Questions Answered by Tyler R. Barrett

Q: My husband is deceased and I have utility checks in his name I can't cash. What can I do at this point?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 20, 2017
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Hi,

First and foremost, I am sorry for your loss. Regarding your question, probate is typically necessary anytime someone dies owning property in only their name. Oklahoma has procedures for summary administration and small estate affidavits, both of which are generally less costly than normal probate. However, specific requirements must be met. Regardless, it make not make sense to do anything if the checks at issue are small amounts. I recommend talking with a probate attorney.

Q: Joint Tenancy Warranty Deed

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Mar 6, 2017
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
In order to be completely confident, I would need to examine the deed. Generally speaking, however, there are two methods for terminating a joint tenancy in Oklahoma. First, the surviving joint tenant(s) can petition the district court for an order terminating joint tenancy. Second, the surviving joint tenant(s) can file an affidavit in the county land records. For either option, I would recommend that you consult a knowledgeable attorney, as the the facts of your particular case may require...

Q: Does the Transfer-On-Deed in Oklahoma allow the listed features below?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jan 5, 2017
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
A Transfer-on-Death Deed does not constrain the grantor's ability to sell the property during his/her lifetime. In addition, generally speaking, because a Transfer-on-Death Deed is a testamentary transfer (meaning it takes effect at death), the tax treatment is the same as property disposed of by Will or Living Trust.

Regarding your questions about Medicaid, I would strongly advise you to consult in person with an attorney knowledgeable in this area. Medicaid is an extremely complex...

Q: Does Oklahoma require that the Executor of a Will to be a resident of Oklahoma?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jan 5, 2017
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Hi, thanks for your question. Oklahoma does not require the Exexutor (or Personal Representative) of a Will to be a resident. Nevertheless, depending on the circumstances of a particular situation, it could be more prudent to name an Executor who lives near the Will maker. Each case is different, and the decision about who to name as Executor is one of the most important in the estate planning process. Therefore, you should consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.

Q: Does Oklahoma support the Enhanced Life Estate Deed? Can a Enhanced Life Estate Deed be completed without a lawyer?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Mergers & Acquisitions and Real Estate Law for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jan 4, 2017
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Hi, thanks for your question. In Oklahoma, we call this a Transfer-on-Death Deed. Our statutes specifically authorize it. I cannot speak for other attorneys. However, I typically do estate planning matters on a flat fee - which varies depending on the nature and complexity of the documents I am preparing. This could range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to $2000 or more. Obviously, my fee would be minimal for a Transfer-on-Death Deed. That said, I recommend consulting with knowledgeable...

Q: Does an estate have to be probated in Oklahoma if the deceased lived in another state?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Dec 2, 2016
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Hi, thanks for your question. As a general rule, if a person dies leaving property in their name only (meaning it is not in a trust and there is no joint owner), then a probate is necessary to transfer the property to the deceased's heirs and/or beneficiaries. Assuming someone had property in Oklahoma but died while a resident of another state, then it is likely that the estate would have to be probated in both Oklahoma and the state of residence. I recommend that you contact a knowledgeable...

Q: In OK Probate, Title 58 Sect. 331, presentment date has to be at least 2 months. How do you determine what a month is?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on May 12, 2016
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
For purposes of Title 58, Section 331 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the minimum notice is 60 days. If the presentment date stated in the notice falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the presentment date is deemed to be the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The statute also sets forth publication requirements.

The Personal Representative must consult all sources at hand to determine the known creditors of the deceased. In the event a creditor does not receive...

Q: Is there some sort of form that can be filled out to get my home out of probate so I can refinance?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Feb 11, 2016
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
I am sorry to hear that your wife passed away. Unfortunately, because the home was not in joint tenancy, it will be necessary to probate your wife's estate in court. Only then can your wife's name be removed from the title so you can refinance. Moreover, if you and your wife have children and your wife did not have a will, the children could be entitled to inherit partial ownership in the house. While you can represent yourself, I highly recommend that you hire a probate attorney. The probate...

Q: Is there an approved form for an Affidavit of Death for the Grantor of a Transfer on Death deed? Is thee a requirement

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Nov 5, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
There is no need to obtain a release from the Oklahoma Tax Commission while the grantor of a transfer on death deed is living. If the grantor of the transfer death deed died prior to January 1, 2010, a release from the Oklahoma Tax Commission would be required.

Q: Is it legal to deed land by owner after it is listed in a will

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Nov 5, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Yes. A will does not take affect until the person who made it dies. Therefore, so long as the person is living, their will does not impact the ability to buy, sell or otherwise deal with property listed in the will.

Q: If i die and leave a house with a mortgage to my son, can he sell it?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Nov 5, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Assuming the house is titled in your name alone (and not a trust or joint tenancy), then your son would have to probate your estate in state district court in order to sell the house. In the event that the mortgage was not paid off at the time of your death, the bank could theoretically foreclose on the mortgage. However, they are would be unlikely to do so provided that payments continued to be made. Your son could sell the house in probate and receive the leftover proceeds after paying off...

Q: My stepmother lives in Florida and owns real estate in Oklahoma which has a mortgage she is paying. She set up a revocab

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Nov 5, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
In order to transfer the property to her trust, your stepmother will need to execute a quit claim deed and record such in the land records of the county in Oklahoma where the property is located. Prior to doing so, she should confirm that no one else is on the title to the property. I recommend that she consult with an attorney about this matter.

As for your question regarding the mortgage payments, this really just depends on how the trust provisions are written. Without reviewing the...

Q: My mother and father are deceased. My mother was the last to die. Do we after 20 years have to probate her estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 23, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Assuming your mother's portion of the property was owned in her name alone, as opposed to a trust or joint tenancy, then you will need to probate her estate. Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to sell the house during the probate case, with the court approving the sale. Or you could wait until after the probate case is over and ownership of your mother's portion of the property has been transferred to her heirs as determined by the court, presumably you and your siblings.

Q: Can I sue my father's widow, for my part of his estate, he had no will, and no children with her.She has not spoke with

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 23, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
I am sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, if the property was owned by your father and his wife in joint tenancy, there is nothing you can do. The property passed automatically to her upon your dad's death, and she is now the legal owner of the property.

Q: I have been married for 1 1/2 yrs. I believe my husband is showing signs of dementia which he will be tested for in July

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 13, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Thank you for the question. First of all, I am sorry to hear about your situation. I have family members who suffer from Alzheimer's disease/dementia. It's a tough thing to go through for everyone involved.

I will preface my answer by pointing out that this is a complicated issue. A lot of what I'm about to say depends on how advanced your husband's condition is and whether he's competent. If he's not, a court-ordered guardianship is your only real option, as your husband could not...

Q: Does Oklahoma law recognize a will prepared out of state that did not require probate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 6, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Why did the out-of-state will not require probate? Oklahoma recognizes out-of-state wills that have been admitted to probate in other states. Typically, there is a probate first done in the state where the person who made the will resided at the time of their death. Then subsequent probate cases can take place in any other state where the deceased owned property.

Q: I have a good will, however, since making it I purchased a rental house. Should I do a addendum, to cover all problems?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 6, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
Hi, thank you for your question. How old is the will? Your estate plan should be reviewed with an estate planning lawyer at least every few years because changes to your personal and financial circumstances could render your existing documents less effective or even obsolete. In your case, the purchase of a rental house has likely increased the overall size of your estate, which may raise tax concerns. Additionally, there are liability issues associated with ownership of rental properties....

Q: My Mother passed 15 years ago the executor has not probate the will what happens now

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 6, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
If your mother owned any property in her name alone at the time of her death, then a probate will still be necessary in order to legally transfer title of the property to her heirs. Because the named executor has neglected to probate the estate for so long, another interested party (such as yourself) could petition the court to be appointed to oversee the estate.

Q: My parents are deceased and I am the only surviving heir..What do I do about the property?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 6, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
More information is needed to answer your question. In particular, how was the property titled? In both your parents' names as joint tenants? In only one of their names? Most likely, it will be necessary to probate one or both of the estates of your parents. I recommend that you seek the advice of a probate lawyer on how to proceed. You can call my office at (405) 928-4075 to schedule a free consultation.

Q: What is the distribution of an insurance company upon death of owner in oklahoma if deceased has no will

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on
Answered on Jul 6, 2015
Tyler R. Barrett's answer
To whom, and in what proportions, insurance proceeds are distributed following the policy owner's death depends on whether there was a payable-on-death beneficiary. If the policy owner designated a beneficiary prior to his or her death, then that person(s) would receive the proceeds. Otherwise, the deceased's estate must be probated, and the insurance proceeds would be paid out according to the Oklahoma laws of intestate succession. In this case, that would likely mean one-half to the surviving...

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