Estate Probate Lawyer Oklahoma City OK

Estate Probate Lawyer Oklahoma City OKEstate Probate Law Firm Oklahoma City, OK

If you’re hoping to avoid a stressful probate process, in regards to your own estate plan or the estate plan of a loved one who has recently passed away, it’s important to connect with an experienced estate probate lawyer Oklahoma City, OK residents trust and to do so as soon as you can. The key to avoiding a contentious probate process is acting proactively. When it isn’t possible to avoid a contentious probate process entirely, the focus shifts to minimizing the stress and contention associated with the process in question.

It’s important to remember that states vary in their approaches to probate. Some states require every will to be “proven” while others only require probate of a will or estate when certain conditions are present, such as a dispute between beneficiaries. It’s additionally important to remember that the term “probate” is sometimes used to refer to the act of estate administration, whether or not the individual who has passed away created a will before their death. In either scenario, it’s ideal for individuals to think about ways to keep any probate process that may affect their estate as straightforward and low-stress as possible. With that said, disputes and questions do arise during the probate process and sometimes the priority shifts from avoiding a contentious probate process to navigating a probate process as smoothly as possible.

Avoiding a Contentious Probate Process

The single best way to avoid a contentious probate process is to ensure that your will and broader estate plan are constructed in clear, legally enforceable ways, and that these documents are updated as major shifts in your life circumstances occur. It becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to be confused by or to question your wishes if your estate plan is constructed in a thoughtful, clear-cut way and is updated as your life evolves. If you don’t yet have an estate plan, you think your estate plan could benefit from being reviewed by a professional, or you’re unsure of whether your estate plan needs to be updated or not, an experienced Oklahoma City, OK estate probate lawyer from Marty Martin Law can help.

If you’ve recently experienced the loss of a loved one and you’re concerned that the administration of their estate and/or the process of proving their will could become contentious, please connect with our firm as well. Experienced estate planning and probate attorneys know how to navigate such scenarios as efficiently and effectively as possible. It would be our honor to assist you and your family with your legal needs at this time.

Legal Assistance Is Available

Estate-related challenges are never stress-free affairs, as no one likes to think about how their property will be distributed upon their death. However, our firm has extensive experience assisting individuals and families with their legal needs during challenging times. If you haven’t yet scheduled a consultation to discuss your probate-related concerns with our legal team, please do so now. An Oklahoma City, OK estate probate lawyer at our firm will provide you with the personalized guidance you need to make informed decisions at this time.

Things That Can Delay the Probate Process

In many cases, an estate can be probated within a year. However, certain circumstances can prolong the process, forcing beneficiaries to wait longer to receive their inheritances. As you can probably imagine, this can be very stressful. Here are several things that can delay the probate process.

  • Many beneficiaries. Generally, the more beneficiaries there are, the longer it will take to settle an estate. The executor of the estate will have to locate all of these beneficiaries and inform them that the person has died. Some of these people may live in a different state and have not spoken to the deceased in years. If the executor has trouble finding them, it can delay the probate process.
  • Assets that are difficult to value. Certain assets, such as homes and bank accounts, are easy to put a value on. Other assets, however, are not so straightforward. If an estate has assets that are difficult to value, such as racehorses or collectibles, expect for the probate process to take longer.
  • A bad executor. Sometimes a testator chooses the wrong executor to handle the estate. When this occurs, the probate process may take longer to complete. For example, if an executor works long hours and does not have enough time to devote to the estate, beneficiaries will have to wait longer to receive their inheritances. Likewise, if the executor is disorganized or bad with money, the probate process can also drag on.
  • Family fights. Unfortunately, as an estate probate lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK can explain, family disputes are all too common after a family member dies. If they fight over the estate, it can delay the probate process. For example, if one sibling believes that he or she deserves a larger inheritance than another sibling, he or she may decide to contest the will in court. This can dramatically slow things down and make other beneficiaries feel anxious. 
  • Multiple wills. It is important for people to make changes to their will when they go through a major life change. However, if they do not specify that they want to revoke the previous wills, it can cause confusion. As a result, the court will have to determine which will go by, slowing down the probate process.