Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
- Estate Planning
- Real Estate Law
Additional Practice Areas
- Business Formation
- Free Consultation
- Credit Cards Accepted
- Contingent Fees
- Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
Guardianships and conservatorships are also a significant part of my practice.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
- Pittsburg State University
- M.A. (1986) | English
- Oklahoma City University School of Law
- J.D. (1985)
- Baylor University
- B.A. (1981) | English
- Oklahoma Bar Association # 11677
- Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts Section of Oklahoma Bar Association
- - Current
- William J. Holloway American Inn of Court
- Barrister Member
Websites & Blogs
- Ben Meek, Attorney at Law
257 Questions Answered
- Q. How do I file an objection to set aside administration? I question the validity of my dad's will.
- A: There appears to be a strong possibility of fraud or undue influence in having your father sign the will. You will need a lawyer to contest it in the probate matter. There is also a strong possibility that the estranged son is a pretermitted heir, since your father failed to name him either as a beneficiary or to mention him but decline to provide anything for him. Contact an experienced probate lawyer in the state where the will is being probated for specific advice.
- Q. My mother passed in December of 2018. I am having problems to fill out probate paper. I have no idea how to fill it out.
- A: Most states have "small estate" affidavits or affidavits of heirship that permit heirs to transfer car titles, obtain cash from banks or insurance companies, etc., as long as the heir will swear under oath as to certain facts such as: names and addresses of all of the decedent's heirs, that all the decedent's bills have been paid or provided for, that the decedent did not have a will, and that no estate administration has been commenced anywhere. When such affidavits can be used, they avoid the need for probate. If a car is all you're after, contact your state's motor vehicle department or search for your state's small estate affidavit for automobiles. Otherwise, talk to a probate lawyer in your state. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.
- Q. My husband passed and my name was not on the mortgage loan or deed. Am I responsible for repaying the mortgage?
- A: You are probably not liable for repaying the note and mortgage, since you didn’t sign them, though you might have to pay the loan off if you want to keep the house. Thus you can probably let the house go back to the lender, but you shouldn’t just walk away without facing the issues and requiring the lender to curtail its grab for money from your husband’s estate. A good probate lawyer can help you minimize the mortgage lender’s claim and maximize what will come to you. There are other spousal rights you need to be aware of. Take your documents and go see a good probate lawyer in your state. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.
- Q. USAA HAS LOST ORIGINAL JTWROS SIGNATURE CARDS FOR PARENTS LARGE ACCOUNTS
- A: This is a fact intensive issue that will turn on the evidence you can gather to show that her intent was to name you as TOD beneficiary. Gather every document that has to do with their dealings with USAA, their financial advisor, banks, brokerages, etc., and anyone else in the chain of communication. Much of it may be electronic. Your lawyer can help with that. Contact an experienced probate litigator as soon as possible. Good luck.
- Q. If a will has already been probated, how can I find out who the lawyer is to contact him?
- A: Find out what county it was probated in and search online for access to court records of that probate court. The attorney's name will show up in the docket sheets and on his or her pleadings in the case. Good luck.
- Q. Should I contest the amount the state of Maine wants from my deceased aunts estate?
- A: It's not possible to give meaningful guidance with such little information. Are these demands from the state related to Medicaid payments for your aunt's medical care? If not, what is the demand related to? If for medical bills, you would have to compare what your aunt paid, and whatever insurance, if any, paid, against what Medicaid paid. If your aunt had an irrevocable trust to protect her assets from being reached by Medicaid, you will need an experienced elder law or estate planning lawyer to review the timing and the terms of the trust and analyze the demand against what was provided in the trust document. The short answer is: go and talk to an experienced probate/estate planning/elder law attorney in your state. Many offer free initial consultations.
- Q. Mother died, Court judgment was for debt against my mother that is more than her estate is worth. Are we responsible?
- A: Your mother's estate is probably answerable for her debts, but her heirs are not personally liable for those debts (unless they obligated themselves by co-signing a contract or note or something similar). The inheritances of your mother's heirs would be reduced by the payments of her debts from her money and property, but if your mother's property is insufficient to pay her debts, those debts would just go unpaid. A major caveat, however, regards mortgages or liens on real or personal property. For example, if there is a mortgage on your mother's house, that debt would have to be paid or the house surrendered. The heirs would not have to pay that debt from their own pockets unless your mother's estate can't pay it and they want to keep the house. Then they would have to satisfy the mortgage. If, on the other hand, they don't want to pay the mortgage, they can let the house go and they would not be further obligated. Talk to an experienced probate lawyer in your state for specifics after reviewing your information and documents. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.
- Q. Do we have a case?
- A: There isn't enough information to determine whether your husband would end up with the property through probate. It may be simpler to keep an eye on the property and buy it at a tax sale. You might have to outbid someone but would likely get the property for a song either way. Or you may be able to buy out the family members that have interests. You and your husband should bring what papers you have relating to the property and any Wills his ancestors left behind and go see an experienced probate lawyer. Many, including me, offer free initial consultations.
- Q. My mother passed away 12/29/2016, my sister is the executor of her will. She refuses to finalize the estate.
- A: Talk to a lawyer. Forcing the executrix to close the estate and distribute it does not constitute a challenge to the Will but is simply asking that it be enforced, which does not run afowl of the 'no challenge' clause. If you are a beneficiary in the will, you can also petition the court to Partition the property, which forces either a sale or buyout of your interest. If there is no partition, the beneficiaries under the will will become co-owners of the property. At that point, if you want your interest paid-for and your sister won't pay for it then, you would have to sue for Partition at that time. Might as well do it in the probate and save time. Again, you should talk to a lawyer where the estate is being probated for specific advice.
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