Probate is a comprehensive process by which an individual arranges for the transfer of his or her assets after their death.
Probate can refer to the process of determining the validity of a will or administering an estate, which usually involves settling all outstanding debts and passing remaining property to the appropriate beneficiaries. Trust Gary W. Crews, PLLC to be your probate attorney in Tulsa and throughout the state of Oklahoma. Our areas of expertise include:
The process begins by determining whether the estate needs to be probated or if distribution of assets can be conducted through trust administration, a small estates affidavit or other means. If probate is needed, we will carefully guide you and your family through the process to achieve your loved one’s wishes. We represent executors or administrators of an estate, as well as other family members with an interest in the deceased’s estate.
Heirs are allowed to handle the probate themselves if they desire. But, they must deal with tax laws, real estate laws, probate laws, IRS laws and inheritance issues. What’s more, a person can be held individually liable if they err in handling the probate. Simple failure to notify an interested party such as a long lost relative, or a creditor, or failure to meet a deadline can unravel what seems to be a simple process. Complications often arise from disputes among heirs, disputed Wills, disinherited children, former spouses and step-children.
If your loved one had a Revocable Trust, we can assist in carrying out the wishes that the decedent left in their Trust. Often times the Trust language is confusing for a lay person. We have the experience to assist you in determining those specific plans and then carrying them out. Or if the plan is vague or ambiguous, we can assist in obtaining clarification. We can also be there for you if there is disputes with other relatives fighting over the assets.
Probate becomes even more complex when an estate includes oil and gas ownership. However, our knowledge of both probate law and oil and gas law allows us to handle these challenging issues so that you and your family can continue to get royalty payments. Is the oil and gas land in Oklahoma, or is it in Texas or another state? Was the oil and gas property addressed correctly, or at all, in the deceased’s Will? Is royalty money being held in suspense by the oil and gas company or the State of Oklahoma? Regardless of the specifics, you can count on our experienced probate guidance.
An ancillary probate is a separate probate that needs to be conducted for any assets owned outside of the deceased’s home state. For example, if an individual in New York owned oil and gas land or mineral rights in Oklahoma, an ancillary probate would need to be conducted in Oklahoma in addition to the primary probate that was conducted in the home state of the decedent.
The need for this process often catches family members by surprise. They conduct probate in the deceased’s home state and think everything is okay, until the oil and gas company stops sending royalty checks. The checks will be suspended or turned over to the state in unclaimed property until an ancillary probate is conducted in the state where the oil and gas property is.
Many Oklahoma ancillary probate cases are referred to us by fellow lawyers and other parties from probates around the country. The majority of these cases involve oil and gas royalties, mineral rights or working interests.