Monthly Archives: March 2017

Should You Create a Will or a Living Trust?

There are many types of estate planning documents that one can create, including a Last Will and Testament, Codicil to Will, Living Will, Living Trust, Transfer on Death Deed, and a Durable Power of Attorney. For the sake of this article, we are going to discuss the differences between two most commonly asked about estate planning tools: The Living Trust and the Last Will and Testament. At Jim A. Lyon Law Firm, our Oklahoma City probate attorney assist clients in the creation of their end-of-life documents, so that they may make the probate process easier on their loved ones in the event of their death. If you are in the process of creating your estate planning documents, but you are unsure of whether to create a Living Trust or a Last Will and Testament, contact our Oklahoma City probate law firm. We can assess your estate and end-of-life wishes and help you determine the best document based off of your needs. What is a Will? A Last Will and Testament, more commonly known as a will, is a written document that specifies how you wish your property to be distributed in the event of your death. A will can be amended at any point throughout your [...]

2017-03-08T21:30:37+00:00

Oklahoma Probate Basics

Most individuals understand that they need a will or trust in place in order to ensure that their assets go to whom they want them to go to upon their death. However, many individuals do not understand what goes on beyond the creation of their estate planning documents or, more specifically, how the directions of their will are carried out after death. When an individual dies, their estate goes through a process called "probate," which is the legal process of transferring over a deceased individual's assets upon their death. Probate serves many purposes, including ensuring that all debts are paid off, that the will is distributed according to the deceased's wishes, and that fraudulent behavior does not occur. At Jim A. Lyon Law Firm, our Oklahoma probate attorneys oversee the probate process and ensure that proceedings go smoothly. What Does the Probate Process Entail? When a will is contested, the proceedings can become a bit more complicated, and typically require aggressive legal assistance to ensure that all beneficiaries receive what is rightfully theirs. However, when a will or estate planning document - such as a trust - is uncontested, probate is a fairly quick and pain free process. The probate process of an uncontested will [...]

2017-03-08T21:30:37+00:00

Petition for Letters of Administration

If an individual close to you should pass away without having a will in place, an administrator is appointed to manage the estate. This process is not as simple as just picking somebody, but must first go through the Petition for Letters of Administration and then be approved by the court. There are several different ways in which an administrator is chosen. If priority is not given to a surviving spouse or an heir close to the deceased, the court will appoint someone. The family is then given ten days to either object or accept the court's decision. How Does the Court Choose an Administrator? Unfortunately, many individuals fail to create a will or estate plan before they pass. However, most people leave behind at least some assets upon their death. In order to properly manage all of the deceased's assets, and in order to ensure that they go to the proper beneficiary or heir, an administrator must be appointed. Usually this title goes to the closest surviving spouse or heir by unanimous decision from other remaining heirs. However, when the vote isn't unanimous, the decision goes to the probate court. Under the Petition for Letters Administration, all heirs are [...]

2017-03-08T21:30:37+00:00

Protecting the interests of your family through ancillary probate

Probate is the process of evaluating an estate and proving that the will of a deceased individual is valid. This is a common requirement for families wishing to settle the estate of a recently passed loved one, but this process can become quite complicated when assets and property located in another state come into question. When this situation arises, a family will need to go through ancillary probate. This process is conducted for any property owned outside of the deceased's home state. Some families may not even realize that they must go through this process until they are unable to secure the money they expected to receive. An experienced legal ally is essential for effectively navigating the ancillary probate process. How do you know if you need an ancillary probate in another state? This is a common question, and one that is frequently asked by people concerning property, especially oil and gas rights, in Oklahoma. If a person from another state owns the oil or gas rights to property in Oklahoma, the beneficiaries of this estate must go through ancillary probate. Your family may need the assistance of an Oklahoma ancillary probate attorney if the following apply to your situation: Your [...]

2017-03-08T21:30:37+00:00