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Questions Answered by Reece B. Morrel Jr

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: My dad divorced my mom and remarried,he died without a will in Oklahoma. How do I get my share of his estate??

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Jan 10, 2019

If a person dies without a will, they have died "intestate."

The next step is for someone to file a "Petition for Probate" and describe how a search for the will was made but no will was found.

The Probate Court then looks to the default distribution rules for heirs as described in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Oklahoma on

Q: If partner operates 2nd clinic under same name as 1st with II does contract apply to both, entitled 2 profit from both?

Part owner of 1 clinic partner got mad at me and started operating new place under same name but II after it. Am I entitled to same payout as with 1st clinic?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Jan 8, 2019

Quite frankly, I think the "payout" is the least of your concerns right now.

Obviously, the place to start is with whatever contract, operating agreement (LLC), partnership agreement or shareholder agreement (corporation) you may have. These documents frequently make reference to a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Oklahoma on

Q: I pay at least 98% support for grandson n daughter. Can I claim my grandson on income tax?

My daughter 34 yo and grandson live with me in oklahoma. My grandson has been here since May 2016 n her sept 2016. She works but has made less than $5000 for the year. I pay at least 98% for both of their care and housing etc. She is behind on child support for another child. Their lawyer is saying... Read more »

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

According to the IRS, you can claim someone as a dependent if you provide for more than half of their support. But, this rule can be modified if there is a divorce decree or some other governing document.

Assuming that you meet the requirements, I should warn you that it gets more...
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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Oklahoma on

Q: If I live in TX and telecommute for a company in OK as a 1099 contractor, am I responsible for OK income tax?

All work will be performed in TX without me ever traveling to OK. My understanding is that OK receives a copy of the 1099. If I am not responsible for OK taxes, I don't want to end up in a dispute with the OK taxing authority.

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

Congratulations, you have landed on a real "hot-button" topic - especially when Oklahoma is suffering from a budget crisis.

To be honest, I really need more facts to be able to advise you properly.

But let me give you something to consider. The statute-of-limitations starts to run...
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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Oklahoma on

Q: What do I do if we need an advance care directive for my mother, but she has dementia?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

This is a very good question, and a topic at a continuing education conference I recently attended.

Ultimately, it does depend on how much her dementia impacts her ability to understand what is going on.

Some people may not be able to drive, but can still understand what is going on...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: How long before an estate can no longer go to probate after a person dies with no will in Oklahoma.

Six years ago my mother-in-law passed away with no will. The estate never went through probate because one of the siblings kept saying they would get around to selling the house and dividing the rest of the estate between the surviving siblings. The siblings are not wanting to wait any longer but... Read more »

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

Paying real estate taxes does not make someone the owner of the house.

As far as the State of Oklahoma is concerned, your mother-in-law is still the owner. The way to correct this is to file a probate case.

Anyone of the siblings can file a probate. As part of the paperwork, it will...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on

Q: How large does my estate need to be in order to justify hiring an estate planning attorney?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

Good question. In all fairness, the value of your estate should not be the primary motivator for hiring an estate planning attorney.

A proper estate plan will describe what actions need to take place to take care of you (your actual physical person) and your property. This "pre-paid" plan...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: What would be a good reason to get a lawyer while going through the probate process?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

The quick answer to your question is that the probate process is a very technical area of the law, and an easily overlooked "mistake" could prove to be very costly and detrimental to your position.

Don't worry about the lions, and tigers, and bears that you hear coming. Worry about the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on

Q: Does the fact that a death is a suicide affect the terms of that person's will?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Dec 12, 2018

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your loss.

The only situation that I am aware of involved a murder-suicide.

Spouse #1 killed Spouse #2. Spouse #1 then committed suicide.

Spouse #1 cannot inherit from Spouse #2 since they were the cause of death.

For this and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Tax Law for Oklahoma on

Q: My wife has a tax question. Per her divorce decree her and her ex are supposed to alternate years claiming their son.

There was a order of protection and my wife and her ex could not contact one another. The decree was final in 2017 and he was claimed by his dad in 2016 for 2015 when they were apart. My wife not her ex claimed their son in 2017 for 2016. Who is can claim their son for 2017?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Nov 19, 2018

I have worked on several of these cases in the past. Usually, the Judges do a fairly good job of making their instructions clear. If not, the Judge gets to see the case again. Not something they are anxious to do.

If it is not clear, I would have your wife's lawyer contact the ex-husband's...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: Are there situations where you still need to go through probate even if the decedent had a will?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Nov 5, 2018

When you file your probate paperwork (the petition) with the court, you actually attach the original will as an exhibit.

Yes, you need to go through probate to see that the will is appropriately administered.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on

Q: Can my dad will me his business or is there some other step he has to take beyond that to ensure his business transfers

to me when he dies?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Oct 13, 2018

Yes, there are other steps you need to take. I DO NOT recommend the use of a will to transfer a business because it may take to long to complete the necessary steps.

There are several methods that can be used to transfer your Dad's property interest in his business to you.

However,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: So my dad had a living trust - is that what we submit to the court?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Sep 26, 2018

One of the main reasons why a person prepares a "Living Trust" is to avoid the need to probate a will. Consequently, you may not need to submit anything to the Probate Court.

However, if your Dad owned property that was not owned by the "Living Trust", then you will need to file a Petition...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Oklahoma on

Q: If my grandma signed a nursing home arbitration agreement two days before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, is it

possible to get it invalidated?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Sep 24, 2018

You probably should consult with an attorney on this one. Your specific case will be very "fact-intensive."

In order to sign a contract, you must have "legal capacity." If your grandmother did not have legal capacity (due to Alzheimer's), the next question to ask is whether or not the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on

Q: How does an advanced healthcare directive work in the context of estate planning?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Sep 24, 2018

In traditional estate planning, we are concerned with 2 major areas. The first is the "health" of the client, and the "second" is the property of the client.

When dealing with the "health" of the client, we are concerned about 2 time periods. The first time period deals with "maintenance"...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: My dad passed away, and owned his house can they take it from us.

My dad passed away he owned his house free and clear. The only thing is, is that he didn't leave a will. We, my brother and my sister and I, our names are not on the house. Can they just take it from us. And make me move out when I have been living here for a couple years now? One lawyer... Read more »

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Sep 7, 2018

In a probate case, the petitioner (you, on behalf of your family) will:

1. Gather ALL the assets of your Dad (real estate, bank accounts, tangible property, etc.)

2. Determine any taxes owed (federal and state income tax, real estate tax, etc.)

3. Determine any debts owed...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Oklahoma on

Q: Can I petition for guardianship or conservatorship for my mom in OK if I live in IL?

My mother who lives in Okmulgee County, OK has been diagnosed with dementia, and I want to petition for guardianship and/or conservatorship. However, I live in IL. Per law 304104, I don't think OK nonresidents can be guardians, and I am not sure about conservatorship.

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Sep 4, 2018

Yes, you may petition for Guardianship but you will need someone residing in Oklahoma to help "administer" the Guardianship - someone that the Court has authority over.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Tax Law and Business Law for Oklahoma on

Q: Company makes us file as independent contractor but we’re employees. Is there an anonymous way to report them?

We’ve researched definitions of what makes an employee. We know they’re not in stone but we feel they meet enough we should be employees. It’s for a Trivia game nationwide company & we host trivia games at bars. So: they tell us when & where to work. They supply the items needed to host a... Read more »

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Aug 20, 2018

Welcome to the murky waters of employee vs. independent contractor.

Part of the problem is that you have several agencies - both federal and state - with overlapping jurisdiction.

In Oklahoma, you have the IRS, the OTC and the OESC just to name a few.

Not only that, but a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oklahoma on

Q: Can a child I've disowned still somehow get my assets if I don't write my will in the correct way?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Aug 14, 2018

It depends on how you have "disowned" them.

If you do not have any estate planning documents such as a will or trust, then a Probate Court will follow the Oklahoma statutes as to how you property is distributed to your heirs - which can include your children.

YOU are able to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Oklahoma on

Q: Can people of any income level qualify for Medicare?

Reece B. Morrel Jr answered on Aug 3, 2018

Typically, income is not considered in determining eligibility.

The usual age of eligibility is 65 years old. However, Medicare is available to those that have been eligible for Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months or who have end-stage renal disease.

Hope...
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