Oklahoma City Estate Planning Lawyer

What is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning is designing and designating what you want to happen with your property after you are gone. In developing an estate plan, you will name the individuals and organizations that you want to receive everything you own after you pass away. No one likes thinking about their death; however, most people want a say in what happens to everything they have collected in life once they are gone. 

You may say to yourself, I’m not a millionaire; therefore, I don’t have an estate, but that is not true. Nearly everyone has an estate, which consists of everything your own: your home, your car, real estate, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, life insurance policies, and personal property. Regardless of the amount of property you own or its value, you cannot take it with you. Whether you make a plan and decide how you want your property divided or you allow the government to decide, it is certain that division of your assets will take place after you pass. 

Planning and developing an estate plan for yourself and for your beneficiaries can save your estate thousands of dollars in taxes, legal expenses, and delays caused by probate or waiting for parties to act. Therefore, a proper estate plan is more than a tool to divide your property, but also a way to greatly simplify the process for your loved ones to take care of your estate and your final wishes, knowing they are acting under your wishes. The following are important elements of a proper estate plan, which does far more than divide your property:

10 Important Considerations in your Oklahoma Estate Plan

  1. Establish guardians and successor guardians for your minor children’s care and inheritance, should you become incapacitated or upon your death
  2. Create a special needs trust and other support to provide for a child or family member with special needs, while still allowing them to qualify for government benefits
  3. Establish a plan to provide financial support in a responsible way through a trustee or responsible party for your minor children or heirs that you know are not responsible enough to manage a large sum of money on their own
  4. Instructions for your care and financial affairs if you become incapacitated or when you pass away
  5. Minimize taxes, unnecessary attorney fees, litigation, and court costs by establishing a plan that will allow your estate to pass with minimal or no tax consequences to your beneficiary designations by aligning your estate plan with your assets 
  6. Avoid the costly and slow process of contested probate by clearly establishing your decision on the beneficiaries of your estate
  7. Provide arrangements for disability income insurance, in the instance you cannot work due to an unforeseen illness or injury
  8. Provide arrangements for long-term care insurance to assist with the expense of your care, if you require extended healthcare due to an illness, injury, or nursing home care
  9. Establish life insurance to assist your family with final expenses and to bridge the gap due to your no longer providing income upon your death
  10. Plan for the transfer or division of business interests upon your retirement, incapacitation, disability or death

Although you can at one time develop an estate plan that will enforce your interests for the rest of your life, it is important to revisit your estate plan periodically to ensure that it still represents your wishes and that you are taking advantage of the current estate plan and estate tax laws. Whenever your family or financial circumstances change, it is important to review and update your estate plan, if necessary. The considerations listed above are some of the most important issues to keep in mind when planning for your estate. 

Is Estate Planning really for Everyone?

Yes, estate planning is not only for senior citizens or individuals that have retired. However, most people wait too long to consider planning for their children, finances, and estate until a tragedy strikes or it is too late. No one on this earth knows how many days we have left and unfortunately, we cannot predict what will happen with our health, our mental capacity, or if an accident will strike. Once you have developed an estate plan, you will be able to rest easier knowing that your loved ones and children, if you have them, are taking care of and that you have preserved your wishes for beyond the time you are able to speak for yourself. 

As stated above, estate planning is not only for the wealth. It is an important step for every family. Whether you are to pass suddenly or be incapacitated for an unknown reason, an estate plan can speak to what exactly you want to happen with your children the moment a tragedy strikes you, what you want the following weeks to look like for your children, and how you want their care provided for until they are old enough to mentally, financially, and physically care for themselves. Estate planning is truly an amazing tool to care for your children beyond your personally ability, should a tragedy ever strike your family. 

Wealthy families often do think of estate planning and its value more often than families with smaller estates; however, estate planning is more important to families with few assets, as the loss of income to a family with less is far more impactful than a wealthy family. You can be strategic about whatever issues may come your way by thinking, planning and then memorializing your estate plan through the tools available to you and an Oklahoma City estate planning attorney. 

When Should Someone make an Estate Plan?

No time is better than the present to develop an estate plan for your family. Most people brush off the importance of estate planning, because they believe they are not old enough or rich enough to need an estate plan or worry it will be too expensive to work with an estate planning attorney. Families may worry that they have no idea how to begin to plan for their deaths or they understandably do not want to think about their death. However, the unfortunate truth is it is much more difficult on your family to settle your affairs and your estate, if you have not created a plan than if you have an estate plan in place.

What Happens if I do not have an Estate Plan?

In Oklahoma, as in all states, the government has a plan to divide your estate, if you have not put an estate plan in place. 

In the case of your becoming disabled, only someone appointed by the court can act on your behalf in your business or on behalf of your business, if your name is on the title of an asset and you are unable to conduct business on your own behalf due to physical or mental incapacity. The government, through the courts, will control and supervise your assets and a conservatorship (in some states) or a guardianship (in Oklahoma and many other states) will decide how your business, assets, and care are handled. This process moves much slower than your business needs arise and can be very expensive. The process will likely be public record and may make it difficult for your business to ever recover from the delays and exposure. 

In the case of your death, everything in your estate will be distributed according to Oklahoma intestacy laws, if you do not have a valid estate plan at the time of your death. The court will conduct a slow and likely expensive supervised probate proceeding. Your spouse and children will each receive a share of your estate, regardless of their age or your relationship to them. Meaning, your spouse could receive only a fraction of your estate, which is insufficient to live on or conversely your spouse could take more of your estate than you desire and your children may be left with very little. The court will control the inheritance of your children, if they are minors. The court will appoint guardians of its choosing to raise and care for your children, if they are minors, if both parents die, i.e. in a car accident or some other tragedy. 

Given the choice between the government and attorneys you do not know or you personally making plans for the fate of your children’s upbringing and the division of your estate, which plan would you choose? Would you prefer to decide these important issues without court involvement? Would you prefer your family privately handle your estate and the upbringing of your children, not a judge? Do you want to control who receives what in your estate and when they receive it? You need an estate plan, if you answered yes to any of these questions and you like most people want to decide all these issues for yourself. 

Does Estate Planning have to be Expensive?

No, it is important to look at estate planning as a small investment now to save you and your family from much greater costs and headache in the future. Additionally, failing to invest in a proper estate plan may result in unforeseen consequences. Further, innocent mistakes in naming beneficiaries in your estate plan can result in significant tax consequences due to tax-deferred plans and intestacy laws.  

How Much Does an Estate Plan Cost in Oklahoma?

The cost of an estate plan varies dependent upon a number of factors, including the estate planning attorney or estate planning firm you hire and whether you establish a legally enforceable estate plan in Oklahoma. Yes, you may use online resources to draft form estate planning documents; however, their enforceability and ability to help you avoid probate and other long-term consequences, such as contested and expensive probate and tax consequences is another issue. 

Your investment of a few thousand dollars now, may save you and your loved ones tens of thousands of dollars or more in the long run. Quick savings now, can often result in great expenses later. Whether you decide to work with Your Fierce Advocates™ and Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys at Cannon & Associates or another estate planning firm, your investment will pay great dividends in the long run, versus using an online non-attorney tool. 

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma City Estate Planning Lawyers

Experience matters when you are seeking to protect your estate and the interests of your children and loved ones. It is important to know the Oklahoma estate planning attorneys you hire are dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of Oklahoma estate planning practice.  Cannon & Associates is dedicated to being Your Fierce Advocates™ and will protect your estate and interests in a custom estate plan for you. We are here to support and guide you through the entire process and ensure you create a plan that serves you and your family.

Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and our team has more 5-Star Google Reviews than 99% of law firms in the State of Oklahoma. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your estate and memorialize your desires for your and your family in a custody Oklahoma estate plan. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.

What are the Most Important Parts of an Oklahoma Estate Plan?

What is involved in an Estate Plan?

 As stated above, an estate plan involves developing a strategy for who will receive what assets in your estate, when they will receive them, and it provides a plan for handling all your affairs should you become unable to handle them yourself for any reason. Yes, estate planning may seem daunting or complicated; however, this guide is intended to give you a road map of estate planning, whether you decide to work with our estate planning team or not. 

There are many common components to a proper estate plan and although much of what an estate plan accomplishes is division of your finances, it provides certainty and simplifies many other complicated matters that will arise and some that may never happen. Either way, there is peace of mind to be had in knowing you have made plans for any eventuality. 

For your benefit, we have broken the process of estate planning down into simply and easily digested sections below. Studying our Estate Planning Guide will give you security in knowing the tools available to you in developing the right estate plan and start you on your way to planning for your future and the future of those you care about the most. 

What does the most Basic Estate Plan include?

Estate planning is your statement of how you want your assets and the care of your loved ones to be handled if you become incapacitated or when you have died. The most important step to begin your estate planning is to do a complete review of your assets. Again, your estate consists of everything you own, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Houses
  • Cars
  • Jewelry
  • Investments
  • Savings
  • 401(k)
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Real Estate or Land
  • Cash
  • Personal Property
  • Clothing
  • Other Property 

Once you have a clear sense of your estate, then you can begin to plan what you want to do with your estate. The following section explains the most common tools and/or documents in a proper Oklahoma estate plan. 

What is a Will?

A Will is the most basic tool available to you in estate planning. Your will can provide instructions for your estate, but it will not protect your estate from passing through probate. Your will can address assets titled in your name; however, your assets must pass through Oklahoma probate court prior to being distributed to your designated beneficiaries. 

Estate Planning begins, but does not end, with a Will

Further, if you own property in more than one state, the property in each separate state will have to pass through probate court in that state and according to the probate or intestate laws of that state, meaning delay and more legal fees, if you only have a will. The probate process varies from state to state; however, it will certainly come with a cost and cause delays, if you only have a will in place. Creditors and excluded heirs are required to be notified of probate proceeding and may seek payment of your debts or a share of your estate, away from your intended beneficiaries. 

Fortunately, not all assets must pass through probate. Jointly owned property and assets with a designated beneficiary, i.e. life insurance, annuities, IRA, 401(k), and other select accounts are not controlled by your will and are allowed to transfer to the beneficiary or surviving owner without passing through probate. When you name a minor as the beneficiary, the court will likely require a guardianship until the child reaches the age of majority, often over the age of eighteen. 

What is a Living Trust?

A Living Trust or Revocable Living Trust is a legal agreement consisting of three parties: Settlor, Trustee, and Beneficiary. The Revocable Living Trust is a fiduciary relationship, in which the Settlor, Trustor, or Grantor gives property and instruction to the second party, the Trustee, to hold assets and property for and on behalf of the interests of the third party, the Beneficiary.

Whereas most legal transactions occur between two parties: grantor and beneficiary, the trust or Revocable Living Trust, adds a third party in the middle of the relationship that protects the wishes of the Grantor (party creating the trust) and the interests of the Beneficiary (the party receiving the benefits of the trust). A living trust allows property to pass through the legal instrument of a trust, without the requirement or expense of probate. 

What is the Most Important Estate Planning Tool in Oklahoma? 

The most important estate planning tool in Oklahoma is the revocable living trust. However, we recommend a pour-over will as well for the protections it provides. Therefore, we recommend a revocable living trust and a pour-over will for our client’s estate planning needs. When you establish a revocable living trust and fund the trust, you can avoid probate completely, including probates in others states where you hold property. A revocable trust can prevent court interference with your assets should you become incapacitated. A revocable trust allows you to combine all of your assets, regardless of their form or location into one plan with privacy and only limited access to those you appoint. Another benefit of a revocable trust, is that you can change the terms of the trust at any time, i.e. modify beneficiaries or guardians. Additionally, the pour-over will is a catch-all to any asset not funded in your trust during your life, as those assets “pour-over” into your trust upon your death. 

Trust can continue long after your death, unlike probate proceedings, which are solely to address your assets upon your death. Assets may remain in your trust long after your death and be managed by an individual or group of individuals, your trustee/trustees, until your beneficiaries reach the age or milestone you select. Further, you may establish a special needs trust that will provide for the needs of a dependent or special needs children for their lifetime. A revocable trust may protect your assets from your creditors, beneficiary creditors, spouses, and individuals you do not trust due to irresponsible spending habits. 

Our Oklahoma City estate planning lawyer provides flat fee value-based services in estate planning, which include both living trusts and pour-over wills without increasing the costs of an estate plan with only a will. However, our strategic estate plans will assist you and your loved ones in avoiding attorney fees, court costs, and significant delays, as a funded revocable trust can avoid probate and court involvement completely, whether you are incapacitated or at death.

What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal proceeding in which the court appoints a person to take care of another individual due to their age or capacity to act for themselves. The person appointed by the court, is either at the designation of the legal guardian (deceased parent or incapacitated parent) or the court directly, if the legal guardian failed to make such an appointment. The party appointed to provide for your children or dependents is called the guardian. Your children or dependents are designated as the ward or wards.

In Oklahoma there are multiple basis for a guardianship, some or all of which should be identified in your Will. The three most common forms of guardianship in Oklahoma include:

  • General Guardianship: the most powerful form of a guardianship, which grants the guardian authority over the ward and all of the ward’s property.
  • Limited Guardianship: the limited guardianship grants less power to the guardian than a general guardianship and may be limited to certain areas of the ward’s affairs or finances.
  • Special Guardianship: the least powerful guardianship appointment, in authority and duration, is the special guardianship, which typically is used in emergency situations and only lasts for ten days.

 Do I need a Guardianship?

It is in the interest of your dependents and your children that you establish a guardianship in your Will to take effect should you become incapacitated or upon your death. Establishing a guardianship for your children and other dependents is an important estate planning tool, should you become incapacitated or die. Your will can include provisions for a guardianship, should the need for one arise. Additionally, we recommend establishing a successor guardianship, should your first choice for guardian become incapacitated, die, or become unwilling to act as guardian for your children or dependents. 

What Can a Guardian do for my Children?

The guardian that you appoint in your Will or the court appoints, in the absence of your decision, has limited powers and must follow certain rules established by the court. The guardian must be responsible for the care and control or the ward, i.e. they will live in the same household and the guardian must provide for the basic needs of the ward. The guardian is required to follow any specific instructions or orders pronounced by the court. 

Additionally, all guardians are required to report to the court, typically once a year to give an account, under oath, as to the health, welfare, and finances of the ward. Without a trustee to ensure compliance of your wishes by the guardian, the court is the only party that takes very limited action to ensure your wishes are honored for the upbringing of your children. 

We highly recommend establishing a guardian, separate from the trustee, so that one party that is responsible for the health and upbringing of your children must account to another party, outside of the judge, the trustee. This relationship or accountability is one way to increase the likelihood that your children are taken care of in the way you want them to be cared for, should you be incapacitated or should you pass away before your children are old enough to care for themselves. 

Finally, we highly recommend having a detailed conversation with anyone you are thinking of identifying as guardian or successor guardian over your children. You want to ensure that all parties you are considering nominating in your Will are willing to act as guardian to your children and that they will respect your wishes for the upbringing of your children. 

An additional benefit of a Revocable Living Trust and the appointment of guardians for your dependent children is that the trustee can be given the authority to provide funds to the guardians at predetermined times to assist with the costs of raising your children, without the guardians receiving a lump sum windfall upon your death or incapacitation. It is far easier to “trust” the intended use and disbursement of your assets/funds to the Trustee over your trust, than a direct beneficiary that has a financial interest in obtaining the funds as soon as possible.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document that your Oklahoma estate planning attorney creates for you to give another party the ability to act on your behalf. The benefit of a Power of Attorney for estate planning purposes s that it allows another person or a list of people to handle your affairs for you when you are incapacitated or incompetent. 

The person you appoint as your Power of Attorney is your “Attorney-in-Fact” or the person you have appointed to act on your legal matters. The person you appoint as your Power of Attorney does not need to be a licensed attorney-at-law. Rather, your appointed Attorney-in-Fact should be a trusted loved one, but can also be a business arraignment.  

It is important to note that a Power of Attorney can be general, granting a person all powers to act on your behalf or it can be very limited, down to one singular power. All Powers of Attorney terminate upon the death of the party granting the Power of Attorney, called the principal.  The following are the most common types of Power of Attorney appointments:

  • Durable Power of Attorney: this is the most powerful Power of Attorney, which grants your Attorney-in-Fact the ability to handle any and all of your non-health and non-medical affairs. The word durable implies it remains in effect, even if you are incapacitated. You should be very careful in who you select as your Durable Power of Attorney as they have the ability to open credit card accounts in your name, establish debt on your behalf, sell all your property, and basically do anything on your behalf, whether is complies with your wishes/financial plans or not. We highly encourage consulting with an experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorney prior to making such an appointment.
  • Financial Power of Attorney: A Financial Power of Attorney comes with great powers to act on your behalf as well, including handling or modifying all your financial affairs. 
  • Medical Power of Attorney: A Medical Power of Attorney has the authority to make decisions on your behalf concerning your healthcare treatment options. 
  • Limited Power of Attorney: A Limited Power of Attorney can be as specific as you want it to be for your purposes. You can identify one or one hundred specific powers you wish to grant to your Attorney-in-Fact in a Limited Power of Attorney. Your discretion is nearly unlimited. The important thing to keep in mind when considering a Limited Power of Attorney, is that you can identify the needs you have for someone to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated or unavailable, while denying other powers, which you do not want to grant to your Attorney-in-Fact, i.e. cannot establish credit or take out a loan in your name. 
  • Springing Power of Attorney: A Springing Power of Attorney gives your Attorney-in-Fact whatever powers you have determined for medical decision-making, financial decision-making or otherwise on your behalf; however, it is only valid once a qualifying condition occurs, such as hospitalization.

Do I need a Power of Attorney in my Estate Plan?

Yes, the Power of Attorney is a vital tool in any Oklahoma estate plan. It allows you to establish one or more responsible parties to take care of your financial and other obligations, should you become incapacitated or unavailable to act on your own behalf. You should have a Springing Power of Attorney that only goes into effect should a qualifying condition occur that puts you in a position to want or need an Attorney-in-Fact to take care of your affairs. 

Should you become unavailable or unable to act on your own behalf for medical decisions or financial decisions, the Power of Attorney tool in your Oklahoma Estate Plan allows for your trusted Attorney-in-Fact to take care of your affairs, so that your house is paid for, your medical care is taken care of, and your bills and taxes are handled smoothly. The goal of any Power of Attorney is that your health will be restored and your affairs will be the same as you left them before the need for an Attorney-in-Fact arises. When you work with an experienced Oklahoma estate planning lawyer, your documents will always be available to you and you can easily modify them whenever you see fit or they can easily be provided to the necessary parties, should the need arise.

What is an Advanced Healthcare Directive?

An Advanced Healthcare Directive, commonly referred to as a Living Will, is your directions concerning what, if any, medical intervention or action you want taken by medical professionals should you become incapacitated or unable to make your own medical decisions. 

Do I need an Advanced Healthcare Directive in my Estate Plan?

Yes, you need an Advanced Healthcare Directive in your Estate Plan. Your Living Will or Advanced Healthcare Directive allows you specify your treatment preference should one of many potential instances of incapacitation take place, such as a coma or the need for life support. Although the thought of being unable to speak for yourself or make your own life saving healthcare decisions is scary, it is far better than placing such a heavy decision on your children or loved ones. 

Our experienced Oklahoma estate planning lawyers will assist you in drafting your Advanced Healthcare Directive in a way that honors your wishes for no additional cost above your estate plan with our office.

What should be included in my Advanced Healthcare Directive?

Your Oklahoma Advanced Healthcare Directive should be drafted with the assistance of an experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorney and should generally consists of certain elements, regardless of your health or person circumstances. Those elements are the following:

  • Living Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare / Medical Power of Attorney
  • Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment
  • Do No Resuscitate (DNR) Orders
  • Organ and Tissue Donation decision

It is not to say that you should elect to not be resuscitated, should your airway become restricted or that you must donate your organs or tissue, rather we are simply stating your Advanced Healthcare Directive, should address each of these issue and specify your wishes should something occur that requires decisions in these areas, as you will not be able to make the decision on the fly or while incapacitated and it is much easier for your family to reach a decision and live with the resulting consequences, if they are simply honoring your wishes versus fighting over what medical care you should or should not receive. 

Remember, our custom estate plan for your includes the costs of these services, it is not an additional fee and it may save you and your family from significant trauma in deciding these matters without your input. 

What is a HIPAA Authorization?

A HIPAA authorization is simply your consent to another party accessing or receiving your protected health information. When you appoint one or more parties HIPAA authorization for your protected health information, they can obtain confident health records on your behalf that may be necessary for a wide variety of purposes, without a court order or the delay and expense of fighting to obtain these records. 

Why do I need a HIPAA Authorization in my Estate Plan?

Estate planning, is planning for a wide variety of unknown circumstances, including any unexpected surprises in your life. An experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorney will advise you to provide HIPAA Authorization to your Medical Power of Attorney to allow the hospital, doctors, and other medical providers that may be treating you to release your restricted health information or Protected Health Information (“PHI”). 

When your Medical Power of Attorney or the party acting upon your Advanced Healthcare Directive does not have correct information as to your health and treatment, it is very difficult to carry out your wishes. A HIPAA Authorization for all the right parties will allow the medical professionals to tell the people that care the most about you what is going on without any delays or roadblocks due to protected health information. 

Do I need an Estate Plan in Oklahoma?

Yes, while your estate plan may not be as complex as an individual with very diverse assets spanning multiple states, you and your family will be better off with a plan and a recording of all your wishes than your loved ones and the court being left to decide the right decisions for every issue in your life without your input. You do not need to be rich or elderly or have a specific amount in investments to benefit from an Oklahoma estate plan. You should develop a plan, married or single, children or not children, your loved ones and you will be better for your strategic decision to be proactive and plan for the worst, so you can enjoy the best of life. 

You do not want to put your loved ones in the position to decide or fight over deciding life-ending or life-changing health decisions on your behalf, when you can simply memorialize your desires with an estate plan that will last your lifetime. 

The following is a simply guide on your journey to creating an estate plan that fits your finances, your family, and your needs. Our team of Your Fierce Advocates™ will meet with you, identify your needs, and develop a custom estate plan that will serve you and your family for at least the next generation. Before we have the privilege of meeting you, study the following 11 Steps to your Oklahoma Estate Plan. 

11 Steps to your Oklahoma Estate Plan

Our estate planning lawyers in Oklahoma City will do the majority of the heavy lifting for you in your estate plan creation; however, the following 11 steps to your Oklahoma Estate Plan makes the journey as easy as possible:

  1. Identify Your Assets: either in an excel sheet or on a sheet of paper, write down everything you own from accounts to cars to sentimental items;
  2. Plan for the Worst: when you plan for the worst, you can enjoy your best life. Ensure you have adequate life insurance for your family should something happen to you and take advantage of other planning tools;
  3. Identify Guardians: choose who you trust to be guardian to your children, your pets, and for you, if you are incapacitated or upon your death. It is wise to choose a backup or successor guardian as well;
  4. Identify your Beneficiaries: our team of experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorneys will assist you in carrying out your wishes and establishing what you want to happen with your estate, but first you must decide who you want to receive what in your estate and when you want them to receive it. Some accounts already have identified beneficiaries; however, most do not and it is in your interests and your beneficiaries’ interests that this is addressed. Things happen to other people in our lives, therefore it is important to identify contingent beneficiaries or successor beneficiaries;
  5. Decide on Applicable Directives: our team of experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorneys will draft the proper documents to memorialize and protect your interests; however, you must decide what directives you want to put in place. All of the following are discussed in detail above; however, they are repeated here to assist you in planning: Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Financial Power of Attorney, Springing Power of Attorney, Advanced Healthcare Directive, HIPAA Authorizations, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) decision/order, Organ and Tissue Donation decision, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, and Living Will
  6. Evaluate Estate Planning Attorneys: there are many carrying and highly qualified estate planning attorney in the greater Oklahoma City area, each with their own style and method providing Oklahoma estate planning services to clients. You can research Oklahoma estate planning attorneys by searching their websites, reading client testimonials, and speaking to members of your community. You have options in estate planning attorneys, so ensure you identify Oklahoma estate planning lawyers you know, like, and trust with such important services. Your Fierce Advocates™ at Cannon & Associates are dedicated to providing you the best estate planning service available in Oklahoma City, while ensuring that you receive substantially more value than your costs to work with us.
  7. Strategy Session for your Estate Plan: once you have selected the Oklahoma estate planning attorney that is right for you, they will meet with you, identify all of your needs and help build an estate planning strategy that is right for your needs and desires. We have developed a detailed process to explore all potential issues our clients may face in their unique situation to ensure that your needs and potential needs in the future are met. 
  8. Your Estate Plan is Built: our team of Your Fierce Advocates™ will create a secure portal for you to upload any documents we need to review in preparing your estate planning documents or obtain paper copies from you, so that our experienced Oklahoma estate planning lawyers can draft a unique estate plan for you and your family; making sure to address all of your needs and present you drafts to review and approval. Some clients elect to complete our “Legacy Plan”, which includes video journals or statements for your loved ones or dependents to receive access to, should something happen to you. We film the Legacy Plan in-house and store it for you on our secure cloud account, so that you and your loved ones can access it whether it is appropriate for you and your family. 
  9. Notify Your Guardian/Executor/Trustee: we highly encourage every client to ensure that all parties to their estate plan, especially anyone that they are asking to perform a service for them or their family in the future is aware of their appointment and comfortable with the role and responsibility. We have resources you may provide to these individuals or we are happy to meet them with you to explain their role and what will be expected of them, should something happen to you. 
  10. Finalize Your Estate Plan: Our team will personally reach out to you and identify the best and place for you to meet and execute the final copies of your estate plan, which we call the “Signing.” This is one of the most important decisions you will make and want to honor that with making it a special occasion. We will provide the necessary witnesses and notary for you or you may wish to bring your own witnesses, either way we will make the day special and ensure that you receive the original copy of your Estate Plan Package and as many copies as you would like to keep. 
  11. Safeguard Your Estate Plan Package: your estate plan is nothing, unless the necessary parties can access the documents at the appropriate time. It is vital that you keep the original documents in a safe place, such as a fireproof lock box or a safety deposit box. We can safeguard your chosen location for your documents, if you failed to notify other parties. However, we strongly encourage you to tell your executor and trustee where the originals are kept. Additionally, we will save an electronic copy of your documents, which are always accessible to you, should you need them.  

The 11 Steps to your Oklahoma Estate Plan listed above are only a snapshot of the process for creating the Oklahoma estate plan that serves you and your family. However, we hope it has been instructive in your planning for your future and your families future. There is not rule on when you need to update your estate plan; however, we encourage you to at least meet with your Oklahoma estate planning attorney whenever you have a major life event, such as the birth of a child, divorce, marriage, or death of an important person in your estate plan. At the least, you should review your Oklahoma estate plan every five years to ensure it still reflects your wishes, as life changes and so do the way we feel about things and people. 

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Estate Planning Attorneys

Experience matters when you are seeking to protect your estate and the interests of your children and loved ones. It is important to know the Oklahoma estate planning attorneys you hire are dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of Oklahoma estate planning practice.  Cannon & Associates is dedicated to being Your Fierce Advocates™ and will protect your estate and interests in a custom estate plan for you. We are here to support and guide you through the entire process and ensure you create a plan that serves you and your family.

Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and our team has more 5-Star Google Reviews that 99% of law firms in the State of Oklahoma. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your estate and memorialize your desires for your and your family in a custody Oklahoma estate plan. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.

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- HOLLY ROSE

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"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."

- SHARON PINKARD

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"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."

- LEXI COYLE

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"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."

- ALAN MERRIMAN

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"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"

- MICHAEL RICKARD

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"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"

- ASHLEY

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"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."

- ATTORNEY COLLEAGUE

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"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."

- LAQUITA

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"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."

- TARA

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"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."

- DUDLEY

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"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."

- ZAVIEN

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"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."

- A FORMER CLIENT

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"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."

- CHRIS

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"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."

- CANDICE

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"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"

- TARA

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"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"

- DOMINIQUE

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"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"

- ANONYMOUS

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"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."

- S VANZANTE