Tulsa Probate Attorney
You may hear the term “probate” after the death of a family member. Probate often carries a negative connotation, and is viewed as something to avoid. However, probate can be a good thing in some scenarios. Understanding what probate is and the processes it entails can help you form the best plan for your loved one’s estate. The probate lawyers at Bryan & Terrill Law are always available to help individuals and families with probate law in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When to Call a Tulsa Probate Attorney
If a loved one passes away and leaves behind an estate, with or without a will, it is wise to contact a lawyer and discuss your situation. You will likely require some form of probate to divide assets, name a representative of the estate, or fulfill the specifications of a will. The probate attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law have years of experience helping families get through probate as quickly and cost efficiently as possible. Call (918) 935-2777 to speak with a lawyer about probate today.
What Is Probate?
“Probate” refers to a legal process that may be necessary to settle assets and debts someone leaves behind after death. The Oklahoma courts will supervise the probate process during all aspects of estate administration, or at least those in need of legal action. This may include proving the validity of a will, choosing a representative of the deceased person’s estate, totaling the estate’s assets, paying off debts and taxes, identifying heirs, and distributing assets to heirs. Oklahoma Statutes Section 58-1-1 goes over all the powers of probate court. If the individual did not leave a will, it will be up to the probate court to make these types of decisions.
Do You Need Probate?
Probate court is a time-consuming and often expensive process. There are many court and attorney’s fees involved. For this reason, many families try to avoid probate. Not every estate will require the probate process after someone’s death. The necessity of probate will depend on what the decedent owned and how he or she held property, as well as the laws of the state where the property existed. If there are any issues regarding a will or the distribution of assets, the family will need probate to resolve them.
If the decedent held a smaller estate, a less formal procedure at the than probate court may be an option. The probate court will still supervise the procedure, but it will not have the same processes as a full-scale probate case. In general, probate will be necessary for families left behind after a loved one’s death. Without probate, complex legal issues can cause problems and discord between the surviving family members. Even with a will, probate is often required to clarify the deceased person’s assets and debts.
Probate court not only distributes assets of an estate. It also legally transfers property titles and other elements to surviving family members. Without probate, the ownership of properties and assets can become a legal gray area. Probate will be necessary if there is no will, if issues exist with the will, if beneficiaries are entitled to assets, if assets are solely in the decedent’s name or under joint ownership, or if there are no named beneficiaries. If you aren’t sure whether your family requires probate, ask our attorneys.