Thinking about what would happen if you became incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions is not an uplifting topic for anyone in Oklahoma. But, working out these issues before they happen is important for a person’s peace of mind and is a gift for loved ones in case the unthinkable happens. Health care directives are legal documents that spell out what medical treatments a person would want. Health care directives allow a person to make these decisions before anything happens to them. They are often used when there is a medical emergency or at the end of a person’s life. Medical directives become effective when doctors certify that a person cannot make medical decisions on their own and that a person is in a condition specified in the living will law and a person meets the state’s other requirements.Continue reading: Health care directives are an important part of an estate plan
Many Oklahoma residents know how important it is to have their estate planning documents in place. But, for those who haven’t taken the time to create a will yet, it may be a good idea to understand what happens if you die without a valid will. If a person dies without a will, they are considered to have died “intestate”. This means that a person’s property will be distributed based on the intestacy laws of the state. This includes all property, including real estate, bank accounts, financial accounts, vehicles and more. Property that is owned in another state will fall under the intestacy laws of that state. If a person is married with children, their entire estate will go to their surviving spouse. If the children are from a different spouse, they will receive a portion of the estate. IfContinue reading: What happens if I die without a valid will in Oklahoma?
When person dies in Oklahoma, many times their estate will go through probate. It is during this time that the estate is settled under court supervision. In general, once an estate has a personal representative assigned, they are able to gather the estate’s assets and creditor information. Once an estate executor has been named, they have a number of duties. In general, they will have to gather the estate’s assets and notify creditors and beneficiaries. They also must notify all creditors, including credit cards, mortgage companies and loans, among others. When it comes to the order of payments out of a person’s estate during the probate process, the estate administrator, appraiser, attorney and whomever helps with the management of the estate are usually the first to be paid. The deceased’s burial and funeral expenses would generally be paid next. TheContinue reading: Order of payments in the probate of an estate
When Oklahomans hear of “probate,” they may immediately think of a big fight involving a loved one’s will. While the term “probate” has a bad connotation for some, the term actually refers to the legal process that most estates, will or no will, have to go through before property can get legally transferred to a deceased person’s heirs. Admitting a will in to probate, which basically means getting acknowledgement that the will is binding and legal document, is only one step in the entire probate administration process. The process, all of which is overseen to some degree by a local Oklahoma judge, starts when the court appoints a person called a “personal representative” to handle the affairs of the estate. Although a personal representative has many responsibilities, he or she basically is in charge of winding up the business affairsContinue reading: Overview of Oklahoma’s probate process
In our country today, it is not at all uncommon for a person to live and, ultimately, die as a resident of one state while having property in several states, including Oklahoma. Assuming the property involved requires estate administration and probate, it may mean that a personal representative in another state may have to complete an ancillary estate proceeding here in Oklahoma. One of the most common reasons ancillary estate proceedings are necessary in Oklahoma is that a person owns some sort of interest in Oklahoma real estate, such as mineral rights in a tract of land. In this situation, the deceased person’s personal representative or executor will have to petition an Oklahoma court in order to get the land properly transferred to the deceased person’s lawful heirs or intended beneficiaries. Fortunately, ancillary proceedings do not mean a personal representativeContinue reading: What is an ancillary estate proceeding?
If you feel overwhelmed by your duties as the executor of an estate, you are not alone. Executors often feel unsure of how to proceed with probate, especially in the midst of grieving the loss of a loved one. In many cases, executors and personal representatives have to consider not only the property within the deceased’s home state, but also property that the deceased owned in other states. How are multistate probate issues handled in Oklahoma? While every situation is different, often it is necessary to open a secondary probate in the state where the property is located. This secondary probate is called ancillary probate. Depending on the circumstances, you may be dealing with overlapping areas of law. If you are facing multistate or multicounty probate issues, you may need the assistance of a professional with experience in real estateContinue reading: Tips for Executors Dealing with Property in Multiple States
Most people in Oklahoma understand the importance of a will to protect their estate when they pass away. A will is an important document that every person in Oklahoma should have. But there are other estate planning documents that may be needed, including a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust has many advantages and can be a valuable estate planning document. A revocable living trust is similar to a will but can do more for families. Avoiding probate court is one of the main advantages. Even if a person has a will, obtaining a lawyer and going through probate is often necessary in order to distribute the assets. A will also becomes public information, unlike a revocable living trust which will remain private. Because it is private, only those who are involved with the estate will know the details.Continue reading: Do you need a revocable living trust?
Dealing with the death of a loved one is a challenging time, and it is certainly no pleasure dealing with his or her affairs after passing. There are many reasons why a family would want to avoid the probate process when a loved one dies. Probate can drag out the estate settlement for a long time and can be costly. Fortunately, there are steps a person can take in order to help family members avoid the probate process after they die. There are four ways a person can pass their property to another and avoid the probate process. The first way is through joint property ownership with rights of survivorship. When one of the owners dies, the property automatically passes to the other owner. Financial accounts often allow their owners to select a beneficiary to receive the assets upon theirContinue reading: Techniques for avoiding probate