Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
- Estate Planning
- Real Estate Law
Additional Practice Areas
- Business Formation
- Ancillary Probate
- 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
261 Questions Answered
- Q. It has been 2 years since my mother died and I did not object to my brother being administrator. He is living in the
- A: If you are an heir to your father's estate, you can probably force a sale of the property or for your brother to buy you out. It's a remedy called "partition", which is the right of a co-owner to get the value of his interest and get separated from his co-owners. You can probably force a partition from within the probate proceeding or you may be able to sue separately. It would be better, if possible, to negotiate with your brother and come to a reasonable agreement, which would save on attorney's fees for both of you. Also, the rents generated by the property belong to the estate, not to your brother or you, until the Court orders distribution. If your brother has been spending those funds, you can probably have him removed as Administrator. You can also ask the court to require the property be appraised, which would happen as part of a partition action anyway. Contact an experienced probate lawyer in your state to get more information and give you specific legal advice. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations.
- Q. Woman died. Left home to one person until his death then to children after his death. How can children secure interests?
- A: You need to take a copy of her Will to an experience probate lawyer. If the property was her separate property at the time she married her new spouse, she kept it separate, and she left him a life estate in it by her Will, then he most likely received from her only a life estate in the property with the remainder interest in her children. This means that her husband would have a present interest in the property for the rest of his life, but when he dies his interest would cease and the remaindermen would become the sole owners. He would have no right to pass along any interest in it. Have an attorney in your state confirm that she had a valid Will that created such a life estate and to confirm that a probate decree specified this distribution. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. Good luck.
- Q. Does tenancy in common require probate in KS?
- A: You might start by reviewing your divorce decree. If the property division gave you sole ownership of the house (subject to any mortgages, etc.) but the decree wasn’t recorded in the land records, all you may need to do is record it to be the sole owner (or you may have to sue to quiet title). Also, even if the decree kept you both as Co Tenants you should ask a Kansas real estate or probate lawyer about whether you have a homestead interest in the property. This would mean that you would be entitled to possess and live in the house until you die. You would have to maintain it in good condition and pay the taxes, etc. Have an experienced lawyer review your divorce decree and your deed to the property. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.
- Q. I'm a Licensed Realtor & I have been appointed by the court as personal representative of my father's estate. House is
- A: Probably yes but you should obtain court approval to protect yourself and the estate. You have a fiduciary duty to the heirs/beneficiaries and self-dealing in such a situation should be fully disclosed and approved by the court. Even if the listing agreement predated the probate filing. Your attorney can advise you. If you don’t have an attorney, you should get one. Probate is a very arcane and complicated process. Missing any one of dozens of details relating to the sale or the probate process could result in a cloud on the buyer’s title that might not be found until the property is being re-sold. Good luck and best wishes.
- 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.
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