It is widely known that Trust and Probate laws are unique, full of intricacies, and subject to a vast spectrum of variables. Oklahoma probate laws are no different. In this article we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Oklahoma probate and trust laws.
What exactly is “probate?”
Probate is the legal process that protects an individual’s assets and estate when they pass away. Upon death, their assets are distributed, and their family or personal representative must go through a formal court proceeding to get access to those assets.
How long does the probate process take?
Unfortunately, there is no one right answer to this. There are a number of forms to be submitted and prepared for the court, both by the deceased’s heirs or personal representative, as well as their representing attorneys. Sometimes probate can be completed within a few months. If there are any disputes, discrepancies, or trouble tracking down the deceased’s assets or heirs, the probate process can stretch out for years.
Is there any way to avoid probate?
Various accounts like trusts, IRAs, and 401ks can avoid probate because a beneficiary is already on record. Physical assets that are in your name at the time of your death, like your home or your car, must go through the probate process.
I inherited a home, do I still have to pay property taxes?
Typically once a home has been transferred from the Estate to you then it becomes your property to care for like any other home. Paying property taxes is a part of that. That being said, every situation is unique and an experienced probate attorney like Attorney John Alberts of Bedlam Law would best be suited to answer this question given your individual circumstances.
My spouse passed away, am I responsible for the medical bills they accrued before death?
The short answer is yes. In the state of Oklahoma, a surviving spouse is responsible for necessary expenses incurred by the spouse during the course of their marriage, which includes medical bills.
What can I do if I doubt the authenticity of a Will?
If you are named as a beneficiary but have doubts about the Will, or believe you have been fraudulently removed as a beneficiary of a Will, you should contact an experienced Oklahoma probate attorney right away who can help you challenge the will in probate court.
What is the average cost of Probate in Oklahoma?
The cost to take an estate through the probate process varies greatly and is generally determined by the monetary size of the estate.
At Bedlam Law, we have decades of experience in Oklahoma estate planning law. For help with the state’s probate process, or really any other estate planning matter you may have, contact us or call (405) 232-2444 today.