Blog

Common Mistakes Made During the Probate Process

Many people have questions about the probate process. Some of the most common questions relate to appointing a fiduciary, when a fiduciary must begin performing his or her duties, and what will happen if a fiduciary does not act in accordance with someone’s wishes. As a result of these questions and many others, individuals often find the probate process to be overwhelming. To help individuals prepare for navigating the probate process, this article will discuss five of the most common mistakes that are made and how to avoid them. Not Maintaining a Piece of Property Some executors are unprepared for the significant responsibility that accompanies a house or large piece of land. Even though an executor might have the purest of intentions to make sure that a piece of property is adequately maintained, sometimes executors are overwhelmed and unprepared for such a responsibility. If the property is not adequately maintained, it may decline in value. The best way to avoid this mistake is to make sure that the executor understands the significant duties that come with temporarily holding property for a beneficiary. Not Keeping Adequate Records For executors, it is critical to make sure that all elements of the probate     Read More

Tags: , , |

Bankruptcy 101

Bankruptcy is a complicated area of law that is difficult for many to understand. Like any body of law, one of the most complicated factors is that it involves a unique group of keywords that are used by judges, lawyers, and individuals in the middle of the legal process. Anyone going through the bankruptcy process can benefit from understanding some of the essential terms used throughout the bankruptcy process. Important Bankruptcy Terms Some of the most important bankruptcy terms that should be known by individuals who are in the midst of the process include the following: Absolute Priority: When a person makes payments during the bankruptcy process, these amounts are distributed in accordance with the absolute priority, which is established in the federal bankruptcy code. Automatic Stay: An automatic stay refers to the block that is created when a person files for bankruptcy and prevents creditors from collecting on debts in any manner. Core Proceedings: There are many things that occur during the bankruptcy process, but core proceedings refer to steps that are decided on by the bankruptcy court. Dischargeable Debt: Debt that is eliminated when a person files for bankruptcy is considered to be dischargeable debt, while debt that     Read More

Tags: |

Advantages of Estate Planning for Business Owners

A person’s estate plan has the capacity to contain critical information about what should be done with a person’s estate after his or her death. In nearly every situation, it is critical that a person begins estate planning as soon as possible because it is impossible to determine when catastrophe will strike or death will occur. For business owners, this type of planning is even more important because a significant amount of many business owners’ wealth is directly connected to their companies. As a result, the strength and nature of a business owner’s estate plan dictates how that business will be transitioned between generations and either cause a great deal of money to be lost or gained based on how the transfer occurs. This article will discuss some of the particular advantages that estate planning tools offer for business owners. Advantage #1: Estate Tax Reduction An estate tax is a tax that is placed on the estate of a deceased individual. These taxes can represent a large amount, and in some cases can cost up to 50% of a business’s value. Various elements of the Internal Revenue Service’s codes, however, allow individuals to use probate tools to minimize the amount     Read More

Tags: , , |

Three Things to Avoid Before Filing for Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you need to fully prepare for the many obstacles that can arise during the process. Failing to sufficiently prepare or taking incorrect steps during the bankruptcy process has the potential to significantly jeopardize your future. So that the bankruptcy process can continue as smoothly as possible, this article has been created to inform an individual who is planning for bankruptcy about various things that must be avoided before filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Error #1: Treating Family Members Differently Than Other Debtors Many individuals who have significant debt and who must ultimately file for bankruptcy believe that it is permissible to treat family members more preferentially than other debtors. This type of activity is not allowed, however. A bankruptcy trustee is able to reclaim any amount that a person repays to a family members within two years of filing for bankruptcy. As a result, individuals should treat family members like any other person to whom the individual owes money and wait to repay them. After the bankruptcy process is over, an individual will be able to pay back anyone that he or she chooses. Error #2: Not Appearing at     Read More

Tags: |

How Long Will Bankruptcy Take?

While bankruptcy allows individuals a chance to rebuild their credit and start on new ground financially, this action is not for everyone. There are many distinct factors that can affect a bankruptcy and influence how long the process ultimately takes. This article will list some of the various factors that can influence how long a person’s bankruptcy process will take. Factor #1: The Number and Value of Assets a Person has In some cases, a person might have a great number of assets that the person wishes to save, while in other cases, a person might declare bankruptcy because the individual has fallen into debt. Generally, the greater and more valuable the assets that a person has, the longer that person’s bankruptcy process will take. Factor #2: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Resolves Faster Than Other Types of Bankruptcy In many cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts between three to four months. Frequently this process will involving obtaining an experienced bankruptcy attorney, filing an issue with the court, and liquidating a person’s nonexempt assets. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is good for many individuals, a person is at risk of losing many of his or her assets in the process. The advantage of Chapter     Read More

Tags: , , |

Buying a House After Bankruptcy

Recovering after a bankruptcy is not something that occurs quickly. Many individuals who declare bankruptcy have questions about how long it will take before they will be able to purchase a home. In many cases, the type of loan that a person requires for a house and how the person handles credit after their declaration of bankruptcy influences this process. Mortgage companies offer different “seasoning periods” after a person declares bankruptcy. Lenders might also have additional requirements about the length of time a person must wait after declaring bankruptcy. While some individuals struggle to recover after declaring bankruptcy, other individuals discover that they are able to buy a house within few years. If you are interested in buying a house, it is important to increase your credit profile and sometimes even obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney. This article will list some of the various factors that can influence the amount of time that a person can expect it will take to obtain a loan to purchase a house after declaring bankruptcy. Factor #1: Whether a Person Declares Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Whether a person declares Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will also determine how long     Read More

Tags: , , , |

Paying Utility Bills After Declaring Bankruptcy

In many cases, a person filing for bankruptcy might have fallen behind on his or her utility bills, which can include electric, gas, telephone, sewer, or water bills. As a result, many individuals are often left wondering how utility bills should be handled after they declare bankruptcy. This article will explain some important details about the bankruptcy process and your utility bills. Automatic Stays in Bankruptcy After initiating the bankruptcy process, a person needs to make sure that utility bills are listed as debts in his or her bankruptcy schedule. These schedules must list all delinquent accounts including utility debts that are owed and accounts that a person intends to keep paying. All companies included in the bankruptcy schedule will then receive notice that the person has filed for bankruptcy protection. As a result of these notices, the utility company is not permitted to discontinue a person’s utility services. Due to the automatic stay that is created when a person files a bankruptcy petition, all efforts by utility companies and associated collectors are prohibited. These efforts can include bills, lawsuits, or phone calls. Despite this protection, however, a person will be required to pay new bills that arise after filing     Read More

Tags: , , |

Selecting an Executor for Oklahoma Estate Administration

Probate is the court supervised process in which a judge determines how a will applies to the distribution of assets and debts belonging to a deceased person. The amount of time involved in the probate process changes based on whether family members can agree on how the process should occur. Overseeing this process will be an executor, who can be selected in a will or appointed by a court of law. To make sure that a strong executor is appointed in estate planning documents, many people find it essential to contact a skilled attorney. Tips on Selecting an Executor Executors are named in a legal document which must meet certain requirements. In addition to contacting a skilled estate planning attorney, it is also often beneficial for individuals who are about to be engaged in this process to understand some important advice that will make the whole process easier. Name a Second Executor. It is important for individuals to locate not just one but two potential executors in case the first executor is unable to perform the function for whatever reason. Finding more than two potential executors, however, is frequently difficult to manage. Potential Limitations in Selecting an Executor. There are     Read More

Tags: , |

How Long Will Probate Take?

OKC Probate Attorney Jim A. Lyon provides legal services for probates and estates. There are alot of common questions regarding probate law. One of the most common questions is 'How long will probate take?'. There is, unfortunately, no universal answer to how long the probate process in Oklahoma will be. There are a variety of elements that influence exactly how long each probate will take. One of the best ways to limit the length of the probate process is to retain the assistance of skilled legal counsel. Another way to anticipate the length of probate is to understand the various factors that can affect the length of the process. Factors that Influence the Length of Probate There are numerous factors that can influence how long the probate process takes, but some of the most common factors that influence this process include the following: The Location of the Personal Representative: When personal representatives live close to the attorney, it can be easier for individuals to quickly visit legal counsel at a moment’s notice resulting in a quicker process. The Number of Beneficiaries: The more beneficiaries that are involved in the case, the longer the probate process will often take. The reason for     Read More

Tags: , |

What Happens in Probate of a Will?

If a person has assets at the time of his or her death, these assets must pass through the probate process where the validity of the will is determined. In addition to avoiding fraud, there are several other important elements of the probate process. This article will describe several of the elements that occur during the probate process. Common Steps in the Probate Process Courts in Oklahoma tend to follow some frequent steps in the probate process, which include the following: Opening Probate. This process involves presenting a court of law with an original copy of the will along with a petition to commence the probate process. Assessments of Assets. A deceased person’s assets can include all personal and real property belonging to that person. Once all of the assets have been identified, the value of these assets must be assessed. Notification to Creditors. Creditors, or parties that the deceased individual owes money must be notified that the probate process is occurring. Litigation. If there is a dispute that exists about the value of a will, a court of law will resolve this dispute. Payment of Taxes. Before the deceased person’s assets can be distributed, the remaining assets must be     Read More

Tags: |