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A probate law book with Gavel - Legal Advantage GroupWhen you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to do is to deal with courts and paperwork. While already struggling with heartbreak and loss, the court system requires you to move forward with the administration of their will and estate through the probate process.

Families find themselves in probate court for the redistribution of a loved one’s assets according to their will, assuming they even had one. It is a lot to ask of families to focus on this difficult and time consuming process, which is why we step in to help. By advising you throughout the process we can not only help reduce the stress and difficulty, but also lower the risk of conflicts and resolve them rapidly if they arise.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process required to transfer property and assets out of a deceased person’s name and onto their designated beneficiaries. In Oklahoma, it happens in several crucial stages, which can make for a lengthy, complicated, and sometimes conflictual process.

Step One: Reviewing And Approving The Will

First, the court will need to determine whether the deceased person had a will and, if so, whether it is legally valid.

Anyone can draft up a will to have their assets distributed according to their wishes after their passing. However, if you try to do so on your own without respecting the laws and conditions involved, it might end up being rejected by the court.

If a will is found, it is then up to the probate court judge to determine whether the terms of the will are legally valid. If it is approved, then an administrator is charged with handling its execution.

Step Two: Executing The Will

Once a will has been reviewed and approved, someone has to actually go through the process of putting it into action.

When a loved one dies, any assets or property still held under their name cannot be transferred without the approval of the court. To make that happen, the probate court appoints an administrator or executor for the will, depending on whether they died with or without a legally valid will.

Usually, an executor is designated in the will, but when they are not (or there is no valid will), an administrator is appointed instead by the court.

Estate administration is often handed over to a loved one, but can easily end up being a considerable burden, especially when they are already dealing with the emotional burden of loss and stress. It is certainly a step a lawyer can help you handle while avoiding any errors that might cause conflict and prolong the process.

Step Three: Distribution Of Assets

The executor has a number of responsibilities throughout the probate process. Most notably they will have to handle the transfer of titles for the assets and properties still in the deceased person’s name.

Once that is done, they can then set about fulfilling the wishes outlined in the will. This might involve transferring those deeds, titles and other assets to their intended beneficiaries, but it might also require the sale of some or all of them and the distribution of proceeds instead.

It also requires notifying any creditors and paying off the deceased person’s debts and other obligations during the process. This is another area you cannot afford to make a mistake in, which is why you should proceed with the help of a lawyer or law firm experienced with the probate administration process.

Depending on the complexity of the will, the number of assets involved, and any sales required, this step of the process could take months or years.

Why Can Probate Be So Long And Expensive In Oklahoma?

Sometimes, probate is a relatively straightforward process. This often happens when there are not too many assets involved or their distribution is simple and uncontested.

Unfortunately, the larger the amounts involved, the higher the fees required by both the court and the administrator, and the more you will lose to taxes and other costs during the probate process.

The really expensive and time-consuming probate procedures, however, come with conflicts and challenges. If one or more family members challenge the will, the executor or administrator’s actions, the distribution of assets, or any other aspect of the process, that can add months, if not years, to the probate process.

Fortunately, your family does not have to go through any of that alone, and by working with an experienced probate lawyer from the start, you can avoid many possible sources of conflict or resolve them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You Don’t Have To Go Through This Alone, Contact A Probate Attorney Near You

Legal Advantage Group understands that going through probate can make it difficult to focus on healing and moving on after a loved one has passed away. If you are going through probate in or near Edmond, Oklahoma, our probate guidance will provide you with peace of mind so that you can grieve without stress.

There are a lot of complex details when it comes to probate. These steps are confusing and frustrating and can be expensive if something is overlooked. With over 75 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are here to walk clients through the probate process from start to end. You do not have to go through it alone; call our attorneys today. Contact us at (405) 449-5777 to discuss the probate process and get legal assistance with any difficulties you may be having.

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