In Oklahoma, there are two types of living trusts: revocable and irrevocable. You can establish either type of trust during your lifetime, and after you die the assets held in the trust are distributed among your named beneficiaries in accordance with the instructions contained within the trust. By establishing a trust, you enable your heirs to avoid going through probate court.
Creating A Trust
Laws in Oklahoma do not require you to hire an attorney to write a trust, but due to the legal complexity of creating a valid trust document most people hire a trust attorney to write the trust. The trust takes the form of a document called a "trust instrument." You can transfer ownership of some or all of your assets to the trust and the trust instrument contains a list of all assets belonging to the trust. The document also names the trust beneficiaries as well as a trustee and successor trustee. The trustee administers the trust and the successor trustee takes over that responsibility if the trustee dies or becomes unable to handle the trust any longer.
In Oklahoma, people who create trusts are called settlors, and if you are the settlor you can act as trustee of your own revocable trust. You establish the trust under your Social Security number and have the right to modify the trust or discontinue it at any time. If you dissolve the trust, you must resume ownership of the assets held in it or give the assets to someone else. Under Oklahoma law, you can name yourself as the beneficiary of your own trust as long as you also name at least one other beneficiary.
When you create an irrevocable trust you must apply for a separate Tax Identification Number for the trust because you cannot operate it under your Social Security Number. You cannot serve as the trustee of your own irrevocable trust, which means you lose all direct control over the assets held in the trust, although legally the named trustee must manage the trust in accordance with the instructions contained in the trust instrument. You cannot modify or revoke an irrevocable trust.
You can only include assets in a trust that you own when you establish it, so you must make other provisions to disburse future earnings to your heirs. Under Oklahoma law, if you have a will, creditors only have two months to file claims at the probate court, but there are no time limits on your creditors making claims on assets held in a trust. If you create neither a trust nor a will, your assets are distributed in accordance with Oklahoma intestate succession laws.
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