Can I Set Up My Estate to Protect My Heirs from the Oklahoma Probate Process?
Total avoidance of probate difficulties is hard for most individuals to accomplish. However, it is possible to substantially reduce the effect that probate can have on the inheritance of loved ones. You do not need a large estate to benefit from the advice of an experienced Oklahoma estate planning lawyer when planning for the future of the people you want to protect.
The probate process essentially provides an organized way to identify all assets held by the decedent — and all parties who have a legal right to those assets. As explained by the Oklahoma Bar Association, the heirs are often not the only parties to have claims against the estate. The courts also consider the rights of creditors to collect outstanding debt, as well as the outstanding tax liabilities that need to be addressed by the estate. Then, the court distributes the remaining assets to heirs, as provided by the will — or by the Oklahoma laws of descent and distribution, in the event no will exists.
Certain property is not subject to probate, typically, if it is removed from direct ownership. In addition, certain retirement benefits, and property held in joint tenancy with another party, are protected from probate, if both parties have the right to survivorship. Oklahoma estate planning lawyers can also help you place assets in trust, which transfers ownership from you to the trust, and removes it from the list of probate assets.
Anyone who works hard to financially protect loved ones should take appropriate action to continue that protection after death. The law firm of Eller & Detrich, A Professional Corporation takes a personalized approach to address the unique goals and needs of clients. In addition to helping develop effective estate plans, we represent the interests of heirs during the probate process. Contact us to learn how we can help.