanent deterioration indicated by incompetency and complete physical dependency for which treatment of the irreversible condition would be medically ineffective.
Q: What is the living will portion of an Advance Directive?
A: In the living will portion of your Advance Directive (Section I) you may direct that your life not be extended by life-sustaining treatment if you 1) are in a terminal condition, 2) are persistently unconscious or 3) have an end-stage condition. Alternatively, you can direct that you are to be given life-sustaining treatment if you are in any of those three conditions.
You also have the ability to direct whether or not you wish to receive artificially administered nutrition (food) and hydration (water) if you are unable to take food and water by mouth in each of the three conditions described. Artificially administered food and water normally involves the surgical insertion of a feeding tube into your stomach.
Oklahoma law does provide that even if life-sustaining treatment or artificially administered nutrition and hydration are withheld or withdrawn, you shall be provided with medication or other medical treatment to alleviate pain, and you will be provided with oral consumption of food and water if you are able to eat or drink.
Q: What is the health care proxy portion of an Advance Directive?
A: A health care proxy is a person who is authorized to make medical treatment decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make such decisions. Section II of Oklahoma’s Advance Directive allows you to appoint a health care proxy (such as your spouse or adult child) to make whatever medical treatment decisions you could make if you were able. You can also appoint an alternate (back-up) health care proxy to serve in the event your health care proxy is unable or unwilling to serve. Your physician is directed to follow the instructions of your health care proxy. While your health care proxy can make decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment and artificially administered food and water, such decisions must be in accord with your wishes on those subjects as you specify in the living will portion of your Advance Directive. Therefore it is important that you discuss these subjects in advance with your health care proxy and that you choose someone who supports your wishes as set forth in your living will.
Q: May I direct organ donation in my Advance Directive?
A: Yes; Section III, titled “Anatomical Gifts,” gives you the opportunity to direct the donation of your entire body or designated body organs.
Q: What happens if my attending physician does not want to comply with my wishes as expressed in my Advance Directive?
A: In that case, your attending physician is required, as promptly as practicable, to take all reasonable steps to arrange for your care by another physician.
Q: Is the Advance Directive honored by my attending physician if I am pregnant?
A: Oklahoma law provides that a person who has been diagnosed as pregnant and whose attending physician is aware of the diagnosis will be provided with life-sustaining treatment and artificially administered hydration and nutrition unless the person has, in her own words, specifically authorized that during a course of pregnancy, life-sustaining treatment and/or artificially administered hydration and/or nutrition shall be withheld or withdrawn.
Q: Can I be required to complete an Advance Directive?
A: No. It is illegal for anyone to require that you execute an Advance Directive as a condition of receiving health care services or health insurance coverage. It is also illegal for anyone to modify your life insurance coverage, or to refuse to issue life insurance coverage to you, because you have executed an Advance Directive.
Q: Are Directives to a Physician or Advance Directives executed under prior laws still valid?
A: Yes. If you signed a Directive to Physicians under the Oklahoma Natural Death Act, which was the law in effect prior to Sept. 1, 1992, or an Advance Directive for Health Care under the law in effect prior to May 2006, it remains valid until you revoke it. However, it is recommended that you consider signing a new Advance Directive for Health Care because of additional options available to you under the current law.
Q: Does the Advance Directive require my signature more than one time?
A: The Advance Directive requires that you initial multiple times but requires your signature only once at the end. Remember that this is a legal document, and if questions arise concerning portions that seem unclear, you may wish to discuss them with your physician and/or attorney.
Q: How is the Advance Directive different from a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Consent?
A: A DNR consent form deals only with the subject of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest. In such a document, a person can state that the person does not consent to the administration of CPR in the event the person’s heart stops beating or the person stops breathing.
Q: If I sign an Advance Directive how am I protected from a misjudgment by a physician?
A: Oklahoma law requires that both your attending physician and another physician who has examined you determine that you are incapable of making an informed decision regarding your health care, including the provision, withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. This determination has to become part of your medical record.
Q: Can I revoke a signed Advance Directive?
A: Yes. An Advance Directive may be revoked by you, either entirely or as to any part, at any time and in any manner, regardless of your mental or physical condition. The revocation becomes effective when you (or a person who witnessed the revocation) notify your attending physician or other health care provider of the revocation.
Q: If I have signed more than one Advance Directive, which one will be effective?
A: In the event you signed more than one valid Advance Directive, none of which have been revoked by you, the most recently signed Advance Directive will be considered your last wishes and the one given effect.
Q: Is a document executed in another state and similar to Oklahoma’s Advance Directive for Health Care honored in Oklahoma?
A: If you signed an Advance Directive in another state, which provides for the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment or for the appointment of another to provide, withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment, and that document complied with the law of the state in which signed, it is valid in Oklahoma to the extent it does not exceed authorizations under Oklahoma law. However, Oklahoma residents should sign an Advance Directive that complies with the Oklahoma law if at all possible.
Q: After signing an Advance Directive, to whom should I give copies?
A: You should consider making copies of your Advance Directive for your personal records, your family, your physician, your attorney, your health care proxy and alternate health care proxy. Have additional copies ready to take with you when you require hospitalization or other care as your health care providers will need a copy for your medical record. You should keep a list of persons to whom you have given a copy of your Advance Directive so that if you later change it or revoke it, you may collect the copies.
Q: Where can I acquire a copy of an Advance Directive?
A: A copy of an Advance Directive for Health Care may be downloaded here from the Oklahoma Bar Association, or obtained from your attorney.
(Revised October 2012)
All Rights Reserved
Copyright ©2012 Oklahoma Bar Association
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