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
253 Questions Answered
- 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.
- Q. Wife is executor and sole beneficiary of her mother. Probate almost completed, deeds being transfered. Only thing NOT
- A: Contact her lawyer for the probate matter and tell him or her the problem. They will help you. You may be able to be appointed, if you're qualified. The lawyer can tell you. Don't wait. It won't get easier. Best wishes.
- Q. Can a conservator in NJ be changed?
- A: Conservatorship usually requires the consent of the wards. They need to get an attorney, if they are being abused emotionally or financially or if they gave their consent under duress or false pretenses. If they truly lack capacity, guardianship is probably the more appropriate remedy, since their personal care and safety would be at risk. If the family is fighting over their parents' money, the parents probably need either to get their own attorney and object to the conservatorship/guardianship. Or object and ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem until the issues can be resolved. Contact an experienced probate or guardianship lawyer in your state for specific advice. Good luck.
- Q. i am a heir to my aunts trust,i inherited $90K. the lawyer is requesting my ss# number. must i give it 2 him?
- A: Ask him the purpose for his needing to know. Most likely it is so the Trust can report the distribution of funds to you on IRS Form 1099. That would be a legit reason for needing to know.
- Q. My father and his sister are both on the Deed to the home he lives in. She passed away how can he get deed, no will.
- A: He may not need to do anything. It depends on how they held title. If the Deed provides that dad and sister owned the property as "joint tenants with right of survivorship", then he became the sole owner by law when she died. There would be nothing to probate and no need to change title. If the words "joint tenants with right of survivorship" do not appear on the deed, he will most likely have to have his sister's estate administered through probate to pass the title to her interest in the property to her heirs. You should have a lawyer look at the deed to confirm this. Once your dad is the sole owner, the next question is: what will happen to the property when he dies? He needs to make a plan. Contact an experienced probate lawyer in your state to review the deed and give you and your father specific legal advice on your situation. Many offer free initial consultations.
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