In Oklahoma, as well as many other states, you will not find a probate court. Estate issues are handled in any one of the 77 District Courts. Regardless of the court, it is still the probate process governed entirely by the state of Oklahoma. If you are dealing with an estate that is headed towards probate you are probably needing an Oklahoma probate attorney.
Why an Oklahoma attorney? Like we said, probate follows state rules, codes and procedures. Why a probate attorney? It has become very common for attorneys to specialize. When they do, they acquire extra training in their field of expertise.
Finding a knowledgeable probate attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton or anywhere else in Oklahoma should be as easy as finding one of the 77 District Courts, they are all over. Try getting a referral from a friend or co-worker. Listen also for horror stories about the ones you want to avoid. You could also try Legal Match, an online attorney referral service.
If you are lucky, the deceased person died testate, and the will is not being contested. Testate means the person died with an acceptable will in place, as opposed to intestate, without a will. If that is the case, and the estate is small, you should not expect to pay more than a few hundred dollars in legal fees. It's possible you may even be able to do it yourself. The forms are all here.
If the deceased was intestate, or the will is contested, or if there are tax issues involved, or if minor children are involved, or if the estate is large, do yourself a big favor and hire an Oklahoma probate attorney. Some estate cases can spend over a year in probate court and run up thousands in attorney fees. If this is what you were left with then you really have no choice but to pay.
Is that what your heirs will have to go through? Or have you worked with an attorney and created an estate plan, one that should avoid probate court all together. It can be done, with the help of an attorney, and no one will ever have to go to court fighting over you belongings.
There are many reasons to hire an Oklahoma probate attorney. We recommend you take your time, talk with several and chose the one you feel the most comfortable with. The longer you work with this attorney, the more he is going to know about you, just like your doctor. It is important that you feel comfortable and relaxed every time you meet with your attorney.
We'd love to hear your comments or opinions. Submit them here and other visitors can read them and comment on them. An e-mail address is not required.
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