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Probate

Probate Attorneys:

Blaine G. Frizzell | Brad D. Fuller

Our services at Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. are designed to help you as Personal Representative, Executor or Administrator, from the initial stages of court appointment through administration and final steps for closing the estate.

Will Contests

Conflicts often arise regarding the validity of a deceased loved one’s Will once the executor presents it to the Court to begin the legal process, in the probate court, for settling the decedent’s estate. These disputes take many forms; however, the most common grounds for challenging the validity of a Will are the following:

  • Undue Influence or Duress. This cause of action is presented by a beneficiary claiming that the Will at issue was created because another beneficiary exerted pressure and influence over the creator of the Will in order to force them to draft a Will that was favorable to that beneficiary, to the exclusion of others.
  • Lack of Mental Capacity. Based on a claim that the creator of the Will was not sufficiently competent at the time they created the Will, and was unable to understand the meaning of the document and the assets that were disposed of through the document.
  • Forgery or Fraud. This claim arises when a beneficiary alleges that the Will presented to the probate court is a fraud and was never actually signed by the supposed creator of the Will.

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. represents both beneficiaries and executors in various types of probate-related litigation. If you are involved in a dispute regarding a friend or loved one’s Will or estate and have questions regarding your options, please don’t hesitate to contact Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. for a consultation regarding the situation.

Guardianship

Establishing a legal guardianship is document-intensive and can involve a variety of legal issues. If you were named the legal guardian of a family member or wish to ask the court to name a legal guardian for a loved one, Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. can help. Our firm assists clients in matters related to:

  • Hearings to determine an individual’s mental competency;
  • Setting up trusts for a family member with special needs;
  • Establishing a guardianship for a minor who is the beneficiary of a settlement award;
  • Performing all duties related to providing annual reporting to the court regarding guardianship estate assets and business;
  • Formal discharge of the guardian at the end of the guardianship estate.

If you have been named as a guardian or wish to ask the court to establish a guardianship estate, please contact Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P..

Conservatorship

If you have not executed a General Durable Power of Attorney, and you are deemed legally incapacitated, you will lose the opportunity to name the person you want to make important financial decisions for you. The Oklahoma legislature and the court will make that decision for you.

You can remain in control of your life by simply executing a General Durable Power of Attorney naming a person to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. It’s easy, and it preserves your right to remain in control. Contact an attorney at Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P..

If you find yourself or a family member dealing with a contested conservatorship proceeding, Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. can represent you.

Financial Conservatorships

Without a General Durable Power of Attorney, the court will appoint a conservator when you are no longer able to make financial decisions. The conservator may be given broad power to make decisions regarding your finances.

Knowledgeable Elder Law Lawyers

People cannot stop the process of growing older, but they can decide who will make decisions for them if and when it becomes necessary. Before forcing the court to choose a conservator for you, execute a General Durable Power of Attorney.

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. has a team of knowledgeable Oklahoma elder law attorneys that will help you through the process of a conservatorship, making sure that you are informed of all of your options.

Trust Contests

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. provides intelligently aggressive representation on behalf of clients who are engaged in a will contest or trust dispute.

Issues that may give rise to a trust dispute include:

  • Fraud or breach of fiduciary duty
  • Recalcitrant Trustee who refuses to provide information to beneficiaries
  • Improper and untimely distribution of funds
  • Mismanagement of trust funds/making poor investments
  • Financial misconduct (excessive trustee compensation, stealing funds, etc.)

While most trust disputes involve allegations of trustee misconduct, some do not. Interpretation issues can arise because of ambiguous trust provisions and unforeseeable circumstances such as a major change in the law. In these cases, it may be necessary to have the trust reformed or amended by a judge so that it continues to reflect the wishes of the person who established it. Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P assists clients with trust reformation and with obtaining judicial amendments to established trusts.

Estate Administration

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P works with executors, trustees and all personal representatives in order to assist them in distributing a deceased friend or loved one’s assets and formally closing the estate. This representation includes involvement with the representative throughout the entire legal process, which typically involves the probate court. Our firm’s involvement can be as much or as little as the representative desires. Under Oklahoma law, the executor or personal representative’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Gathering documents;
  • Filing the decedent’s will, if one exists;
  • Notifying heirs and beneficiaries;
  • Obtaining a valuation of the decedent’s property and assets;
  • Paying the decedent’s debts with assets from the estate;
  • Preparing federal and state estate tax returns, if necessary;
  • Distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries.

In addition to providing the services referenced above, Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P provides counsel and advice to executors and trustees on the most tax-efficient means of administering probate and non-probate estates and trusts, in order to ensure that the greatest amount of wealth possible passes to the next generation.

If you or a loved one has been named as an executor or trustee, and have questions regarding your obligations and duties, please contact the attorneys at Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P to discuss how we can help.

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