Derryberry & Naifeh, LLP
Our Practice

Oklahoma City Legal Blog

Drunk driving and related charges follow deadly accident

When young people are involved in motor vehicle accidents, they may live the rest of their lives with the scars, both physical and emotional. The lessons and warnings they may have received as they learned to drive are brought home in the most painful way. When these accidents involve charges of drunk driving, a young person may face a very uncertain future.

One Oklahoma 18-year-old is in such a situation following a tragic accident in the early morning hours of a recent Wednesday. The girl was driving a vehicle with three passengers when she lost control of the vehicle, and it struck a curb. The impact sent the car rolling, and as it rolled, two passengers, a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old, were ejected and thrown onto the highway.

Periodic estate planning review keeps things up to date

Planning ahead is often the best way to avoid problems. People who plan ahead are known to save time and money as well as have more opportunities than those who play it by ear or make it up as they go along. When it comes to estate planning, making those preparations early in life can have many advantages, such as allowing one to build a substantial estate for one's heirs. However, there are likely to be events in life that will require alterations to one's will or other documents.

Changes in the family dynamic can call for revisions to one's will. For example, getting married or having children may mean alterations in property ownership and certainly new considerations about one's beneficiaries. Additionally, children entering one's life may raise the question of appointing a guardian or establishing a trust to provide security for the children until they reach adulthood. Without these preparations, the state of Oklahoma may step in and make decisions that the parents would not want for their children in the event the parents meet an untimely death.

The Oklahoma DUI process

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can lead to injury and possibly death. Therefore, the courts treat it severely, and so should anyone facing DUI charges.

In order to preserve their rights and freedom, it is important that drivers handle the situation properly. They should be prepared for the Oklahoma DUI process.

How can an attorney help with probate administration?

When loved ones die, it is not uncommon for Oklahoma family members or friends to discover they have been named estate executors. As personal representatives of an estate, they often have a long list of probate administration responsibilities that they are legally bound to complete with the utmost care. Failing to do so may result in facing personal conflict with the beneficiaries of the estate or even legal and financial issues with the probate court, the IRS or other creditors of the deceased. This is why many seek the assistance of a probate attorney.

How hard can it be? Some may feel that they can handle the process of reading the will and distributing the assets according to the wishes of the deceased. However, each state has different rules for how probate is handled, and most people without legal experience may be unfamiliar with those rules. For example, there are steps one must take to settle disputes among the heirs or to pay any outstanding taxes or debts. Failing to follow the proper procedure may complicate the probate process.

Charles Manson's wills raise estate planning questions

Even those in Oklahoma who were not yet born at the time of the gruesome murders attributed to the Manson family likely recognize the name Charles Manson and his distinctive face with the swastika tattoo on his forehead. Manson had spent the last 48 years in prison in another state following a killing spree that left nine people dead. His recent death at the age of 83 has left some questions about the estate planning of the convicted murderer.

While there is some chance that Mason's estate has some assets of value, the man spent most of his life behind bars. He is believed to have written and recorded some songs with the Beach Boys, but whether he gained anything from those projects is uncertain. What is in dispute at the time is the apparent existence of two contradictory wills supposedly written by the infamous prisoner.

Man faces drunk driving hit-and-run charges

Police in Oklahoma respond as quickly as possible when they receive word that someone is in trouble. Often, law enforcement relies on average citizens to be their eyes and ears, leading them to the scene of a crime or directing them to someone suspected of wrongdoing. One woman placed herself in danger after reporting a hit-and-run accident by a man who was also suspected of drunk driving.

After another driver struck her car, the woman phoned police as she followed the driver. Police located her and the suspected hit-and-run driver in the parking lot of an apartment complex. When the driver saw the police, he apparently attempted to exit the complex parking lot, hitting the apartment building's sign. Police surrounded his vehicle, and the driver put his car into reverse and allegedly rammed into a police cruiser.

Probate administration begins with a will

Those designated to be the personal representatives of estates should be prepared to devote many months to the process. Probate administration is typically uneventful, but there is always the possibility that an unforeseen event will throw the process into a tailspin. The potential for delays and disputes may appear early in the process, and executors of estates in Oklahoma may find it helpful to understand how the process begins.

The will is the starting point of probate administration. If the estate has no will or other planned documents, many decisions will be left in the hands of a judge, who will act in accordance with state laws. The executor's next step is to list the beneficiaries with as much detail as possible, including their birth dates, Social Security numbers and contact information to facilitate their verification as heirs. After this, compiling a comprehensive list of the deceased's assets and liabilities will be necessary.

Many still put off estate planning until it is too late

While medical science may be increasing the life expectancy of the population in general, this doesn't necessarily mean everyone will live longer. In fact, accidental deaths, particularly fatal motor vehicle accidents, may be on the rise. There are no guarantees in life, yet people in Oklahoma continue to procrastinate when it comes to estate planning.

The media recently reported a story from another country where the court accepted an unsent text as the last will and testament of a man who apparently planned to disinherit his wife. The importance of such a decision may seem trivialized by having it expressed in a text that the writer did not even send, and the family was subsequently embroiled in a lawsuit to sort out the affair. This is why estate planning advisors recommend that people use more conventional methods for establishing their last wishes.

Estate planning important for Oklahoma farmers

Aside from distributing their assets to their loved ones, many people use estate planning for other reasons, for example as a tool for long-term health care planning, to minimize probate, to provide for someone with special needs or to avoid estate taxes. The federal estate tax exemption for individuals is currently $5.5 million, so some may feel estate planning is unnecessary for the average person. However, Oklahoma farmers may not have the luxury of avoiding such preparations.

Farmers own millions of acres across the country, and those who earn their living from the land typically own 500 acres or more. Including the going value of farm land, farm equipment, fertilizer and seed, farmers may have millions of dollars in assets. However, many farmers earn only a middle-class income from their efforts, and that is only in years when prices are high and natural disasters are few.

Key facts to understand about your DUI charge

Driving while under the influence is a serious offense in the eyes of the law. If you face a DUI charge, you may encounter serious penalties.

To reach the best possible outcome, it is important you understand the process ahead of you. There are a few key facts to understand about your DUI charge:

contact our firm

4800 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Toll Free: 866-661-0893
Phone: 405-708-6784
Fax: 405-528-6462
Oklahoma City Law Office Map