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The probate process can be difficult, stressful, and overwhelming. As an experienced probate lawyer, I can ensure you or your loved ones will be taken care of.


It’s easy to put off estate planning. The end is unpleasant to think about, and most of us rely on having many more years of health and happiness to enjoy before we need to start preparing. While I sincerely hope this is true for you and your loved ones, it’s important to plan ahead and ensure your family will be able to grieve if the unexpected happens.

After all, estate planning isn’t just about the deceased. When you or a loved one passes away, the legal process that follows can vary in complexity based on how thoroughly the will and/or trust were set up. If you’re already in the probate process, you know how confusing and difficult it can be.

You deserve a probate attorney that will treat your situation with compassion and professionalism. Whether you’re planning your own estate transfer or you’ve been appointed as an executor of a loved one’s estate, I’ll be there to help you through every step of the way. To start, I’d like to help you understand a few things about the probate process.


What is Probate?


If this is your first time dealing with estate planning, you’re probably hearing a lot of new words, one of which is probate. Probate is the term used to describe the legal process of validating and authenticating a will. It also refers to the administration of that will. When someone passes away, a court appoints an executor of a will if one exists. Most wills specify an executor.


What Happens if There is No Will?


Despite how important estate planning is, the reality is that many people never take the time to create one before they pass away. When this happens, a court will appoint an administrator to take the place of an executor.

In the state of Oklahoma, the law of descent and distribution is used to distribute assets when no will is present. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the deceased’s spouse typically receives half of all assets, while any children will split the remaining half.


Trusts vs Wills


Because of their proximity to one another in probate law, trusts and wills often get confused. However, they are distinct. A will is a legal document that outlines the distribution of assets someone owns after they are deceased. A trust is an arrangement in which someone gives another person the right to control and manage their assets to benefit a specific person or purpose.

Wills go into effect immediately after death, while trusts go into effect upon a specified transfer of assets. Some trusts, called living trusts, can even go into effect before the trustor has died.


Have You Been Appointed as an Executor?


If you’ve been appointed as an executor, you’re probably close to the deceased. While you should feel honored that they trusted you enough to fulfill their wishes, you’re probably also having a difficult time processing your responsibility. Executors are often expected to document the inventory of the deceased’s assets and deal with any creditor claims that remain. This process can feel overwhelming.

It’s important to know that you don’t have to go through this alone. I have many years of experience dealing with the probate process, and I promise to make it as easy and straightforward for you as possible.


Do You Want to Set up Your Own Will or Trust?


Depending on your circumstances, setting up your own trust or will can be stressful. When you aren’t familiar with probate law, the different requirements might confuse you, which is not what you want when making such big, personal decisions. It can also be difficult to understand how the probate process will play out if you haven’t seen it in action before.

That isn’t to say you can’t craft a will or trust on your own, just that having a knowledgeable probate attorney can make the process smoother, the will more thorough, and your family’s future more secure.


Let Me Be Your Legal Guide to Wills and Probate


Depending on the estate and how well it was planned, probate can be long, stressful, and complicated. It’s the last thing you’ll want to worry about when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. If you’re planning your own estate transfer, it’s the last thing you’ll want your family to worry about.

As an experienced estate planning attorney, I’ll carry these burdens for you. Let me guide you through the legal process so you can focus on making the decisions that matter most.

Reach out to me at michael@michaelsvernonlaw.com or (405) 514-5002 for your consultation today.