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Mistakes made while trying to avoid probate administration

If a person earlier in life has not prepared his or her estate, he or she will certainly begin to consider it when growing older. While the primary purpose of making a plan may be to provide loved ones with a secure future, a person in Oklahoma may also want to make the time and expense of probate administration as easy or unnecessary as possible. That person may weigh several options.

Many people try to bypass probate by simply giving their assets to their loved ones before they die. This could have detrimental effects on two accounts. First, it may leave the person with no funds to provide for medical needs, and secondly it may burden the heirs with unexpected tax repercussions. Using this method to avoid probate should only be done with an attorney's guidance.

Another option is to establish a trust that would allow the person to maintain control of his or her assets, then have them distributed after death without the need for probate. The person must draft and sign a trust, then transfer the titles of all properties to the name of the trust. This last step is the one many people skip, and the trust will not work if the property is not transferred to it. Skipping this step will force an estate into probate after all.

The advice of an Oklahoma attorney can be invaluable to someone who is concerned about probate administration. Since everyone's situation is different and everyone's estate is unique, one's attorney can explain the options available for estate planning. A lawyer can assist anyone in establishing a plan that will provide well for loved ones and bring peace of mind.

Source:, "Avoiding the headache of probate", Cassandra Jones and Michael Millward, Jan. 1, 2017

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