Probate Process: Clearing the Confusion
Your loved one has passed. You have now been thrust into the world of probate. It’s a legal process that is often quite confusing if you don’t have an experienced probate attorney to help guide you through the legal maze. As a Bartlesville probate attorney, I can help untangle this twisted legal process that often has family caught in its sticky web during their emotional time.
What is Probate?
In the state of Oklahoma, when a property owner dies there is a legal process that determines their assets, the value of the assets, and how the property is distributed to their remaining creditors and any possible heirs. The hearing takes place in the district court where the deceased lived in here in Oklahoma. There could be ancillary administration in another state if the descendant owned property outside the state. The court will assign a personal representative which could be a spouse, child or a bank to distribute the deceased property goes to the right parties. That’s the reason why estates go to probate because the court wants to make sure all of those with interest in it are protected.
How Long Does Probate Take?
That’s often the second question I hear as a Bartlesville probate attorney, the simple answer is probate doesn’t end soon enough and it can drag on for an extended period of time. There is not always a simple answer to that question. Probate can take at least 10 days for a hearing to be scheduled for the court to assign the personal representative. Creditors must be give at least 2 months to respond, after an ad is placed in the newspaper to give them notice. Plus, you have to add in at least 3 weeks into the equation for the personal representative to get a hearing in which, he or she would file an accounting of the handling of the estate funds to the court. Then add in the time it takes the state of Oklahoma and U.S. governments taxing authorities to complete an audit of the estate tax, that ads anywhere from 2 to 15 more months.
Your head may be starting to spin with all of these dates, but there are even more hoops to jump through. The Oklahoma Bar’s latest estimate is that for a simple estate, probate could take any where from 6 to 12 months. That’s why you need a Washington County probate attorney to help you through this difficult process and to explain it to you and your entire family.
Consult Today with a Bartlesville Probate Attorney
If your loved one has passed away and you’re looking to see what your options are, contact The Wirth Law Office – Bartlesville. It’s a confidential phone consultation with a Bartlesville Probate Attorney simply by dialing (918) 213-0950 or toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law. Or submit your question in the “Ask an Attorney” form at the top right of this page.