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Probate is a legal process that finalizes a deceased person's estate property. It ensures that their bills and outstanding debts are paid and that distributing assets occurs.

If a person has a will when they die and it names an executor and the beneficiaries, the probate court may determine the will is valid and move forward. Without a will, the court appoints a personal representative to handle the matters of the estate.

An estate attorney or probate attorney can make the process easier and step in if trust litigation occurs. 

In Oklahoma, a deceased person's estate property goes through a legal process known as the probate process. The probate process exists to make sure that the bills and outstanding debts are paid and that the estate property is distributed to the beneficiaries of an estate.

The beneficiaries of an estate are determined either by state law if there is no valid will or by the deceased person's will. The probate process also helps to properly transfer real estate titles to the new rightful owners and helps ensure that there is a clear chain of title. This is very important in the event that the new owner decides that they want to sell the real estate.

Probate court in Oklahoma generally takes around a year for small estates that do not have issues come up. The purpose of the probate court is to validate the will (if there is one), name a personal representative, ensure that the bills and outstanding debts are paid before the assets are transferred to family members according to state law or the will.

The probate court also settles any sort of trust litigation that may arise during this time. A probate attorney can be very helpful during this process.

Probate attorneys, also known as estate attorneys, can be vital before, during, and after the probate process. A probate attorney can help simplify the probate process by assisting you with your estate planning.

By deciding in advance what you would like to do with your estate property, you may be able to minimize estate taxes, as well as determine how to distribute your assets among family members in the future. During the probate process, probate attorneys can represent family members, beneficiaries of an estate, and personal representatives during trust litigation or during probate litigation matters.

After the probate process, probate attorneys can be useful in representing family members, beneficiaries of an estate, and personal representatives in various matters related to the matter. For example, real estate matters related to the estate. Probate attorneys are skilled in probate law and can assist you at any stage of estate planning or the probate process.

Can You Handle Probate Court on Your Own?

Although you can technically handle attending probate court on your own, probate law is incredibly complex. It involves notifying creditors, beneficiaries (including possible beneficiaries), waiting for a court day, and having a personal representative appointed by the court. If there is a will that is validated by the Oklahoma probate court, it does help with the process, but it does not make the process any easier for the beneficiaries of an estate to begin fighting, particularly if there is real estate involved. Additionally, even if the estate does not qualify for estate taxes, income taxes must be paid for the deceased person as well as the bills and outstanding debts. These debts must be paid before distributing assets to the beneficiaries of an estate can begin.

Depending on the estate assets, there may be certain assessments that must be made to determine their value. If you are the personal representative or executor of the estate, you are required to file certain reports with the probate court as well. There is a lot of time, work, and stress that goes into handling an estate. A probate attorney can make the process much easier. They can handle the creditors, the required notices, the reporting, and all of the requirements under state law on your behalf.

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To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us.

Ball Morse Lowe is here to make a difficult time easier for you. If you're struggling with the probate process, our probate attorneys can help you whether you are a beneficiary of an estate or a personal representative.

Our goal is to provide individualized attention to make the probate and estate planning processes as easy as possible for our clients.