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Probate Administration Attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Probate is known for being a complicated and overwhelming legal process. But it does not have to be something you face alone. A probate administration attorney with experience in estate law can be an invaluable resource to your family during this rocky chapter.  

At Brier Law Firm, PLLC, our lawyer, Leslie K. Brier, provides Oklahoma residents with a variety of probate and estate planning-related services. With a background in finance and banking, Attorney Brier puts serious care and effort into protecting your financial interests throughout the planning and administration process.  

We also provide estate planning counsel and representation for those across the Tulsa area including Cherry Street, Kendall-Whittier, Mcclure Park, Patrick Henry, South Peoria, Longview Lake, Turley, and throughout Rogers County and Wagoner County.  

Understanding Probate Administration 

Probate administration is the legal process by which a deceased person's estate is managed and distributed by an executor. This includes validating the will, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the rightful heirs. 

Overview of the Process

The probate process typically begins with the filing of the deceased's will with the probate court, accompanied by a formal petition to commence probate.

Once the court validates the will, the appointed executor or personal representative takes on the responsibility of identifying and inventorying the deceased’s assets. This includes safeguarding the assets and making necessary notifications to creditors and beneficiaries.  

The executor must then pay any outstanding debts and taxes from the estate, ensuring all financial obligations are settled before distributing the remaining assets to the rightful heirs as directed by the will.

Maintaining clear records and communicating with beneficiaries helps ensure transparency, legal compliance, and smooth estate administration. An experienced attorney can help you with this process in a number of ways: 

  • Validating the will: A probate administration lawyer can help ensure that your loved one's last will and testament is properly validated in court. This is important because if there are any issues with the will, it may not be accepted as valid and could lead to complications in distributing assets. 

  • Determining whether probate is necessary: In some cases, a will may not need to go through probate if the estate is small or has already been set up with beneficiaries. An attorney can help you determine whether probate is necessary and guide you through the process. 

  • Managing assets and debts: During probate administration, an attorney can help with managing the deceased person's assets and paying off any outstanding debts or taxes. This can be a complex process, especially if there are multiple creditors or complicated financial situations. 

  • Resolving any conflicts: Unfortunately, family disputes may arise during probate administration. A lawyer can help facilitate communication and work towards resolving conflicts peacefully.

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Common Conflicts That May Arise

No matter how prepared you are for the process, probate administration can often lead to disputes among family members and other heirs. Some common conflicts that may arise include: 

  • Will contests: Heirs may challenge the validity of the will, claiming that the deceased was not of sound mind, was unduly influenced, or that the will was improperly executed. 

  • Asset distribution disputes: Beneficiaries may disagree over the value or distribution of assets, believing that they are entitled to a larger share or that the executor is mismanaging the estate. 

  • Executor conflicts: There can be conflicts between the executor and the heirs over how the estate is being managed, including decisions about selling property or handling investments. 

  • Creditor claims: Creditors might come forward with claims against the estate, disputing the amounts they are owed or the priority of their claims. 

When problems crop up, having a probate administration attorney can be crucial. An attorney can provide objective legal guidance, mediate disputes, and make sure the estate is administered according to the law and the deceased's wishes. 

An Executor's Responsibilities 

An executor, also known as a personal representative, plays a crucial role in making sure that a deceased person's estate is administered according to their wishes and in compliance with the law. This responsibility can be daunting, particularly for those unfamiliar with legal and financial matters.  

If you've been named executor for your loved one's estate, remember that a probate administration attorney's guidance and support can be invaluable. Having a solid understanding of your responsibilities will help you navigate the process more smoothly. Some of an executor's main duties include: 

  • Filing the will with the probate court: The executor must submit the deceased person's will to the appropriate court to begin the probate process. 

  • Inventorying assets: The executor is responsible for identifying, locating, and taking inventory of the deceased person's assets, including any real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property. 

  • Managing the estate: This involves safeguarding and possibly liquidating the estate's assets as needed to pay debts and distribute inheritances. 

  • Paying debts and taxes: Executors must ensure that all outstanding debts and taxes owed by the deceased are paid from the estate before distributing the remaining assets. 

  • Distributing assets: Once debts and taxes are settled, the executor distributes the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will. 

  • Keeping accurate records: Executors are tasked with maintaining detailed records of all transactions and communications related to the estate. 

  • Communicating with beneficiaries: Throughout the process, the executor must keep beneficiaries informed about the estate's status and any important decisions or developments. 

Ready to Be Your Guide & Advocate

Many people underestimate the need for an efficient estate plan. Some trusts may even lead to skipping probate. However, even the best-laid estate plans lead to necessary probate, which is why it is vital to have an attorney on your side who is well-versed in estate and probate laws. 

Attorney Brier has experience with resolving complex legal matters and disputes. There are times, for example, when family members or friends of the deceased may contest a will or estate plan during probate. If necessary, we will represent you in litigation. Whatever complications you're dealing with, our lawyer is ready to help you to face them. 

Probate Administration Attorney Serving
Tulsa, Oklahoma

To learn more about the probate process or how to build an effective estate plan, connect with our office in Tulsa, Oklahoma today. You can call or leave us a message describing your needs by using our online form to set up a consultation. We proudly serve clients in and near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and throughout Rogers County and Wagoner County.