Bartlesville Estate Planning and Probate Attorney

If you need assistance in planning your estate, going to probate court, or dealing with an inheritance, the Persaud Law Office can help. Probate law and estate planning are confusing processes for many people.  We’re here to help with the difficult legal technicalities involved in estate planning and probate law and to ensure that gifts and property end up in the hands of the right people, and that heirs and loved ones are properly taken care of.

Estate Planning

When you plan your estate, you decide what will happen to your property after you die. Estate planning options include:

  • Wills

  • Trusts

  • Joint tenancies (to find out more about joint tenancies, click here)

  • Transfer on death deeds

  • Contractual arrangements, and more...

To find out what is the best estate plan for you, you should consult a qualified estate planning attorney, who can apply the law to your specific situation, and help you select the plan that is right for you. Click here for a brief overview of several estate planning options.

 

Wills

Even if you have very little property, you should plan your estate, and you should have a will. Click here to see why. Don’t try to draft a will yourself, and don’t use the homemade will templates available at the store or on the internet. There are difficult legal technicalities involved in drafting a will, and the homemade will templates are not specific to meet your individual needs. For further reasons why you should hire an experienced will lawyer to draft your will, click here.

Advance Directives

Living Wills

Another area of law, in which an estate planning attorney is highly desirable, is advance directives. In an advance directive, you specify your wishes in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself. A living will is an advance directive in which you state whether you do, or do not, want to be given life-sustaining medical treatment if you are incapacitated

Durable Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is an advance directive in which you name a person who will be able to make medical, legal, and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. 

Probate

A probate action is a court case filed after a person dies. In a probate action, the judge decides, among other things, who receives the deceased person’s property. For further information on probate in Oklahoma, click here.


If you have a relative (or anyone else who has left you property) who has passed away, and if there is any property in the decedent’s name, you will need to file a probate action to inherit the property. Because probate can be complicated, you should definitely retain a will and probate lawyer to represent you.

Trust and Guardianship of Minor

If you have a minor child, and would like the child to inherit money or property when you die, a good option is to create a trust. 


A trust is a legal entity, in which one person (the trustee) manages property for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary.) If you create a trust for a minor child, the trustee would manage the property for the benefit of the minor child; the minor child would be the beneficiary. For more information on trusts, click here.

You should also nominate a guardian for your minor children, in the event that you die or become incapacitated. The guardian(s) act as if they were the child’s parents. A guardian has the power to enroll the child in school, and obtain medical care for the child. To see how to nominate a guardian for your minor child, click here.


A trust, or guardianship, is also useful if you have an adult child who is disabled, and will not be able to care for himself. See my blog post: Caring for a Disabled Adult Child. A trust also may be useful if you have an adult child who is not disabled, but who is not mature or responsible enough to manage money for himself.


For a step as important as planning for the care of a minor or disabled child, you should definitely consult an experienced trust attorney.

Who Is Kyle Persaud?

Kyle Persaud has practiced estate and probate law in Oklahoma since 2009 and is a life-long resident of Bartlesville.  He strives to help the residents of Bartlesville in the will, trust, and estate planning process and ensure that children are left in the care of the best possible guardian.

Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to make a will?


You must have testamentary intent; that is, you must have the intent to execute a will. You must be over the age of 18 and be of sound mind. You must sign the will. You must sign at the end of the will. You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses. You must declare to the two witnesses that you are signing the will. The two witnesses must be mentally capable of understanding what is going on. The witnesses must not be “interested witnesses”; that is, they may not be people who would receive any property under your will. Any gift to an interested witness is void. The will does not need to be filed in any particular place, but it should be in a place where it can be found when you die. It is not required that a lawyer assist you. However, it is recommended that you to seek the assistance of a lawyer. There are difficult legal technicalities involved in the preparation of a will, and without proper legal counsel, a gift could end up in the hands of the wrong person.




If I don’t have a will, what will happen to my property when I die?


If you don’t have a will, you are said to have died intestate. Your property then would go to your next of kin. See the Oklahoma Intestate Succession Law to find out who your next of kin are.




If I don’t have a will, what will happen to my minor children when I die?


A guardian will be appointed for your minor children. A guardian is a person appointed by the court to take care of the person or property of another. A guardianship can be granted over a child when the parent(s) are deceased or unfit. A guardianship can be granted over an adult when the adult is incapacitated. When a guardian is appointed for a child, the guardian functions much like the child’s parent; the guardian can enroll the child in school, take the child to the child to the doctor, etc. A guardianship over a child can terminate if the parent(s) are found to have regained their fitness. A guardian also has control over the ward’s property, whether the ward is a child or an adult. One of your relatives can ask the court to be appointed guardian. Here is where it can be a major advantage to have a will. If you nominate a guardian in your will, you can choose whom you want to be the guardian of your children after you die. If you do not have a will, your children could potentially be under the care of someone whom you do not desire to be the guardian of your children.




If I leave property to someone in my will, and that person dies before I do, what happens to the property?


If you leave a gift to a relative, and the relative dies before you do, then your relative’s descendants inherit the gift. If your deceased relative has no descendants, then your gift becomes part of the “residue” of your estate. If you leave a gift to a non-relative, and the non-relative dies before you do, then your gift becomes part of the “residue” of your estate. If a gift is part of the residue of your estate, then the gift then passes to whoever your will says should receive the “residue” of your estate. If you leave the “residue” of your estate to a relative, and the relative dies before you do, and leaves no descendants, then the residue passes to your next-of-kin, under the Oklahoma Intestate Succession Law. If you leave the residue of your estate to a non-relative, and the non-relative dies before you do, then the residue passes to your next-of-kin, under the Oklahoma Intestate Succession Law. For the purposes of this law, your spouse is considered to be a non-relative.




I have a minor child or a disabled child. I want him to inherit my property, but I’m not sure that he can manage it. What can I do?


You can create a trust. You can specify that one person (the “trustee”) has the power to manage property for the benefit of your child. Your child is then deemed the “beneficiary” of the trust. You can specify that the trust will terminate when the child reaches a certain age. You can create a trust in your will, and no extra work is required. You can also nominate a guardian for a disabled adult child. For more information on guardianships, see my blog post " Caring for a disabled adult child."




What are advance directives, living wills, and durable powers of attorney?


An advance directive is a document that describes your wishes, in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. Two common types of advance directive are living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. A living will is a document that tells whether or not you would like your life to be extended by life-sustaining treatment, including artificial nutrition and hydration. You may write a living will saying that you do wish to be given such treatment if you become incapacitated, or that you do not wish to be given such treatment if you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney for health care is a document, in which you state that, in the event you become incapacitated, you name another person who is empowered to make medical decisions for you. In a durable power of attorney, you may also state that this person has the power to make legal and financial transactions on your behalf.





Articles on Estate Planning/Probate Law from the

Bartlesville Law Blog

NOTE: The information provided on this website is not intended to be, and does not constitute, the giving of legal advice. The information provided here is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for individual reliance on privately retained legal counsel. Information provided on this site may not constitute the most current or complete information with respect to legal topics or developments. Mr. Persaud expressly disclaims all liability based on any information contained on this site.”

© 2020, by Kyle Persaud.