Oklahoma Probate Law | When it’s time to deal with it

This Article Written for Willhoite Law, PLLC

Probate law is a legal process that no one ever wants to deal with. When someone who has a valid will pass away an administrative process goes into effect which determines how the individual’s property and belongings (termed their estate) will be handled. The process of this is great to know as both the person who is writing the will and the people who will be involved in the process should the unthinkable happen so that everything is understood and further pain is avoided. Estate planning is a lot better than no estate planning at all where motives have historically been influenced by relationships between friends and family and the value of the estate.

Estate planning is sometimes an uncomfortable topic of conversation when one is referring to probate law, and when speaking about probate at all, you begin to refer to the estates of either those who are recently deceased or those who are unable to handle their assets while still yet considered living. Probate law can be real trouble without the right authority helping to guide you through your legal problem, and there are limited ways around actually contacting a probate attorney, someone who will look out for your interests. A good place to start looking would be with a search engine on the internet.

Planning for your estate in advance can save much stress on behalf of those who are handling your estate for you once that job becomes too great an inconvenience, there are lots of details that simply become too much for one person to handle alone, and assigning a worthwhile attorney to the job can quickly become difficult to manage if someone does not come to mind right away. Perhaps looking into a relative’s trusts and estates after contacting the right personal expert may extent some insight into the overall view, as both financial and integral damage to the base of both family, and the friendly relationship surrounding after death can be a devastating blow.

The main motive of probate is to restrain fraud after someone’s decease by freezing the estate until a judge can determine the will is valid. Throughout this process, they ensure all the relevant people have been notified, the property of the estate has been correctly identified and described as well as any creditors and taxes have been paid. Once that has been done, the court issues an order distributing the property then the estate is closed. If there isn’t a will, the Oklahoma probate law of intestate succession will determine the beneficiaries of your estate. And in most cases, a surviving spouse or adult child will be appointed as administrator. The process as a whole can take anywhere from a couple of months to complete. Until then, assets of the estate cannot be distributed until the court allows it.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you will be dealing with the Oklahoma state court system with regards to a probate or estate related matter, or if you think that there is a chance that you will be in this sort of situation in the near future, it is important that you hire an attorney at Willhoite Law, PLLC who understands Oklahoma probate law.

Probate law involves the handling of an estate when someone, most commonly a family member or other loved one, dies. These are the laws that ensure that any of the deceased’s creditors are paid off and that any remaining assets are distributed to the descendants. It’s a good idea to already have in mind what you will need to do when you find yourself in a situation where you’ll have to deal with probate law.

Probate is a legal procedure where the property of a deceased person is administered. With probate, all claims against a deceased person’s property are settled, as well as the distribution of their assets in a way that is following the decedent’s wishes. The procedure can identify debts, value property, pay debts and taxes. It involves the filing of paperwork, public notices and court appearances by the probate attorney. A probate attorney is a state-licensed attorney who knows Oklahoma probate law aspects enough to advice estate executors and heirs on settling the matters of a deceased person. The attorney is responsible for handling personal representatives throughout the probate process until everything is settled.

This process may sound simple, but it is far more complicated and involved than it sounds, in no small part due to the emotions surrounding death. This grants you with multiple requirements and tasks to be performed by the personal representative, an experienced probate attorney and a tax consultant. For example, an estate that includes only a single house and single bank account that has been left to a single beneficiary will most likely be far easier and quicker probate to deal with than an estate containing multiple homes in multiple states that are left to multiple beneficiaries. This becomes even more complicated when an estate includes leaving assets to a minor.

Oklahoma probate law insists that most representatives hire an attorney. The state has a rule that unless the personal representative or an “executor” is the only beneficiary, he or she must hire a probate attorney to assist in the probate administration. This helps lessen the difficulty in a situation involving multiple people, where tensions may run high, by adding a middleman for communication and creditors of the estate must be notified and a notice to creditors must be published in the newspaper. Any creditors of the estate must submit claims to the personal representative or administrator within a certain time frame.

Oklahoma probate law is too complex for many personal representatives to follow without the guidance of the attorney. The courts in the state are not set up nor staffed to provide legal assistance with probate. Because of this, a probate attorney who is experienced will be more able to get the job done right the first time. If mistakes are made by the personal representative who has not retained an experienced attorney, the process will need to be redone, which can often take an extended time and cost more money. You have every right to protect your best interests as well as what is rightfully yours. Having an expert attorney at Willhoite Law, PLLC by your side can make all the difference in how the assets are distributed in the end.