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Estate , Probate & Guardianship Planning Practice

Needham & Associates has an extensive estate planning practice.  We work closely with clients to identify their goals, anticipate life’s contingencies, and create a comprehensive estate plan to that achieves financial and personal goals.

Estate planning will generally involve a careful  review of the client’s current estate and property, analysis of anticipated future growth of the estate, family relationships and needs, and desired timing and method of transferring property.  The estate planning process can include family in addition to closely-held business succession planning, lifetime gifting programs, buy-sell arrangements, and charitable gifting techniques. It may also involve establishment of life insurance trusts, creation of trusts or accounts for children to fund education or health care needs, generation-skipping transfers, coordination of employee benefits and individual retirement accounts with other asset transfers, or organization of limited partnerships and limited liability companies.  Successful estate planning may also involve more complex estate, gift, and income tax planning. A formulated estate plan can often be designed to avoid the necessity of probate and administration of an individual’s estate in a court proceeding and to minimize estate taxes.

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A complete estate strategy may include:

  • Last will and testament to determine distribution of your assets and management of an estate

  • Revocable living trusts that govern the ease of lifetime property management

  • Durable powers of attorney authorizing trusted ones to act when one cannot

  • Advanced health care directive and living will regarding advance life support decisions

  • Family limited partnerships to pass a family-owned business to successors

  • Irrevocable trusts to manage life insurance

  • Grantor trusts

  • Special needs trusts for a disabled child or adult

  • Medicaid and senior living planning

  • Charitable trusts

  • Trusts to protect assets from creditors.

probate and Administration of Estates and Final Decrees

Needham and Associates regularly provide Oklahoma probate law advice and probate court representation.  Probate can include representing individuals and families in settling a family member’s estate, including the court procedures necessary to determine the content and nature of an estate, complete the payment of debts, expenses, and taxes of the estate, and obtaining court authorization for distribution of the estate to heirs and beneficiaries. We represent the estates of clients in the probate of a last will and testament and the estates where there is no will under intestate succession laws of Oklahoma.  Representation of clients by Needham & Associates in these contexts includes advisement on distribution of real property assets, equity accounts, employee benefits, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies. Our attorneys will also resolve disputes of estate taxation with authorities.

Trust Administration

Our attorneys are experienced in trust administration issues that must be considered or resolved in a court proceeding.  These situations can include questions related to interpretation of trust instruments, the securing of court approval of an amendment of a trust, and disputes over the terms of a trust or its administration by a trustee.

Guardianships

Needham & Associates provides compassionate counsel in all matters relating to legal guardianship.  Clients in guardianship matters require representation before the court administration and oversight of managing financial needs and care for children and the incapacitated.  

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