Probate Lawyer Oklahoma City OK

Probate Lawyer Oklahoma City OKProbate Law Firm Oklahoma City, OK

Whether you’re thinking about creating an estate plan for the first time or you’ve recently lost a loved one, it’s important to speak with a probate lawyer Oklahoma, OK residents trust. It’s important to understand what probate is in both proactive (estate planning) and reactive (estate administration) contexts for a few reasons. First, understanding what probate is and how this process could affect the administration of your future estate will help you to make informed decisions about the ways in which you choose to construct your estate plan. Second, understanding what probate is and how this process could affect the administration of your loved one’s estate will help you anticipate the legal challenges that may impact that estate in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Please understand that probate issues vary from state to state and situation to situation. You don’t have to have “all the answers” right now. If you have questions, the experienced Oklahoma legal team at Marty Martin Law is here to help.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process that is utilized when a will needs to be reviewed in order to verify whether it is authentic and legally enforceable. Each state constructs its own probate practices and protocols. As a result, some states require that every will must be subjected to the probate process, while others only require that probate becomes mandatory when there is a dispute or other qualifying circumstance present. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to connect with an experienced Oklahoma City, OK probate lawyer when planning your estate and/or administering the estate of a loved one. Failure to do so can lead to unnecessary confusion, stress, and financial consequences.

It’s worth noting that the term “probate” is sometimes used to refer to the administration of a will or an individual’s estate if that person passed away before creating a will. It is for this reason that you may sometimes need to pay attention to context clues when reading about probate. While this term is most often utilized to describe the process of “proving” a will, it can sometimes serve as a synonym for estate administration generally.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you’re constructing or revising an estate plan for the first time or you’re navigating the administration of a loved one’s estate, please connect with our experienced legal team as soon as you can. Once we understand the “ins and outs” of your unique situation, we’ll be able to assess your legal needs and provide you with personalized guidance accordingly. No one should feel like they have to navigate estate planning and/or estate administration matters alone. These legal challenges represent a lifetime’s worth of property and wealth accumulation and should not be treated lightly. Our team will treat your case with the respect and attention it deserves. Please don’t wait – schedule a risk-free, confidential consultation with an Oklahoma City, OK probate lawyer today; we look forward to speaking with you.

Common Misconceptions About Probate

Probate is something very few people look forward to. In fact, the majority of people dread the thought of it. However, there are actually so many misunderstandings about the process. If you’re about to go through the probate process, it’s important to learn the truth. Here are some common misconceptions about probate.

  • The probate process always takes years to finalize. One of the main reasons why people dread probate is because they assume the process will take multiple years. They don’t want to wait that long to receive their inheritances. The good news is that probate will rarely take that long. In fact, in many cases, probate doesn’t take longer than a year to complete. However, if someone decides to challenge the will, it prolongs probate.
  • Creating a will can help you avoid probate. Just because you have a valid and thorough will, doesn’t mean that you get to skip the probate process. Probate is actually intended to prove that a will is valid. The descendant’s taxes and debts have to be paid before assets can be distributed to heirs. Additionally, a judge must look over the will to make sure it was drafted correctly. If the appropriate procedures weren’t followed, the will may be deemed invalid.
  • The probate process is very expensive. A common fear people have about probate is that it will eat up all the assets in the estate. The good news is that this isn’t true. While the probate process does cost money, it’s usually less than 5 percent of the value of the estate. In rare cases, however, probate costs can rise significantly. For instance, if a person contests the will, probate may be more expensive.
  • A lawyer isn’t necessary. Some people may avoid hiring a probate lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK to save money. However, this isn’t a good idea. The probate process can involve many complexities, and you want someone with knowledge and experience on your side. A skilled lawyer can guide you through the process and make sure everything goes smoothly.
  • Without a will, your assets will go to the government. Fortunately, this is a myth. Although it’s recommended to have a proper will, not having one doesn’t mean your property will go to the government. If you die without a will, your property will go to your surviving spouse. If you don’t have a surviving spouse, it will go to your children.

common misconceptions about probate Infographic

When Should You Begin Estate Planning? 

It is always important to have an estate plan no matter what stage you are at in your life. You want to make sure your loved ones are taken care of, even after your passing. It is important to have a will and other documents in place to make the process easier on the people who you want to have your possessions even after you are gone. Probate can be difficult for your loved ones to go through after your passing. The probate process means that all of your items go through the government and will be taxed. If you have an experienced probate lawyer on your side, like one from Marty Martin Law, you will be able to navigate through this process to make it the best possible outcome for your family. We often recommend doing certain things before you pass away to make the probate process much easier. Some of these include: 

  • Giving gifts away while you are still alive. Whether you want to give a loved one a check or valuable items, it does not cost anything to give a gift while you are still around. A gift is something that you want another person to have, even if it takes something away from you. You should give as many gifts as you can, as this makes the process much less complicated. Another benefit to gift giving is that you are able to see the look on your loved ones’ faces when they receive the presents. This can be worth so much more than whatever family heirlooms you get to enjoy for yourself. 
  • Putting things in trusts. Trusts also typically do not need to go through probate. Speak with your probate lawyer about what type of trust would be best for you to use for your loved ones. He or she may recommend doing a living trust, which can be changed throughout your lifetime. 
  • Making sure you have the right executor to your estate. This will be someone you can trust to execute your wishes and who will be fair throughout the entire process. 

Do not hesitate to enlist the assistance of a probate lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK, like one from Marty Martin Law, so that you can make sure your loved ones are cared for long after you are gone. Your lawyer can speak in great detail about your wishes and what you want to see happen.