October 2014 Archives

What does a will do?

There are many benefits allowed to Oklahoma residents who draw up a will. Without one, however, a decedent's assets will automatically go to his or her next of kin in the manner laid out in state regulations.

The benefits of a special needs trust

For parents of physically or mentally disabled children in Oklahoma, a special needs trust can be a powerful tool to help cover the cost of their care. The trust can be designed to function while a parent is still alive or after a parent passes on. If the trust makes payments while a parent is still living, it can and should be designed in a way to ensure that the child remains eligible for government benefits.

What to know about probate

In Oklahoma, it may take six to 12 months to complete the probate process for a simple estate. Larger estates with property that may need to be sold may take longer to go through the process. Ten days after an individual passes, a personal representative may be appointed to collect necessary information, and creditors will get up to two months to file claims against the estate.

The use of a living trust in estate planning

Some Oklahoma residents may be concerned about how their assets will be distributed to their heirs after they pass away. In order to ease the process, some may look into creating a living trust that suits their needs. Although not necessarily the tax haven some consider them to be, living trusts can nevertheless allow someone to exercise greater control over their asset portfolio both during and after the course of their lifetime.

How probate protects Oklahoma property

The probate process is important for protecting all of the property left by the deceased. The court oversees the entire process to ensure that the personal representative of the estate distributes all of the assets according to the wishes of the deceased. If no will exists the court might attempt to execute the estate in a way that is fair to the decedent's heirs. The court also oversees debt payments, attorney payments and the payment of fees for the personal representative.

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