Oklahoma City Probate Attorney

Legal Representation During Estate Planning & Probate

The probate process may be confusing, but at its core it is really just taking the assets of a deceased person and distributing the inheritance as determined in the estate plan. Although the deceased person may have a will, the courts must decide if it is valid. They also must make sure all of the deceased person's debts and taxes are paid. It is important to note that even if you die intestate, or without a will, your estate will still go through the probate process, and a judge will appoint a personal representative in the place of an executor.

The assistance of an Oklahoma City probate lawyer can make the process easier and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation in the following areas:

Wills
A will can help you select what you would like to pass down to your future heirs. If you are a parent of young children, we can also help you select a guardian for your children in the event of your passing. No matter your situation, having an estate plan can be very beneficial.

Inheritance
You may consider leaving your assets to your surviving loved ones an important part of your legacy. Using estate planning tools like wills and trusts, we can help you pass your estate inheritance on to future heirs in the quickest, most tax-effective way possible.

Estate Administration
If you have been selected as an executor or personal representative after the passing of a loved one, we can walk you through the entire process. From handling the taxes to distributing the assets, the estate administration aspects of an estate is a complicated legal matter that is best handled by a qualified lawyer.

Estate Planning
Many individuals do not realize the importance of setting up an estate plan or do not realize the massive implications for improperly setting up one. To learn more about estate planning and how Elizabeth A. Richards, Attorney at Law, can assist you in this endeavor, click on the link above.

Inheritance Tax
Whenever you are creating a solid financial plan it's important to carefully consider all relevant inheritance tax consequences. With estate planning, consumers want to consider whether or not their estate will be subject to state estate tax and federal estate tax.

Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is another name for a will. A will is a written document which defines how your property will be distributed upon your death and to whom. However, a will can do much more as it can name an executor for your estate, it can name a guardian for minor children, and you can specify if you want to leave certain heirs out of the will etc.

Probate FAQ
Since many of our clients frequently have questions about what probate entails, we have compiled a Probate FAQ page. We encourage you to read our commonly asked questions to learn more about how probate works in Oklahoma City.

Probate Litigation
Probate litigation is another term for contesting a will. When one or more beneficiaries have disagreements with the executor or how the executor is managing the estate, or if there are disagreements over how assets and property are being distributed, then litigation may become necessary.

Probate Process
Probate is a court process where the will is validated, an executor or personal representative is appointed, claims against the estate are paid, and property is distributed to the heirs according to the will.

Real Estate
Dealing with property can be one of the most difficult aspects of the estate administration process. We can advise you on how to best handle real estate matters regardless of whether the property involved was being rented to tenants or was a personal residence.

Trust Administration
Trust administration is a large responsibility; the trustee is expected to resolve outstanding debts, pay taxes and distribute assets to the beneficiaries according to the instructions in the trust. If a trustee acts dishonorably, they can be removed from their position and held financially and legally accountable for any damage done to the estate.

Understanding the Probate Process in Oklahoma County

When someone passes, the courts must assess their assets and then distribute them appropriately. If an individual has debt, for example, the probate process allows for the filing of creditor claims, which may be approved or disapproved by the personal representative and, if approved, be paid from the assets of the estate if there are sufficient assets available.

After the debts and taxes are paid, the remaining assets will be distributed to beneficiaries either listed in the will or determined according to state intestate laws for those who die without a will. Estate administration can be lengthy, and the minimum amount of time to complete the process is six to 12 months. If the decedent has property in Oklahoma, but resides in a different state, that piece of property will be subject to an ancillary proceeding in Oklahoma.

Importance of Estate Planning

Although the probate process can seem long and inevitable, there are steps you can take to reduce the time of your estate's probate and clearly establish the inheritance of your future heirs. Drafting a clear will, for example, can reduce the amount of time that your estate is in probate by making your wishes obvious to the court. Another possible option is placing your assets into trusts, which will cause them to completely avoid the probate process.

A qualified attorney can help you draft a valid will to protect those close to you. Our team has 26 years of experience at Elizabeth A. Richards Attorney at Law, and we can prepare your estate for the future of your loved ones.

If your loved one has recently passed on or you are concerned about protecting your loved ones after you are gone, complete a free case evaluation today by contacting our office!

Elizabeth A. Richards

Attorney at Law

Elizabeth A. Richards Attorney at Law - Oklahoma City Probate Lawyer
Located at 112 West Commerce Street Oklahoma City, OK 73109. View Map
Phone: (405) 788-4662
Local Phone: (405) 319-9696.
Website:
Probate.com

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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(405) 788-4662