Attorney Donna Jackson Gives Peace of Mind Through Estate Planning
When is it too young to start considering your estate, your powers of attorney and planning for death or disability?
For Oklahoma City attorney Donna Jackson, as soon as a child turns 18, those decisions should be put in place. She knows no one wants to consider the worst that could happen, but not having the future planned could result in more painful results, like probate, fights, court battles and more.
From her earliest childhood, Jackson knew she wanted to help in estate planning and elder law. She remembers sitting with her grandparents’ living room listening to them and their friends complain about how the government would take all the money when they died.
“That just didn’t make sense to me,” she says. “I always wanted to be an attorney.”
However, while studying pre-law at Oklahoma State University, Jackson instead earned her masters in accounting and worked as a CPA for years before going back to earn her law degree.
“To me, it’s always been about helping people and about taking care of people,” she says. “At the time, there was a new field called ‘elder law.’ I earned my Master of Law in elder law, but what I do isn’t just for the elderly. It’s about planning your future and giving peace of mind. Peace and empowerment is what I bring to people—a way for them to retain control.”
Even adults as young as 18 should have a written and legal plan in place to control what happens should the unthinkable happen, she says. As couples marry and have children in their 20s and 30s, they should also consider what might happen to their estate or their children should they pass away unexpectedly or suffer another life-altering event.
“So many people in that age group have nothing in place that says who will take care of the kids or how to support the kids in case something happens,” she says. “Everyone should have an advanced directive, a living will and people in place who are the health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney. If you want to maintain control after something happens and have peace, you should plan ahead and get those documents in order.”
Jackson, who has practiced law in Oklahoma City since 1988, specializes in estate planning, probate, elder law and taxes. She knows that estate planning can be difficult, but said instead of being depressing, it actually grants a level of peace.
“Who wants to think about death, dying or getting sick? No one, but you actually feel relieved and empowered when you know you and your loved ones will be taken care of in the manner you want,” she says. “We really need to reach the younger generation. Everyone needs to plan for contingencies.”
And while many fear that estate planning takes too much time or money to arrange, Jackson says that fear is unfounded.
“Yes, it takes a little effort and money, but you want to make it a priority,” Jackson says. “We can do it in two meetings sometimes. That’s what I do. I take care of people, and knowing that someone is taking care of them gives people peace of mind.”
For more information, contact Donna J. Jackson and Associates at 405.840.1874 or visit OKCEstateLawyer.com.