Estate planning is not only encouraged, but deemed vital when
preparing for the future. And planning for the inevitable extends
far beyond legalizing one's wishes regarding financial assets - it
protects families, both existing and future members.
Mark H. Price, business law and estate planning professional with
the Andrews Davis law firm, said it is imperative that people are
If you don't provide for the disposition of your estate, the
state of Oklahoma has written a will for you, Price said. And there
are provisions in the statutes that decide how much a spouse gets
and how much children get. It is extremely important that everyone
consider what they want to do with their property and their family
so that you don't have third parties intervene who have no ideas to
what you might have wanted to do or what your desires or objectives
The Miami, Okla., native graduated from the University of
Oklahoma law school in 1966, and he has worked from the same office
at the Oklahoma City-based Andrews Davis law firm ever since. The
firm has served local, national and international clients for more
than six decades.
Price said he often tells people that spending time in developing
an estate plan is about the most important gift that person can
leave their heirs and family, given the emotional and financial
tolls death takes on a family. If a person's affairs are not in good
order, it just makes it a lot more difficult, he said. As a
practical matter, no one knows more about your affairs than you,
yourself. And you have worked hard and built up an estate and you
need to make it go where you want it to go.
While many people assume the size of their estate directly
relates to whether they should form a plan, Price said estate
planning is something everyone needs to do - especially at the point
in life when, for instance, a family enters the picture.
This is when, after learning about the client's financial
matters, family makeup, medical needs and parental concerns, Price
and team start discussing options.
We try to get a feel for their desires and objectives, he said.
Then we will make recommendations to people and give ideas as to how
you can provide either through wills or trusts or a combination
thereof of managing or disposing of your property in the event of
Recently, a new aspect to estate planning has entered the
picture. House Bill 2135, by state Rep. Ron Peters, R-Tulsa, created
the Family Wealth Preservation Trust Act, which provides that an
individual grantor may transfer up to $1 million in assets to an
Oklahoma Preservation Trust and have those assets protected from the
grantor's future creditors. While supporters said the bill would
attract out-of-state investment to Oklahoma, critics said the bill
would allow individuals to shield assets from seizure by creditors
who should be allowed to recoup their losses. …