Tulsa probate lawyers help people distribute property after the death of a loved one. In a probate an executor is appointed either through the will or if the person dies without a will by the beneficiaries of the estate. Probate law is very complex and its recommended that a person hires a probate lawyer in the state where the probate is filed.
Does a Will Have to be Probated
When a person dies with a will in Oklahoma the will must be probated. The purpose of the probate is to determine if the will is valid. There are many different requirements for making a valid will in Oklahoma and most Tulsa probate lawyers can help you determine if the will is valid or not. In the event the will is valid, any property contained in the will is distributed to the beneficiaries per the will instructions.
Dying Without a Will in Tulsa
If a loved one dies without a will that persons property must be probated. In Oklahoma this is called dying intestate. Under Oklahoma probate law if a person dies intestate their property is distributed per the intestate distribution laws. This means that what goes to a beneficiary, and their share, is determined by the law of intestate distribution.
Certain property doesn’t have to be distribute through the probate process. This is done by whats called probate avoidance instruments. Although there are several ways to avoid probate, and several different tools, there are instances when you just wont be able to avoid it
- Small Estate. In a small estate the heirs file an affidavit with the probate court. The affidavit swears that the value of all the probate property is under $50 thousand dollars. Usually you can go to the probate office and the clerk will provide you with the necessary documents.
- Transfer of death deeds. This is a beneficiary deed that you fill out and file while you are alive. If its done correctly the property automatically transfers to your beneficiary when you die
- Joint tenancy with a right of survivor. This is very popular for married couple who own a house together. It can also be done if you’re not married and are willing to hold your property jointly with another. It works a lot like a transfer on death deed. When you die the property automatically transfers to the joint tenant.
- Insurance policies or Retirement accounts. When an insurance policy is purchased or if you have a retirement account you can assign a beneficiary to proceeds after you die.
Oklahoma Trust Options
A Trust is another way to avoid probate in Oklahoma. There are several
different types of trusts. A Trust is totally outside of the jurisdiction of the probate court in Oklahoma. There are several different kinds of Trusts Some examples include revocable and irrevocable Trusts. There’s also Medical Trusts, Family Trusts and Charitable Trusts to name a few. Most Tulsa probate lawyers can explain different trusts and make recommendations for what will best serve your particular estate planning needs.