Probate and Estate Services

Let's Discuss Your Options

We will start by diagnosing your situation to determine the best possible legal solution. Possible solutions may include an affidavit of heirship, probate, estate administration, litigation, or other related services. After identifying the best approach, we will quote a simple, transparent pricing structure and you can decide whether you wish to move forward with the proposed next steps. This is an informational, no-pressure phone call to educate you on your legal options. Jones Property Law, PLLC, is a highly reviewed and well-established Oklahoma law firm with a strong focus on probate and estate work.

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Services & Pricing

Select an option below to view service pricing, descriptions, and estimated timelines.

Affidavit of HeirshipIn some cases, an Affidavit of Heirship can be used to transfer assets rather than a probate action. We charge a flat fee of $750 to analyze your situation, prepare the Affidavit, and explain how to use the Affidavit to transfer assets. We would need to discuss your situation to determine whether an Affidavit is the best solution. An Affidavit may be possible in the following situations: (1) you are transfer ownership of mineral rights only; (2) you are only transfering ownership of a bank account less than $50,000; or (3) you are only transfering ownership of personal property worth less than $50,000. We might NOT want to use an Affidavit if the assets exceed $50,000 or if there may be disagreement among the heirs.

Summary Probate or Estate AdministrationA summary probate or estate administration is a shortened version of a normal probate. We charge a flat fee of $4,000 for an uncontested summary probate, and we can discuss alternative pricing structures if you are unable to make payment up front. The summary version of probate is available only if one of the following conditions are met: (1) the estate is valued at $200,000 or less; (2) the decedent passed away more than 5 years ago; or (3) the decedent resided in another state at the time of death. A summary probate may take only 2-3 months to complete, but the timeline may increase due to unanticipated title issues, disputes, or judicial delays.

Ancillary Probate When a person dies in one state but owns real property or minerals in another state, an ancillary probate is often necessary to transfer the property to heirs. For example, if someone died in Colorado but owned real estate or minerals in Oklahoma, an ancillary probate may be necessary. We charge a flat fee of $4,000 for an uncontested ancillary probate, and we can discuss alternative pricing structures if you are unable to make payment up front. The typical timeline for an Oklahoma ancillary probate is 6-10 weeks on average. Of course, there are exceptions when unique issues arise, but 6-10 weeks is a good starting point. The length of time can vary widely depending on how quickly information can be obtained from the client, from the home state, or from a landman (if title work is necessary).

Full Probate or Estate AdministrationWe charge a flat fee of $6,000 for a standard probate or estate administration, and we can discuss alternative pricing structures if you are unable to make payment up front. The timeline of a probate depends heavily on the nature of the estate, but in general, a full probate may take 6-9 months to fully complete. The timeline may increase due to unanticipated title issues, disputes, or judicial delays.

Contested Probate Litigation or Estate DisputesIf there is any disagreement among the heirs, personal representatives, creditors, or other interested parties, the probate may become contested. This changes the procedure, steps required, and amount of time involved. We charge a minimum retainer fee of $5,000 to assist with contested estate matters, and we can discuss alternative pricing structures if you are unable to make payment up front.

Other Estate Related ServicesWe provide all manner of services related to probates and estates, and we are happy to provide an estimate or quote after discussing your situation in more detail.

Over 100 Google Reviews at 4.9 Stars

"Jones Property Law is an excellent resource to get your legal matters handled by skilled professionals with INTEGRITY and top notch, thoughtful legal representation. We had a complicated family trust matter. Attorney Ryan Jones was understanding, compassionate and provided excellent communication throughout our case. Ryan was able to achieve for us the best possible outcome. He is a talented attorney and we highly recommend him, and the rest of the firm. They mean what they say, such as "Our attorneys work together to provide the highest quality solutions at the lowest possible cost." They have a team that provides synergistic legal services. Thank you Ryan, Sid and Ian, we appreciate all your help!"

Kelly CopelandKelly CopelandCPA

"I would recommend this firm! I had some real estate problems during a very complicated probate period after the passing of my father and JT came in and got everything squared away for me. I really appreciate all the help they offered, especially during a busy holiday season. Thank you!"

Austen FullerAusten Fuller

"My experience with Jones Property Law has been nothing less than excellent. I was privileged to start out my experience with Max and won my race through my Uncles estate probate with Luke who was on spot every time and followed through with everything he said he would. Needless to say, my experience was great and I highly recommend Luke at Jones Property Law."

Randy SluderRandy Sluder

"Spoke with Ryan during a very emotional time over property after a loved one passed and he went out of his way to quickly get back to me and and go above what other lawyers I reached out to were willing to do! I would use this company in the future and recommend them to any of my family and friends!"

Cori FleetCori Fleet

Our Attorneys

Ryan Jones

Firm Owner
Ryan enjoys helping his clients to think through both the practical realities and the legal realities in order to make the best possible decision under the circumstances. He has a strong grasp of probate, estates, and property law in general.

Luke Luker

Luke's strong experience in probate and estate matters allows him to deliver excellent representation in all types of probate matters. You will not find an attorney more attentive to client goals. Luke's high level of energy and focus make him highly effective in pushing probate and estate matters through to a satisfactory conclusion.

Zachary Privott

Senior Associate Attorney
Drawing on his 10+ years of legal experience, Zach applies his deep knowledge of the law to client situations in a compassionate and realistic manner. He does not overcomplicate legal matters and keeps the focus where it belongs: on the main objective.

JT Stevenson

Justin "JT" Stevenson serves clients with an unmatched level of polished professionalism, combined with a deep concern for the practical and relationonal realities faced by his clients. With substantial courtroom and litigation experience, JT is highly effective in resolving disputes or potential disputes on behalf of our clients.

Common Probate and Estate Questions

Probate definition: what is probate?In short, probate is necessary to legally transfer ownership of a person's assets to their heirs after they die. Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person's death, during which their estate, including assets and debts, is managed and distributed according to their will and the law. This process is essential for the proper transfer of property and possessions to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries, as well as ensuring that the deceased's debts are settled. Probate also plays a crucial role in maintaining a structured system for managing estates, preventing potential disputes among family members, creditors, and other interested parties, and ultimately upholding the wishes of the deceased.

When is probate required?Probate is typically required when a person passes away and leaves behind assets that need to be distributed among heirs or beneficiaries. Probate also provides judicial oversight in various situations, such as when the will is contested or unclear, when there are outstanding debts to be paid, or when the estate is complex and requires careful management. Probate may also be required when the deceased owned real estate in multiple jurisdictions or states, as the title transfer process must be handled according to the laws of each jurisdiction or state.

When is probate NOT necessary?Probate may not be necessary in certain situations, such as when the deceased's assets are held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship or when they have designated beneficiaries for specific assets like life insurance policies, retirement accounts, or payable-on-death bank accounts. In these cases, the assets can pass directly to the surviving joint owner or named beneficiary, bypassing the probate process. Additionally, probate may not be required for small estates that fall below a specified value threshold, as determined by the laws of the particular jurisdiction or state. These small estates can often be administered through a simplified process or affidavit, allowing for a quicker and less costly distribution of assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

What is the probate process?While the specifics of the process can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the estate's complexity, the general steps are the same everywhere. First, a petition is filed with the probate court to open the estate and appoint an executor (if named in the will) or an administrator (if there is no will or the named executor cannot serve). Next, the executor or administrator notifies the deceased's heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors of the probate proceedings. The estate's assets are then inventoried and appraised to determine their value. Following this, the deceased's debts, taxes, and other expenses are paid from the estate's assets. Finally, once all debts and expenses have been settled, the remaining assets are distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries according to the will or the laws of intestacy.

Can you probate without a will?Yes, you can probate without a will. When an individual dies without a will, their estate generally goes through a process called intestate estate administration or intestate probate. Intestate administration follows the same general steps as probate with a will, but the distribution of assets is determined by the laws of intestacy in the deceased's jurisdiction, rather than their personal wishes outlined in a will. In this situation, an administrator is appointed by the probate court to manage the estate, notify heirs and creditors, pay outstanding debts and taxes, and ultimately distribute the remaining assets to the deceased's legal heirs according to the intestacy laws. These intestacy laws often prioritize the deceased's surviving spouse and children, followed by other close relatives, to ensure a fair and orderly distribution of the estate among the family members.

Why is probate necessary if there is a will?Probate is necessary even when there is a will because it serves to authenticate the will and ensure that the deceased's wishes are carried out legally and appropriately. The probate process provides a structured system for the estate's administration, confirming the validity of the will, appointing an executor, and overseeing the distribution of assets. Additionally, probate ensures that the deceased's debts, taxes, and other financial obligations are settled before the distribution of the remaining assets, protecting both the heirs and the creditors involved. Furthermore, probate offers a level of transparency and protection for all interested parties, including the heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors.

Do you need a probate lawyer?While it is not legally required to hire a probate lawyer, it is usually necessary, especially in cases where the estate is complex or there are potential disputes among heirs or creditors. More importantly, most people choose to hire a probate lawyer because they do not have the time or inclination to learn all the aspects of probate law and civil procedure required to commence and carry a probate action through to completion. A probate lawyer, also known as an estate or trust attorney, can provide guidance and assistance throughout the probate process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met and that the deceased's estate is administered efficiently and correctly. In cases where the estate is relatively small and straightforward, with a clear will and no anticipated disputes, it might be possible for the executor or administrator to navigate the probate process without legal assistance. However, even in those cases, it is recommended that the person handling the probate process consult with an attorney for general advice or purchase forms and other resources from a probate attorney.

How and when to probate a house?Probating a house becomes necessary when a homeowner passes away, and the property must be transferred to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. The process typically begins when the executor or administrator of the estate files a petition with the probate court, opening the estate and initiating the probate process. It is advisable to start the process as soon as possible after the homeowner's death to ensure a timely and efficient transfer of ownership. During the probate process, the house may need to be appraised to determine its value, which will be included in the overall inventory of the deceased's assets. The court will then ensure that any outstanding debts, taxes, or other financial obligations associated with the property are paid before transferring the title to the heirs or beneficiaries. This transfer of title is crucial in establishing the new owners' legal rights to the property. Depending on the specifics of the estate and the jurisdiction, the entire probate process can take anywhere from several months to over a year.

Probate court definition.A probate court is a specialized court within the legal system that handles matters related to the administration of deceased individuals' estates. This includes validating wills, appointing executors or administrators, overseeing the distribution of assets, and resolving disputes among heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors. Probate courts also have jurisdiction over guardianships and conservatorships, ensuring that the best interests of minors, incapacitated adults, or individuals with special needs are protected. The probate court's primary function is to provide an orderly and legally structured process for managing and distributing the assets of a deceased person, ensuring that their debts are settled, and their property is transferred according to their wishes, or in the absence of a will, according to the laws of intestacy. The probate court operates under the laws and regulations of the specific jurisdiction in which it is located, and its procedures may vary depending on the particular state or country.

How much are estimated probate costs?See our above pricing under Services & Pricing. Probate costs can vary depending on the size and complexity of the estate, as well as the specific court and attorney fees involved.

Who pays probate attorney fees?Probate attorney fees are typically paid by the estate of the deceased person. The executor or administrator, who is responsible for managing the estate, will use the estate's assets to cover the attorney fees and other costs associated with the probate process. These fees are considered an administrative expense and are generally paid before the distribution of assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

In some cases, if the estate does not have sufficient funds to cover the attorney fees, the heirs or beneficiaries may need to contribute to these costs. However, this scenario is relatively rare, as the probate process is designed to ensure that all debts, taxes, and expenses are paid before the distribution of assets. It's essential to work with a probate attorney who can provide guidance and help manage the estate efficiently to minimize costs and ensure a smooth probate process for all parties involved.

Is probate the only option?Not necessarily. As a property law firm with a full suite of title services, we will discuss all of your potential options when you contact us.

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