With a comprehensive estate planning practice, the probate attorneys at Tulsa County Lawyers Group are equipped to help you. Probate involves the process of proving that a deceased person’s will is valid. It also provides an inventory and appraisal of the deceased person’s property. Through this process, both debts and back taxes are paid. Probate is also used to distribute assets as directed by the will. Further, if there is no will probate distributes assets by intestate distribution.
Probate is the process used by courts to ensure that all the property of the deceased is accounted for and all debts and taxes being paid. Please Contact us for more information on how to probate a will or any other probate concerns in Tulsa. Our Tulsa County Probate attorneys are here to help you resolve any estate matters you have and close the case as quickly as possible.
Oklahoma Probate Process:
A personal representative oversees the probate process. The decedent or an agreement of the beneficiaries choses the executor. If neither happens the Probate court will appoint a personal representative. The executor of a will ensures the wishes of the deceased carry to completion. The duties of the personal representative consist of the following:
Identify, posses, protect, and conserve all of the deceased real and personal property rightfully belonging to the estate;
Properly account for and collect all rents, payments, and debts due to the estate, including interest, dividends, claims and notes;
Determine the possible heirs of the estate;
Pay any outstanding debts of the estate; and
Carry out the orders of the district court in all matters before the court and distribute the property to the proper heirs.
Probating a Will In Oklahoma:
The probate process starts with filing a petition to probate the will. If no will exists, the estate probates by intestacy. One must file the original will with the petition. Further, all heirs must receive in person notification, and a notice must publish in the newspaper. A notice of creditors sets after the court approves the petition. A preliminary inventory of the estate is filed. Then a probate referee appraises the assets. A notice further provides if assets need selling pending the resolution of the estate.
After paying all the estate debts and taxes, the personal representative distributes the remaining property to the beneficiaries. This is done either as instructed by the will, or under the intestacy laws of Oklahoma State. However, creditors and interested parties may challenge the validity of the will. Our attorneys equip themselves to handle such matters.
What Property Goes in The Probate:
Note, some of the decedent’s property may not go through the probate process. This is because it passes to another person contractually. This includes things like proceeds of an insurance policy and property owned as joint tenants with the right of survivor-ship. Revocable and irrevocable trust held during the decedent’s lifetime also avoid probate.
A common misconception about probate is that with the existence of a valid will, the probate process can be avoided. Although the existence of a valid will can help speed up the process, many cases still require probate.
Probate Fees, Costs, and Taxes
Court costs, estate and inheritance taxes, and attorney and personal representative fees are common costs associated with the probate process. Court costs depend on a schedule of charges made for each matter handled by the court. Federal guidelines set estate and inheritance taxes on a yearly basis.
2004-2006 – Exemption amount = $1.5 Million
2006-2008 – Exemption amount = $2.0 Million
2009 – Exemption amount = $3.5 Million
2010 to later – Exemption amount = $5 Million
Oklahoma no longer charges a tax against an estate for persons who passed away before 2010. Attorney fees to administer probate though depend upon reasonable charges as found in the industry. The personal representative is allowed a fee, fixed by law, based on a percentage of the probated estate. The percentage varies from 2.5% to 5%, depending on the nature of the services the representative must perform. Fees for attorneys and personal representatives are subject to the approval of the district court.
Get a Free Consultation With Our Probate Attorneys:
Contact us to schedule your free consultation with a Tulsa County Probate attorney. The Call is Free so Call today 918-379-4864. You don’t have to go it alone. We care and we can help you.