Monthly Archives: November 2017

Deciding When Lack of Capacity Exists

When a dispute exists concerning a person’s will, one of the most common questions is whether that individual had the capacity to create the document in question. It is often quite difficult to challenge a will. Unless it can be demonstrated that the individual had a lack of capacity, a challenger will be unlikely to raise a strong case. In deciding whether a person lacked capacity to create an estate planning document, it is often vital to review a person’s medical records. If you believe that a person lacked the capacity to create a will and now wish to challenge the document, it is important to understand exactly what lack of capacity in Oklahoma estate planning means. Many individuals also discover that it is just as important to obtain the services of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. What Constitutes Lack of Capacity A person’s mental capacity encompasses that individual’s ability to make rational decision and to process information. A person who has a lack of capacity often experiences difficulty analyzing details. Why Lack of Capacity is Unique There are many medical conditions that can result in a person experiencing lack of capacity. Some of these conditions include Alzheimer’s Disease and     Read More

Tags: , |

Things to Consider When Revising an Estate Plan After Divorce

Divorce results in a number of substantial life changes for many individuals. There are many issues that concern individuals going through a divorce including custody rights and how property will be divided. An additional element that many individuals should consider during a divorce is updating their estate plans. Updates to the estate plan should reflect a person’s new perspective on how end-of-life issues should be handled now that the person is no longer married, and many other changes. It is important that a person understands the many elements of an estate plan that can be affected by a divorce. Revocations of Prior Wills Estate planning laws in the state of Oklahoma dictate that a person’s new will in the state of Oklahoma wll replace any previous wills. It is always a wise idea, however, to make sure that no previous wills continue to remain effective. Even though many wills can be revoked by destroying the documents themselves, some types of wills require being processed through a court of law. Additionally, a new will should also contain a statement that any prior existing wills or versions of the existing will are revoked. Changes to Health Care Directives A person should determine     Read More

Seven Signs that Joint Tenancy is Right for You

There are several ways in which a person can retain interest in a piece of property in the state of Oklahoma. Depending on the facts surrounding property ownership, a person should make a determination about what piece of property is right for him or her. One of the most common types of property ownership, joint ownership, refers to when two or more individuals retain ownership rights in a piece of property. This article will review some of the reasons why joint ownership of property might be right for you. The Survivor Element of Joint Ownership In joint tenancy properties in Oklahoma, when a co-owner dies, that person’s property interest passes to the surviving owners. While some people might be okay with this type of property arrangement, other individuals are not. Despite this feature, it is important for property owners to remember that joint tenancy is not a substitute for a will. A will is required to dispose of any other types of ownership rights that might be associated with this property. Ownership Rights can be Transferred to Third Parties If a property owner transfers his or her title to another person, the purchaser obtains only an undivided one-half interest in     Read More

Tags: , |

Top Reasons Wills are Challenged

Few wills proceed through the probate process without being challenged. In many situations, courts in the state of Oklahoma take the perspective that a will is a person’s final wishes. As a result, challenging a will is often a difficult process. If you plan on challenging a will, it is often critical to obtain the services of a knowledgeable probate attorney. Attorney Jim A. Lyon can assess your case and determine the best strategy for obtaining the compensation that you deserve. This article will review some of the most common reasons why wills are challenged in the state of Oklahoma. Another Will Exists Sometimes, people write multiple wills over the years. There are several ways for an existing will to cancel out an earlier draft of the same will or another will. If the probate court is attempting to decide how an older draft of the will should be read, a person can challenge the will by presenting a new copy. Lack of Capacity Law in the state of Oklahoma requires the party who writes a will to possess the legal capacity to create this document. More specifically, this law means that a person must be over the age of     Read More

Tags: , , |

Signs That a Beneficiary Might be Able to Avoid Probate

Many people want to make sure their children or loved ones are taken care of after their death. They want to take all necessary steps to make sure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes and that the amount is not lost or consumed by government fees. While making sure that this distribution occurs and avoiding a waiting period is critical to many, there are some alternatives to traditional probate that are sometimes easier or better to use than more conventional methods. If an Estate is Small, Avoid Probate by Affidavit If the assets of a person’s estate are below a certain amount, the state of Oklahoma has a law that allows individuals to avoid the probate process. All that a beneficiary is required to do in these circumstances is to present the appropriate court with a document called an affidavit stating that the beneficiary is entitled to a certain asset. Once the person or company holding the deceased person’s property receives this affidavit and an authorized person of the deceased individual’s death certificate, the asset will be released. Heirship Affidavit In the state of Oklahoma, heirship affidavits are used to transfer property when a person dies instead     Read More

Tags: , |