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Executor may need to prepare for probate administration

Few people in Oklahoma take the time to plan their estates. To do so may be unsettling to some, but it is a generous gift to loved ones who are left behind. Part of estate planning is selecting someone to be executor of the estate. This job includes seeing the estate through probate administration, which is not always an easy task. The duties and challenges of an estate executor may not be fully appreciated until one has undertaken the job.

One common flaw many make with their estate plans is failing to openly discuss the plans with heirs and agents. Knowing ahead of time than one has been assigned the duties of estate executor may allow the designee to prepare for the responsibilities ahead. For example, the executor should know where to find important documents, whom to notify after the testator's death and any particulars of the will or trust that may need to be addressed.

Older adults are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that less than half of senior citizens use alcohol. However, alcohol can present new problems as people age.

Most senior citizens do not drink and drive, but the harsh truth is that alcohol affects older adults much differently than they might realize. Even healthy senior citizens need to be more careful about driving after drinking.

Man faces drunk driving charges after colliding with patrol car

Being involved in a traffic accident with a police officer is not a good thing. A driver who collides with a patrol car may face even more trouble if he or she is suspected of drunk driving. Such an incident occurred recently just after midnight on an Oklahoma street. One man is now in jail facing charges of drunk driving and more.

The 48-year-old man was driving his pickup westbound when he allegedly crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with the oncoming patrol car. The vehicles hit head-on, and both ended up on their sides. Fortunately, the off-duty officer suffered only minor injuries, and he was treated and released from a nearby hospital.

Bill adds penalties for drunk driving and those who serve alcohol

Oklahoma lawmakers continue to seek ways to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on the road. More specifically, they are working to draft legislation for harsher penalties for drunk driving offenses. One such bill that passed through the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is now on the docket in the Senate extends its penalties well beyond the driver of the vehicle. The bill is named for two women who died in drunk driving accidents.

If the bill passes into law, anyone over the age of 21 who is convicted of driving while intoxicated may be ordered to abstain from alcohol for a certain period of time. At that point, the court will confiscate the person's driver's license and replace it with one that is stamped with an alert that the driver is alcohol restricted. Not only does this stamp notify police that the driver is restricted, but it also notifies anyone selling or serving alcohol who asks to see the person's ID.

No estate planning means long, expensive probate for Prince heirs

As the one year anniversary of Prince's death approaches, probate drags on. Because the superstar did no estate planning, the court is left to decide the best interests of the estate and its heirs without knowing Prince's intentions. While some progress has been made over the past year, fans in Oklahoma may be frustrated to see that new disputes arise among the heirs with each court decision.

Dozens of men and women sought a portion of the estate, but the courts managed to narrow it to six likely heirs. These include Prince's sister and five half-siblings. However, there has been little teamwork among the six, and they soon broke into two factions over the choice of personal representatives. Both representatives in question had affiliations with Prince in the past, but because of the discord among the siblings, the judge denied their request for a personal representative.

Woman accused of bribing officer during drunk driving arrest

One of the attractions of consuming alcohol is that it often allows one to relax and forget about the day. Unfortunately, that is also one of the serious drawbacks of imbibing. The day after people have been drinking, they often regret the things they said or did the night before. A critical regret for many is drunk driving. One Oklahoma woman may have experienced some remorse for her behavior after her recent arrest for DUI.

In the early hours of the morning, law enforcement received numerous calls about a disturbance in a local neighborhood. Police reported finding a woman at the address who was kicking at the door of a house at which she did not reside. When they confronted the woman, officers said her eyes were bloodshot, her speech was slurred and her breath smelled strongly of alcohol. The woman allegedly began yelling at the officers.

Probate administration follows deceased's wishes if a will exists

Many may have a fictionalized idea of the importance of estate planning. After watching movies about rich and powerful parents threatening to write their children out of their wills or spoiled college students pouting about the limits on their trust funds, people in Oklahoma may conclude that estate planning is only for the wealthy. In fact, anyone who owns property or other assets would benefit from creating a will because they may save their heirs many common frustrations associated with probate administration.

Without a will, a deceased person's property typically goes to a surviving spouse. In fact, even if a person writes a will that excludes the spouse, the spouse may legally claim part of the estate. Aside from that, if the deceased made no plans for the estate, the property is managed according to the intestate laws of the state. These are uniform laws that treat each intestate estate equally, following a hierarchy of heirs.

DUI arrests for women on the rise

Driving under the influence is a serious problem in the United States. The FBI found that the number of men arrested for DUI dropped by 16.8 percent in the years from 2003 to 2012. The number of women arrested for DUI during the same period increased by 20.9 percent. Men do make up the majority of impaired drivers, but women's arrests are on the rise.

Estate planning often includes difficult end-of-life topics

End-of-life decisions are difficult conversations to begin. Most people in Oklahoma prefer to ignore the subject, perhaps thinking they will be able to make decisions about their own health care up until their last breath. Still others have taken the step of starting the conversation about estate planning and end-of-life wishes, but the results were murky. In fact, a recent survey showed that even those who believe they have expressed their wishes may not have made those wishes clear.

The study conducted on veterans ages 55 or more showed that 40 percent did not have a living will or health care proxy. A living will gives instructions regarding medical treatment a person wants or does not want if the person should ever become too ill to express those wishes. Someone may choose a health care proxy to make those critical decisions, such as whether the person should be resuscitated if it means he or she will continue living in pain or with mental impairment.

Drunk driving suspect faces weapons charge

Oklahoma police are usually on the alert when they pull a driver over for DUI. With any traffic stop, police are never certain what may transpire or what danger they may face. This may be especially true in the case of drunk driving because alcohol may make a driver less inhibited or more confrontational. One Texas driver recently discovered this when he encountered police after witnesses reported him for driving under the influence.

Police received a call describing a vehicle that may have been operated by an intoxicated driver. When officers noticed a vehicle matching the description allegedly driving 15 mph over the speed limit, they pulled the driver over. The officer claimed he smelled alcohol but reported that the driver denied drinking and evaded requests for a Breathalyzer test. Eventually, the man agreed to field sobriety tests, and police say he admitted to having a gun in his vehicle.

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