Q: What would be a good reason to get a lawyer while going through the probate process?
A: Don't just get an attorney, get a probate attorney. It is a complicated process there are about 1100 probate statutes. In addition, an attorney should understand title issues. But people do manage to get through probate without an attorney. Here is a sample of the statutes:
2017 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 58. Probate Procedure
§58-1. Probate jurisdiction and venue of district court.
§58-5. Venue of probate acts.
§58-6. Venue in certain cases.
§58-7. Jurisdiction coextensive with state.
§58-8. Transfer of old matters authorized.
§58-9. Transfers already made legalized.
§58-10. Transfer to county of domicile of minor or ward.
§58-11. Personal representative defined.
§58-21. Custodian of will to deliver same to district court.
§58-22. Who may petition court for proof of will.
§58-23. Requisites of petition for probate.
§58-24. Court may compel production of will by one having possession.
§58-24.1. Preservation of original will - Removal from custody.
§58-25. Hearing - Notice, how given.
§58-26. Heirs, legatees, devisees and executors to be given notice by mail.
§58-27. Powers of judge at chambers.
§58-28. Proof of notice - Waiver of notice.
§58-29. Contest before probate - Persons entitled.
§58-30. Admission on testimony of one subscribing witness.
§58-31. Olographic will, how proved.
§58-32. Notices required to be published once each week for two or more consecutive weeks - Interval.
§58-33. "Newspaper" defined.
§58-34. Mailing and proof of mailing - Persons authorized to make.
§58-41. Proceedings on contest.
§58-42. Judgment - Recording.
§58-43. Witnesses on trial of contest - Depositions.
§58-44. Recording of testimony - Admissibility.
§58-51. Foreign wills recorded.
§58-52. Petition - Hearing - Notice - Summary administration.
§58-53. Proof required.
§58-61. Causes for contesting will after probate.
§58-62. Citations issued to whom.
§58-63. Petition and notices when another will offered.
§58-64. Hearing and judgment - New will, admitting to probate.
§58-65. Result of revocation.
§58-66. Costs of contest.
§58-67. Probate conclusive, when.
§58-81. Proceedings in case of lost will.
§58-82. Special requisites of proof.
§58-83. Court's certificate - Filing - Letters testamentary.
§58-84. Restraint of former administration.
§58-91. Nuncupative wills, how proved.
§58-92. Nuncupative wills - Special requirements.
§58-93. Proceedings in contest.
§58-101. Letters to issue to executor or successor in interest of corporate executor.
§58-102. Who incompetent as executor.
§58-103. Failure of executors.
§58-104. Objections to issue of letters - Letters of administration with will annexed.
§58-105. Death of an executor.
§58-106. Executor disqualified by absence or minority.
§58-107. Two or more personal representatives.
§58-108. Presumed renunciation of executorship.
§58-109. Administrators with will annexed - Authority - Letters.
§58-110. Form of letters testamentary.
§58-111. Letters of administration with will annexed, form of.
§58-121. Letters of administration.
§58-122. Persons entitled to letters of administration.
§58-124. Where several equally entitled - Creditors.
§58-125. Letters to guardian of minor entitled.
§58-126. Who incompetent as administrator.
§58-127. Requisites of petition for administration.
§58-128. Notice of hearing.
§58-129. Contest of petition - Notice.
§58-130. Hearing of the petition - Order.
§58-131. Court entry as to proof conclusive.
§58-132. Letters granted to applicant where no contest.
§58-133. Proof of death intestate.
§58-134. Nomination of stranger by person entitled.
A: The quick answer to your question is that the probate process is a very technical area of the law, and an easily overlooked "mistake" could prove to be very costly and detrimental to your position.
Don't worry about the lions, and tigers, and bears that you hear coming. Worry about the lions, and tigers, and bears that you DON'T HEAR COMING! Those are the ones that will bite you!
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