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Probate administration can be a burden without help

It may seem like an honor when someone trusts another enough to leave him or her with the task of administrating an estate. However, even if there is a will, the duties required for successful probate administration in Oklahoma are burdensome and time consuming. If a person has no experience in estate law or probate, he or she may end up resenting the deceased for being left with an overwhelming responsibility.

After determining that a probate estate is necessary, the administrator must begin the job of collecting and inventorying the estate's assets. This inventory includes anything that the deceased did not own jointly and any accounts for which the deceased did not name beneficiaries. Typically, the inventory must be filed within a certain amount of time after opening the estate.

Creditors must be notified that the person has died. There is a court form to use for this, and some creditors may require a copy of the death certificate. Notifying the credit bureau may also prevent identity theft that may be committed by using the Social Security Number of the deceased. These are just a few examples of the forms to complete, applications or petitions to file, testimonies to give and timelines to follow during the months of probate.

In addition to the time and effort involved, the administrator also has the risk of being legally responsible for any violations or mistakes that may be made. Many in Oklahoma avoid this added worry by seeking the assistance of an attorney with years of experience handling probate administration. An attorney can help with every step of the process, relieving much of the stress and worry that may accompany probate.

Source:, "Tips you need to know to take a loved one's estate through probate", Nov. 18, 2016

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